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Old 17-10-2016, 04:05   #16
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Get your boat federally registration. Many countries want to know the ships reg#etc. The also want to know the net and gross tonage. Thats the international standard. It may also help with emergency situations as you will be a registered ship of the country
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Old 17-10-2016, 05:42   #17
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Technically, you can't state register a federally documented boat. It's one or the other .


Of course, the state can still demand a fee identical to the state registration fee, you just don't put the numbers on the boat.


If the boat is never in the state, you are typically clear (California being a little overzealous).


If you don't want documentation, I've heard of people using state registration and not having issues. Probably just a question of what happens if you come across an official who doesn't realize state registration is OK.
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Old 17-10-2016, 06:16   #18
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Technically, you can't state register a federally documented boat. It's one or the other .


Of course, the state can still demand a fee identical to the state registration fee, you just don't put the numbers on the boat.

Maybe a nit picky semantic detail but you can state register a boat but, as you point out, you just can't display the state registration numbers on the boat. You can however be required to post the state registration decal on the boat. This is the law in Florida for certain and in most of the east coast states as I understand it.

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If the boat is never in the state, you are typically clear (California being a little overzealous).
Ah yes, California again. I have read several horror stories from members that fought with CA for years over fees and taxes on boats that never saw the state. You will run into sales tax and registration requirements if you are a resident of a state and register a boat in that state even if the boat is located elsewhere.


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If you don't want documentation, I've heard of people using state registration and not having issues. Probably just a question of what happens if you come across an official who doesn't realize state registration is OK.
I had always heard many countries would require federal documentation but one forum member has cruised the Pacific for years with only a state registration with no problems. I have been to the Bahamas many times with state registered boats but due to the proximity and frequent visits by small, undocumented boats the Bahamas may not be a typical case.
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Old 17-10-2016, 22:46   #19
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Lot of mis-information here. Please refer to a US Coast Guard documented vessel as such. There is no such thing as a "federal registration". Stay out of states like Florida, California and Washington and other that have a nasty sales taxs (mostly on new boats) and personal property tax or an ad valorem taxes. The Hailing Port painted on the transom of a US flag vessel (ie. documented) can be anywhere in the US, has nothing to do with where you live, what state you are a resident or where the boat lives. My boat lives in the BVI and is a US flag document vessel but the hailing port is Honolulu, HI. Nobody cares. Hawaii has none of the onerous taxes mentioned above. New vehicles and boats imported into the state are taxed at 4.5% for Oahu, 4% on the other islands. however. Hawaii has no state registration for documented vessels. Avoid state registration because, as someone pointed out, it may confuse foreign customs and immigration people. Keep it simple, these officials in every sea-fairing nation have seen USCG documentation and they are comfortable with it. If you are going cruising outside the US, or even in the US, first establish legal residency in a state with no state income tax like Nevada. Then you will no longer be subject to state income tax ever again. Just because you are cruising outside the US you will be subject to state income tax if your state has one and you remain it's resident. No mater if you renounce your US citizenship you will still be subject to filing a federal income tax return every year for a minimum of ten years or more even if you make no money. If you forget and step back into the US they will grab you.
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Old 18-10-2016, 01:04   #20
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

When did you buy this boat, and have you paid state sales or use tax on it??

You can choose whatever home port you want, but the USCG will inform your home port state that you have this boat. If you have already paid the sales/use tax to some state, most states will honor that. If you haven't, you can avoid the sales/use tax by picking the right home port.

According to Boat US, use tax in Texas is 6.25%, while Delaware has no use tax.

State Boating Information Home - Government Affairs - BoatUS
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Old 18-10-2016, 05:58   #21
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Again, perhaps a little clarification might be helpful, at least for cruisers that are not able to keep the boat in a different state or out of the country.

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Lot of mis-information here. Please refer to a US Coast Guard documented vessel as such. There is no such thing as a "federal registration".

While one is in a sense "registering" a boat with the USCG the process is indeed properly called documentation and the vessel is federally documented. It does help to avoid confusion in these discussions to refer to state registration or federal documentation.

Stay out of states like Florida, California and Washington and other that have a nasty sales taxs (mostly on new boats)

Most states also have sales tax on used boats as well as new. Unfortunately for many boaters it isn't possible to avoid this if they live in a state and keep their boat in that state.

and personal property tax or an ad valorem taxes Not as many have ad valorem taxes as they do sales tax. Don't have a definitive list but I know GA did when I lived there, FL and RI do not..

