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Old 19-02-2013, 07:44   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
Posts: 244
Florida Boat/reg questions - new owner

Hi Folks - Don't want to beat a dead horse here (read other threads on this already); but I have a slightly different situation that I'd like some feedback on. Here's the situation:

I'm Canadian, just bought a 47' steel cutter in Tarpon Springs, FL. The boat will be registered in Canada (Nova Scotia - where I'll pay - GULP - 15% Tax on the purchase price... but it has to be done), and we'll be sailing her back here in June. The boat was built in the US, documented and registered in Virginia until I bought it. It is now stateless until I re-register it - but that will happen shortly.

I believe i have all the placards in place (surveyor didn't identify any missing ones anyway); and I have the 30 and 90 day stickers from the broker at time of purchase - but we'll be well over the 90 day mark when we sail. Technically, this is illegal... we've overstayed. but the boat is out of the water, and will be until we launch in June... and I'm spending a whack of money there in Florida trying to get it ready to go, so I'm helping your local economy, right?

Anyway, I'm worried that I'm going to be hammered by one or other of the enforcement agencies when we (apparently inevitably) get boarded around the keys on our way through with expired stickers. What are the thoughts on this? are they generally cool about transients coming through? Probably depends on the guy, the day and the weather... If so, what can I do about it (other than paying Florida state tax as well to get past the expired sticker thing) to minimize risk? I'll be realllly nice guy to anyone who stops me, that's for sure... Iv'e found that usually works best.

I'll be doing the passage over a few weeks with the wife and kiddos (twins, 8; and a 5 yr old as well). it's a shakedown to see how we do (planning on a longer trip in a few years) so we'll likely be looking for some nice places to drop the hook and explore a little in the south FL area as folks acclimatize. Any suggestions on economical ( I did just buy a boat after all) family friendly stops?

thanks guys-
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Old 19-02-2013, 08:56   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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Re: Florida Boat/reg questions - new owner

Here's the information on Florida sales/use tax on vessels...

There is an exemption for a boat that is in a registered repair facility, and there does not seem to be any time limit on that. You can also get an extension to 180 days for the 90-day exemption. My interpretation (though the wording is a little vague) is that the 90/180 day period begins AFTER you have left the repair facility, which should certainly be enough time to clear Florida waters.
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