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Old 12-03-2013, 16:39   #1
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Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

Questions about buying a sailboat in Bahamas
Can someone advise me on what actual costs are involved when one purchases a 25 ft sailboat in the Bahamas and wants to bring it into the USA?

The boat is foreign owned (UK) and registered (UK), and has paid 'Bahamas Importation Fees I've been told.

Should I just keep it in the Bahamas since the 'Importation Fee' has been paid? Is this good for the life of the boat?, or does each new owner have to pay the 'Importation Fee'? Does it change hands with the boat's title?

I'm tempted to leave the boat there and register it in the Bahamas (is this possible for a non-resident?) I figured I want to go over and sail there anyway in the Fall of this year.

What are the costs to ship it on it's trailer over to Florida? Or would I be better off selling the trailer in the Bahamas, and having the boat sailed over on it's own?

What Taxes are due on the purchase? Are taxes due to the Bahamas or USA for my purchase price?

What are the Customs Duties for importing a $20k/ 25 ft sailboat?

Is this something that boat brokers handle regularly? At a fair rate? If I buy the boat sight unseen, except for the surveyor's remarks; is this normally handled with an 'escrow account' for the buying and selling parties, until the transaction is completed satisfactorily for the buyer (me)?

I'm thinking I need to be assured there are no boatyard/marina liens, unpaid bills due workmen, all paperwork/titles clear.

Essentially I've never bought a boat outside of the USA to bring in and want to know from someone who's gone through the experience. I want to know the upfront costs as clearly as possible before I buy it so I don't end up 'buying the boat twice'.

Thanks...been lurking/reading this forum for years and enjoy it every chance I get.
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Old 09-01-2014, 21:40   #2
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

Did you ever get any info or feedback on this question? In the same boat (sorry!) myself. And surprised at how LITTLE info there is anywhere on the web about how to purchase a boat in Bahamas and bring to the US!? Still searching, but thought I'd ask!
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:35   #3
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, JoMama.

Pleasure boats are generally dutiable when imported into the United States. The following duty rates apply to boats imported for recreational purposes:
Sailboats and motorboats other than outboard motorboats: 1.5 percent

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1184/
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:06   #4
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

If you buy the boat in the Bahamas, and then bring it to Florida and keep it here, the state of Florida requires you to pay sales tax. Details here...
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:49   #5
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

If you do not intend to keep the boat in the US for longer than one year at a time your best bet would be to flag it Bahamian as the import tax has been paid and bring it into the US on a cruising permit. No FL sales tax then.
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Old 13-01-2014, 09:20   #6
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

Great Info!! Now on to the new (to me) challenge, finding a lender who doesn't want the boat on US soil
Quote:
first
in order to finance! :-/ Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-07-2014, 13:32   #7
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Re: Buying a Boat in the Bahamas...I need the How to do it info

I am sailing a islander bahamas 30 1982 shallow draft, from Puerto Rico to Tampa Florida this month and selling after arrival

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