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Old 26-08-2011, 21:05   #691
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Maybe because it doesn't happen just because you flew the UK flag? Stop twisting this around. I said I would pay all fees on entry. Pretty much everyone is wanting to do this just so save time and money on the AU registration. Not to scam the gov out of the duty and GST.


Not sure what your on about I was talking generally not about you. I also never said anything about the boat having to be Australian registered. What I can tell you is everytime you enter a foreign port and customs come to check you in they want to know the boats Country of registration. Like it was stated earlier it is the boats passport, do I know what would have happened if I did not have it, no and I do not want to find out personaly.
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Old 02-09-2011, 00:21   #692
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Some great stuff here. We hope it results in some benefits to readers! Some further thoughts, in no particular order, from our experience importing a vessel into Australia...

Starting from Australia, we bought an overseas-lying vessel...and it was certainly NOT an easy process! There were heaps of traps and barriers, notably misleading brokers and listings...and vendors! We were comforted by our search filter of a near-new production vessel, but even then we were amazed at how close we came to totally unsuited vessels. We handled our own negotiations and -- we hope! -- did reasonably well there, but the contractual and vessel survey processes were difficult at best. As we approached the end of the process we agreed that, if we had to approach it all again, we would probably use a 'buying broker', an unusual creature indeed but our experience with one suggested they may well be a great alternative for anyone looking to purchase a vessel overseas. All that said, we think we ended up with a bargain that could be easily sold for a solid profit (not our plan though) in Australia...and we're absolutely delighted with our purchase!

We also embraced the long (~14000nm!) delivery voyage as an opportunity-of-a-lifetime. Now with hindsight, we probably should've broken the voyage up a bit to take more advantage of some of the beautiful cruising areas along the way, but our circumstances probably wouldn't have permitted it anyway. In any event, it would be a shame indeed for an Aussie to buy a vessel overseas and then not take at least some part in the delivery voyage, although there certainly are excellent professional delivery teams available.

We couldn't see ANY way for the overseas purchase process to be worthwhile for a relatively lower-priced vessel. Even ignoring all the hassles and correspondence, just the distance costs (flying over and then transporting the vessel) are simply too great.

There are also heaps of technicalities with the Australian authorities approaching OZ...Customs, Quarantine and the rest We needed, for example, a permit to import our 3 frig's! We used a Customs agent and it seemed to be money well spent. Our eventual entry into Sydney was so smooth as to be almost effortless...every official we dealt with on the day was both pleasant and helpful and the whole process was completed without any fuss or problems whatsoever...although, of course, we were corresponding with all of them and using an agent for several months leading up to the arrival!

Now here and mindful of our earlier post, we should also acknowledge that we recently gave in on the State registration decision...and CatNirvana is now in the process of NSW Registration, although we will continue to very proudly fly our Australian ensign!

We cannot, however, offer any insights into the issue of whether one should consider using other than Australian flag registration when starting overseas. For us, we followed the thinking of simply wanting to be an Australian flag vessel...and we paid the $800 for the privilege.

Good luck to all contemplating the process. We feel like we not only survived it, but also profited from it and enjoyed it in many ways.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:02   #693
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Had you registered elsewhere it would have been cheaper but you would have had to keep the boat out of Australia until you were ready to pay duty and register locally. That might not have been such a burden.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:07   #694
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

D&D, sorry to hear that your overseas buying experience was a hassle. Although it all turned out in the end, it seems. Brokers can be misleading anywhere in the world - yacht brokers, real estate agents, salesmen! We got sick of yacht brokers in Australia telling us the boat was great and was fully equiped (yeah, fully equiped with junk LOL).
My overseas buying experience was totally the opposite. Of course, I was wary during initial enquiries with the broker in St Martin but basically, I decided to fly over there to personally oversee inspection, haulout & survey before signing on the dotted line. The cost of the airfare was well worth it - and the whole experience went pretty smoothly, including paperwork, Aussie ship rego at this end, organising a great mooring deal for the yacht to be safely secured until the whole family could fly over to start our adventure (6 months later),etc. Maybe I was lucky but I like to think that I covered all my bases and then flying over myself, was key. Then in the 1st month getting the boat ready for cruising, also went really well.

I agree, for a purchase under $100K probably not worth it.

The feeling I get from your post is that although some things were a hassle, overall you had a great experience!?! Am I right in saying that? And in any case, thank you for your honesty - it would be easy to sugar coat it. What vessel did you buy and where?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:45   #695
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by D&D View Post
Some great stuff here. We hope it results in some benefits to readers! Some further thoughts, in no particular order, from our experience importing a vessel into Australia...

Starting from Australia, we bought an overseas-lying vessel...and it was certainly NOT an easy process! There were heaps of traps and barriers, notably misleading brokers and listings...and vendors! We were comforted by our search filter of a near-new production vessel, but even then we were amazed at how close we came to totally unsuited vessels. We handled our own negotiations and -- we hope! -- did reasonably well there, but the contractual and vessel survey processes were difficult at best. As we approached the end of the process we agreed that, if we had to approach it all again, we would probably use a 'buying broker', an unusual creature indeed but our experience with one suggested they may well be a great alternative for anyone looking to purchase a vessel overseas. All that said, we think we ended up with a bargain that could be easily sold for a solid profit (not our plan though) in Australia...and we're absolutely delighted with our purchase!

