FYI-from one who just went through the battle! If you're planning on coming to Thailand/Phuket, do NOT read and believe the guide books
. Stop enroute (Penang is a good spot) and get a tourist visa before arriving Phuket. If you do not, you will be given a 30-day visa upon arrival, and your boat will get a 6-mo "visa". But if you plan to stay longer than 30 days (to get some work done, etc), you will be required to post a Baht 20,000 bond, and show a round trip ticket reservation to get a "Departure Card" and be able to leave and then return. With the tourist vias(good for 2 months), however, all you'll need to leave is the round trip reservation. Don't ask how I know!!!