as US citizens here are the most likely options:
US documentation-- cheap
, no tonnage survey
needed, can take months to get your registration
unless you show you are traveling. Annual renewal cheap
. Public record
US state- Delaware is not expensive, $20 per year, can be for 3 years, need a US address to get the documentation
. they are picky on paperwork like needing a notarized bill of sale
and ORIGINAL registration and/or title
Red Ensign (UK, Jersey, Guernsey, BVI, Cayman) pretty timely but you need a tonnage survey
from their list of organizations and for a boat your size the survey will run $1000 or so. might have problems finding surveyor
off in Japan
. But if you pay their travel costs, surveyors will fly to you. You have to hold through a local corporation (except in Cayman, which accepts US corps as owners), which can run $300 to $2000 to set up and maintain every year--UK is fastest and cheapest, BVI you likely get gouged. Jersey registration good for 10 years. Usually Red Ensign countries do quick turnaround.
I last used Jersey, cost about 1200 for the survey, forming a UK corp. and fees
Liberia-not really geared to private yachts, you need proof of insurance
and I think you would find the process a hassle.
Panama-also mostly geared to commercial
ships, I believe they are efficient but you must go through a Panamanian lawyer. It will cost you some cash.
Antigua and Barbuda
do not require a survey, but, you have to form an IBC . this will cost you about $1500 a year to set up, and about the same to maintain. Or you could form a local corp. for less etc but you have to use a lawyer, No cheap way to do it.
is $3500 for initial registration.