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Old 04-05-2008, 05:49   #1
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Foreigner Buying and Sailing in the US. How does it work?

Hi everyone. I am thinking of buying a boat on the East coast and spending a year sailing up the coast before selling. Does anyone know how the red tape works?

I haven't so far been able to find very much out.

I think that the boat would have to deregistered as a US boat and registered on the UK register?
I think I would need an extended tourist visa?
Some sort of extended license to keep the boat in US waters more than 90 days.
UK VHF operators licence?
International Certificate of Compitence?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 23-05-2008, 23:09   #2
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1) i have recently bought a boat in the u.s. and, yes, you have to take it off the uscg registry (only american citizens or permanent residents or corporations with similar majority ownership can own a u.s. flagged vessel). this is not a big deal and i reflagged in jersey (which was simple and cheap) Welcome to Jersey Harbours

2) i'm not sure you need any particular cert of competence (or skipper's ticket). you can go to BoatingBasicsOnline (change state to suit), do a very simple on-line course, get a cert and this is recognised by the uscg

3) uk citizens can enter the u.s. under the visa waiver scheme which gives you 90 days. longer than that and i guess you'll need a visa. i'm a new zealander and it works the same way for us.

4) once the vessel is uk flagged your radio will need to be licensed by the uk regulator "ofcom" Home page | Ofcom (it's a bit similar to the "u.s. citizen-boat ownership deal")


SV Karen M
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Old 29-05-2008, 09:40   #3
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Thanks for your reply. The feedback on the first point in particular is very reassuring.

I think you are right about the certificate of competence. They don't really seem interested in the USA. Anyway I can get the basic Int.cert.comp. from the RYA.

The visa is the sticking point at the moment. Six months is acheivable but beyond that looks very grey.

All the best in your own adventures.

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Old 29-05-2008, 10:02   #4
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My friend from South Africa would have to leave the U.S.A. every 6 months, and then return. If you are working your way north. You could check into Canada, and then return for another 6 months. My friend would also have to report everytime he moved the boat.
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