We also embraced the long (~14000nm!) delivery voyage as an opportunity-of-a-lifetime. Now with hindsight, we probably should've broken the voyage up a bit to take more advantage of some of the beautiful cruising areas along the way, but our circumstances probably wouldn't have permitted it anyway. In any event, it would be a shame indeed for an Aussie to buy a vessel overseas and then not take at least some part in the delivery voyage, although there certainly are excellent professional delivery teams available.

We couldn't see ANY way for the overseas purchase process to be worthwhile for a relatively lower-priced vessel. Even ignoring all the hassles and correspondence, just the distance costs (flying over and then transporting the vessel) are simply too great.

There are also heaps of technicalities with the Australian authorities approaching OZ...Customs, Quarantine and the rest We needed, for example, a permit to import our 3 frig's! We used a Customs agent and it seemed to be money well spent. Our eventual entry into Sydney was so smooth as to be almost effortless...every official we dealt with on the day was both pleasant and helpful and the whole process was completed without any fuss or problems whatsoever...although, of course, we were corresponding with all of them and using an agent for several months leading up to the arrival!

Now here and mindful of our earlier post, we should also acknowledge that we recently gave in on the State registration decision...and CatNirvana is now in the process of NSW Registration, although we will continue to very proudly fly our Australian ensign!

We cannot, however, offer any insights into the issue of whether one should consider using other than Australian flag registration when starting overseas. For us, we followed the thinking of simply wanting to be an Australian flag vessel...and we paid the $800 for the privilege.

Good luck to all contemplating the process. We feel like we not only survived it, but also profited from it and enjoyed it in many ways.
Very interesting post as it reinforced much of what I have also advised allthough it seemed to ruffle a few feathers along the way. Not one for being blind to better methods and learning it sounds like I was on the money. Interesting your comment about under 100K boats as I had recently made that comment based on up to date costings, it reinforces my confidence with what had looked to be the way to go price wise. Enjoy the boat
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:47   #696
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If you can find your boat in Aus and then by comparisson factor in every cost associated with buying the cheaper boat OS then you will probably end up break even at best.

However buying OS gives you more choice, the process of marina hopping and inspecting around the Carib or Med can be written off as a holiday rather than a buying expense and if you choose to sail your boat home or even just part of the way, the costs associated can be put down as a life experience.

As mentioned, the more expensive the boat, the better the numbers are. After all shipping/sailing a 30 year old 40 ft Benneteau you paid 40k to buy will cost you just as much as a 200k 40ft Swan
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:37   #697
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I made a spreadsheet to work this out. It has many costs added, but its accuracy is only as good as your ability to realistically fill it out.

Boat Importation Spreadsheet and Facts

Fixes costs stay the same no matter how expensive the boat, so a more expensive boat will give better returns. That said even if I buy a good 40K 40 foot boat I will still be hugely in front considering the cost of a good 40 foot boat here. This depends if you look at it as a business venture or sailing holiday. IE you do not include food, air fairs, hotels etc in the cost of a holiday! Even if I can get exactly the same boat for exactly the same final price as an imported one, it cant be compared since I would have had a 1 year international cruising holiday included in the price of the imported boat!
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:02   #698
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I got a price about a year ago for shipping a 40 ft boat from Europe. Including the cradle, loading and unloading it came to about 40k AUD. At the time I was looking at 25 year old Jeanneau and I quickly decided it was an insanely uneconomical idea and therefore went newer. Of course if the plan was to slowly sail to Aus, then I would not care what the transportation really costs.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:46   #699
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I've plugged about a dozen boats that I've looked at here in the US into Dennis's spreadsheet (and also against my own research for the website) and there is significant savings of around 40%-50% on all of them - including my own delivery costs which personally I don't even think of as cost because I would have taken a 12 month sailing holiday anyway

One thing not factored into the spreadsheet is travel costs and accommodation while looking. I guess I'm lucky there because I have family and periodic work in the US and therefore free places to stay and I would have had to fly over anyway... but with cheap hostels and public transport (not ideal but doable) it can be less expensive than flying around Oz and staying in hotels to look at boats.

Also, I found the quality higher and a far greater selection over here. I think that narrowing down your boat search to 1 or 2 specific designs/models BEFORE you get to the US would greatly reduce your travel and accom. spending when here and allow you to be better prepared for any additional costs.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:21   #700
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Something I think could be handy would be to find a surveyor who can do a pre-inspection survey (not sure if that is the correct name for it). They go and have a quick look at the boat for you, looking for the obvious problems, taking lots of photos and give you an independant opinion of the boat. It could save you from making a wasted journey.