The Hailing Port painted on the transom of a US flag vessel (ie. documented) can be anywhere in the US, has nothing to do with where you live, what state you are a resident or where the boat lives. My boat lives in the BVI and is a US flag document vessel but the hailing port is Honolulu, HI. Nobody cares. Hawaii has none of the onerous taxes mentioned above. New vehicles and boats imported into the state are taxed at 4.5% for Oahu, 4% on the other islands. however. Hawaii has no state registration for documented vessels. Avoid state registration because, as someone pointed out, it may confuse foreign customs and immigration people. I have traveled most of the Caribbean with a state registered boat with no issues. One forum member has cruised the Pacific for many years with a state registered boat with zero issues. Keep it simple, these officials in every sea-fairing nation have seen USCG documentation and they are comfortable with it. If you are going cruising outside the US, or even in the US, first establish legal residency in a state with no state income tax like Nevada. Then you will no longer be subject to state income tax ever again. Just because you are cruising outside the US you will be subject to state income tax if your state has one and you remain it's resident. No mater if you renounce your US citizenship you will still be subject to filing a federal income tax return every year for a minimum of ten years or more even if you make no money. If you forget and step back into the US they will grab you.
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Old 18-10-2016, 06:24   #22
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Thanks everyone for the replies. We went ahead and registered in Delaware just to be safe, but once we are outside the US we won't be keeping it up. I have never heard anything about USCG reporting home ports to the state, as far as I've read up on so far it can be anywhere, whether or not you or the boat are there. I have not paid sales tax on the boat and don't intend to - since sales tax is meant to support the waterways in the state you reside in and we won't be residing in any one state for more than a few months.
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Old 18-10-2016, 06:46   #23
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

While it is true that CA and some other states will send a tax bill to any boat documented with a CA address they can only collect taxes if the boat is indeed in CA. Happens all the time and we send a registered letter to the tax board that indeed the boat is here (in our marina, has always been so, and was never in CA. This works but is a bit of a pain.
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Old 18-10-2016, 07:57   #24
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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While it is true that CA and some other states will send a tax bill to any boat documented with a CA address they can only collect taxes if the boat is indeed in CA. Happens all the time and we send a registered letter to the tax board that indeed the boat is here (in our marina, has always been so, and was never in CA. This works but is a bit of a pain.
I used to do the same with a boat that was state registered in GA. Would get a personal property tax bill every year from GA and I would mail back that the boat lived in FL and that was that until the next year.
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Old 18-10-2016, 09:57   #25
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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We are in the process of processing our documentation for our boat. Since we'll be cruising outside of the US for a while (at least, not in any one state for any period of time), he advised that we just register it in Delaware and get our federal documentation done.

I have read that federal documentation is what paves the way for world cruising, so is it really required to get state registration? Does it benefit in some way? I hate to pay the yearly fee for something if it's not strictly needed.

Hi! Sailingunity.

Since you gonna cruising outside US, state registration is not necessary at all. All state registrations are not recognized outside US waters. USCG (federal documentation) is really required and it's internationally recognized but you need to pay taxes for the boat.

We have eight (8) super yacht (Chartered) and three (3) private individual yacht registered under open-registry of Langkawi International Yacht Registry (LIYR) without any hassle and taxes, plying all over the world.

Initial registration fees are very low (less than USD2k) for yacht less than 24 meters and the certificate of registration is valid for three (3) years. Renewal every three (3) years for only less than USD500.00.

Please surf www.facebook/LangkawiRegistry for further info.

Regards.....
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Old 18-10-2016, 10:03   #26
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

Nope, no need for state registration unless you like paying more fees. I sailed the Caribe in two boats that were never registered to any state.
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Old 18-10-2016, 10:06   #27
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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All state registrations are not recognized outside US waters. USCG (federal documentation) is really required and it's internationally recognized but you need to pay taxes for the boat.
Sorry but I can confirm from personal experience that state registration documents are accepted in many countries of the Caribbean and Bahamas. Another forum member has cruised for many years around the Pacific also with state registration with no problems.

Taxes in the US will depend on the state of residence of the owner and/or the state where the boat is docked.
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Old 18-10-2016, 10:08   #28
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

The only reason that you may have to state register is if you're not a US citizen. Then GC documentation is not an option.

Sailingunity, did I understand correctly that you registered in DE and not going to document with CG?
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Old 18-10-2016, 12:59   #29
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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The only reason that you may have to state register is if you're not a US citizen. Then GC documentation is not an option.

Sailingunity, did I understand correctly that you registered in DE and not going to document with CG?
We are documenting with CG no doubt, I was just wondering if there was some benefit to getting state registration too, since my broker seemed so adamant about it. So I'm hoping I didn't just waste $50, at least if I get stopped in one of the states on the way down from Virginia I can produce some registration, even if it won't matter outside the US.
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Old 18-10-2016, 13:10   #30
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Re: Is it beneficial to get state registration for world cruising?

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We are documenting with CG no doubt, I was just wondering if there was some benefit to getting state registration too, since my broker seemed so adamant about it. So I'm hoping I didn't just waste $50, at least if I get stopped in one of the states on the way down from Virginia I can produce some registration, even if it won't matter outside the US.
If you document the boat I know of no benefit at all of adding a state registration.

If you stay more than 90 days in most states they will require you to get a registration in that state (if they happen to figure out how long you've been in their state) but the only benefit in this case is your wallet will be a bit lighter and easier to carry around.

As a former yacht broker I hate to say this but some brokers can be a bit clueless. If the broker in this sale is insisting I would pin him down and ask why with a detailed explanation and reference to specific regulations if he claims that some state law is the reason.
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