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Old 16-03-2013, 13:13   #1
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Boat Ownership Questions

Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and to sailing in general. I'm recently retired and plan to buy a boat and live aboard (Florida) about 6 months a year. I have been looking at boats on Yachtworld but have a hundred questions about what I see there. Has anyone out there ever purchased a boat from Europe and moved it to the USA? Does anyone understand how VAT applies to such a transaction? What costs are involved beyond the puchase price? I may want a surveyor to perform an inspection of the boat (or not) and realize there is the expense associated with moving the boat to the US. I notice that all boats from Europe have 220V electrical systems. Is it practical to think that I could convert the electrical system to 110V US standard? These are only a couple of the hundred questions I have. Thanks in advance for your comments/answers.
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Old 16-03-2013, 21:50   #2
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First boat and new to sailing. Why so complicated ..... Buy in US and at least half of your questions will be resolved.
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Old 17-03-2013, 02:05   #3
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

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Originally Posted by gabilo View Post
First boat and new to sailing. Why so complicated ..... Buy in US and at least half of your questions will be resolved.
I agree In USA ther'are a huge numberso of boat
available,. a lot of them close interesting nad cheaper. Don't do wrong to yourself!
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Old 17-03-2013, 03:59   #4
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

Why would you even consider buying anywhere other than the USA, The best deals are on your door step.
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Old 17-03-2013, 05:35   #5
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

Leaving aside the question of whether it makes sense to buy in Europe (IMO only if you want to spend extended time in the EU).......the good news with VAT is that it is not charged on s/h boats (we are not as Socialist as some other countries!) - only charged on new boats.

The bad news is that you won't be able reclaim it back when taking boat to the USA!.......but it is possible to buy s/h boats that have never had VAT paid on them - mostly those will be boats that have been used commercially (ex-charter by Sunsail etc etc) is the usual source.......and which if sold into the private market would involve a new (EU resident) owner paying the VAT on the current boat value......but a foreigner who sails away will not be charged VAT. Obviously a lot less of those boats than those owned by private owners and for which VAT has been (long ago) paid.

BTW, as you may know already - no such thing as "EU VAT" - each country (27 of them?) have own tax authorities and own rates. Rules are pretty much harmonised (and VAT paid in one country counts as paid in all the rest - even though the cash itself is not shared!) and rates getting that way as well - but in some countries the VAT rate is lower than others.
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:04   #6
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

There is such a glut of used boatrs of all prices and sizes in the US. Apparerntly you don't know that used boats are like used cars, each one is in perfect condition and only used by a little old lady to drive to church on Sunday.

So you'll go to Europe, inspect boats, find out there are problems, spend more time flying around to more boats, more time at the dock paying dock fees while you do your shakedown and repairs before you try an ocean crossing in a new old boat...And then you still have no idea what the boat's title will be or other legal complications.

And you could avoid all that by just looking right here.

Can't see any reason why yo've got Europe in the mix, unless you want to excuse to take a trip. In which case, buy your boat HERE and then SAIL THERE.

Really.
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:12   #7
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

My guess is the OP sees mainly European boats he is interested in. I can understand that, but one thing to keep in mind is that many Northern European craft won't be particularly suited to the hot climate of Florida. You also have to keep in mind that Florida's east coast has many fixed bridges with a maximum clearance of 65 feet, and Florida's West Coast has a clearance of 55 feet. Max draft for comfortable cruising in Florida is about 6 feet, though you will be much happier with 5 feet. Be sure to check out what ownership and other papers you will need in order to register or document it within the USA. The CG has some very specific requirements for foreign registered boats being brought in.
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:35   #8
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There was a Benie for sale in Miami that was a European boat.... They mentioned that the wiring had been converted to US voltages. It would appear that this may be an issue.
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Old 17-03-2013, 19:20   #9
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My guess is the OP sees mainly European boats he is interested in. I can understand that, but one thing to keep in mind is that many Northern European craft won't be particularly suited to the hot climate of Florida. You also have to keep in mind that Florida's east coast has many fixed bridges with a maximum clearance of 65 feet, and Florida's West Coast has a clearance of 55 feet. Max draft for comfortable cruising in Florida is about 6 feet, though you will be much happier with 5 feet. Be sure to check out what ownership and other papers you will need in order to register or document it within the USA. The CG has some very specific requirements for foreign registered boats being brought in.
Well the Med is quite warm in the summer. Rumour has it , and a hell of a lot of Euro boats will fit into the dimensions you mentioned.

if the OP wants to buy a European boat , then obviously looking in Europe will throw up far more opportunities then elsewhere.