I was looking at some yachts in Holland (online) and stumbled across a surveyor who offered this service and I am sure they are not unique.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:46   #701
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
.
Also, I found the quality higher and a far greater selection over here. I think that narrowing down your boat search to 1 or 2 specific designs/models BEFORE you get to the US would greatly reduce your travel and accom. spending when here and allow you to be better prepared for any additional costs.
If you have never seen or been on board the boats that interest you, you never really know if it is the right type for you. A couple of years ago I was interested in the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37.1 (pree 2000) but I had never seen one for real. I decided to chase some Greek skirt I knew and flew down to Athens for a long weekend whith the plan to chase and walk around Alimos marina.

The skirt chase was a waste of time but the marina visit was enlightening. I found some 37.1's and was disappointed to see the headsail track and winch on the cabin to which was a big no for me. It was something I never thought about with the photos, but standing on the dock looking at all of the details and trying to picture how to handle it I realised it was not for me.

I found that looking all over Europe (online) and looking at many different boats was doing my head in. So when I was serious I decided to focus on two locations in Greece and whilst the later post 2000 Sun Odyssey 37 was my main focus (SO40 was mostly priced out of my target range and I was unsure if it was a bit too big) I went to inspect as many different boats as I could to see what really appealed and what just did not work for me.

Once I had narrowed down my shopping list to 2 boat models, then I arranged flights to the other side of Greece and it was just a matter of whether the photos and the description were accurate
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:55   #702
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
One thing not factored into the spreadsheet is travel costs and accommodation while looking.
Glad you liked my spreadsheet. If there are any things you think I have missed please let me know. The "other costs" column is for adding things like accommodation and flights etc. Any numbers you enter will be added up by the program. Like I said, I did not choose to add that since for me it is part of the holiday to travel and stay in hotels. The sheet is intended to be filled out according to the buyers own costs. Many of the main costs are done already but extra items may need to be added.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:43   #703
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I would just like to back up what meyermm and D&D have posted, fretting over a couple of hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars for rego and other stuff is a bit of a waste of time.
Trying to do this on a shoestring budget is asking for trouble in my humble opinion.
Remember if it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
Take note from these guys they have done it and lived to talk about it.
Remember always, the most expensive way ends up being the cheapest in the end.
Good luck all of you, I hope your dreams turn into reality.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:15   #704
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Originally Posted by meyermm View Post
"Your actual experience seems to be contrary to many other posts here, presumably because they haven't tried what you have done, so they tend to think their way is the only way."

If you read most of the posts you will have noticed that many of the posters have looked into the laws and regulations pertaining to the subject or worked in that area.
If someone circumvents those laws and gets away with it does not mean this is the way to go. To register the boat in UK another poster pointed out a UK address would be required and I suspect maybe some kind of Euro passport or company. So while someone may have gotten away with it does not mean it is recommended or just not the way others have gone about it.
One point I have noticed on subjects like this is you never hear from the ones that got caught and ended up paying thousands of dollars in fines or forfeited the boat as they were unable to pay do we.
I don't know if you were born peverse or if you've really had to work at it.

Why on earth are you assuming that a different strategy is an illegal one?

Unlike you, I happen to have an open and inquiring approach to this, so when someone says they did it differently, I want to know about their experience too. Not to do anything illegal but to know all options.

You learn a hell of a lot more with an open mind and pleasant personality than with the presumption that your way is the only way and everyone else is an idiot, trying to do things illegally.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:59   #705
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I'm puzzled why some of you are factoring in the cost of sailing the boat back to Australia as a 'cost' towards the boats purchase?!?
If you plan to stay living in Australia and just sailing the boat as a leisure activity on weekends, then fair enough. But if you are buying the boat to go cruising in the Pacific or further, then it makes no difference.
For example, if you were making plans for a 2 year Pacific circuit and bought your yacht in Australia, you wouldn't be adding the cost of cruising to the purchase price - you wouldn't be telling your friends that the Bavaria 38 you bought for $220,000 actually cost $300,000 because we have calculated that we will spend 80K over the 2 years living aboard.
So if you buy a boat in th BVI's and then spend a year or more sailing it back, it's exactly the same; you just started your cruising from a different location!

For a while now ex charter Jeanneau, bavaria & others have been for sale in places like Croatia & Turkey for up to half the price you would pay in Australia. It's not that hard to organise yourself, fly there, prepare the boat for cruising and go! You just have to be willing to do it and do some basic homework and due diligence (just as you would in Australia). It is that simple, I have done it with my entire family. You just have to think outside the box.

Quote Dragon Lady "Remember if it was that easy everyone would be doing it."

Everyone is not doing it because most people can't just drop everything and take off for 2 years - that culls 90%. The other 9.9% just haven't even thought about the possibility; most people follow the path they know and are scared to deviate. The last 0.01% are doing it....

Last year I contacted the manager of the Sunsail base in Phuket. They were selling about 8 Jenneau 35's that were 6 years old (1 with brand new mast and rig) for 2/3's the price of the same boat here in Oz! A substantial saving! Not too hard to buy a boat like that, organise Aussie rego, prepare it for cruising in Phuket and away you go on your circumnav...
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