Converting a 220vac boat to 110 isnt difficult if you know what you are doing. You can derate the breakers to lower currents and is the existing wiring etc. you'll have to replace the high current AC circuits , like the water heater ( and new elements etc) , fridge may or may not be dual voltage.

If you know nothing about AC , then employ a professional.

That having been said , few boats are purchased in Europe 2nd hand by Americans, There's a reasonable , if small, trade in new boats.

Dave
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Old 17-03-2013, 19:29   #10
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

Alexandria - Egypt is about the same latitude of Jacksonville - FL, if I correctly recall my HS geography; same weather patterns. Mauritz
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Old 17-03-2013, 19:49   #11
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

I don't think Alexandria counts as "Northern Europe." I'm talking about boats from Scandinavia and the UK, that seem to be popular with folks from North America, but frequently don't have things like big opening hatches and ports, full sun protection for the cockpit, and built-in air conditioning, which a lot of people consider critical in Florida. However, things like teak decks and dark-colored hulls are a no-no in Florida. I was just trying to point out a few critical things that might need to be considered. There are many more.

From Wikipedia:

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Northern Europe is the northern part or region of the European continent. A United Nations report published in 2011 defines Northern Europe as including the following ten countries and dependent regions: Denmark (with Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland (with Åland), Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway (Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Sweden, and the UK (with Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey).[1]
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Old 17-03-2013, 20:00   #12
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

Point taken, Kettle...I was off-course! My apologies! <Pass the Crow Rib-eye...munch...munch...it sure tastes like Angus crow!> Mauritz
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Old 17-03-2013, 20:05   #13
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I don't think Alexandria counts as "Northern Europe." I'm talking about boats from Scandinavia and the UK, that seem to be popular with folks from North America, but frequently don't have things like big opening hatches and ports, full sun protection for the cockpit, and built-in air conditioning, which a lot of people consider critical in Florida. However, things like teak decks and dark-colored hulls are a no-no in Florida. I was just trying to point out a few critical things that might need to be considered. There are many more.

From Wikipedia:
Whose building sailboats in the UK now, other then a few tiny one/two offs ( bowman, gunfleet, discovery) and Oyster. I suspect Scandinavian boats in the US could be counted on one hand, usually they are way too overpriced. ( as the number of yards failing there is testament ) . I'd say very few such boats cross the Atlantic.

I wouldn't see much difference between US sailboats and certain sections of the Euro boat market. true A/C is not common fit on smaller yachts, though that's easily fitted.
Teak decks ate quite a rarity in Europe now, firstly Burmeese teak is banned and beyond one or two makes is rarely fitted now compared to previous years. I also see more plastic teak.

Hatches etc are all very similar , I've sailed hunters and catalinas etc. I would say there's much difference in hatch size etc. blue hulls are a rarity in Europe too as any walk around the usual mega boat parks will testify.

US motorboats are quite different yes, that's true. But sailboats not really

I'm not saying what's good bad or different, merely they all have more in common then they are different

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Old 18-03-2013, 09:31   #14
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

I have to agree with those wondering why you would buy a boat in Europe. There are boats of every size and description available for sale in Florida right now, at almost every price point. I can't imagine that there is anything in Europe that you couldn't also find in Florida.

So, how about some more details about exactly what you are looking for, and why you think you need to go to Europe to find it?
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Old 18-03-2013, 09:52   #15
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Re: Boat Ownership Questions

The OP mentioned that he was looking at yachtworld, which does have a lot of EU boat's on it. If you want to see more USA boats then I might suggest sailboatlistings.com, boattrader.com. or even a state wide craigslist search. The hardest part about finding your perfect boat is going to be getting a handle on your budget, and what you want to do with it. If setting in a nice marrina and enjoying cocktails with others is your goal your boat will be different then someone who wants to travel the world. USA, Florida, is the best place in the world right now to buy a boat unless you are looking for something very specific.
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