Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-04-2012, 17:25   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 54

I have seached and read many threads about where to buy a boat and pay the least amount of taxes (if any). They never answer the question before people get off on tangents.

I am about to buy a 41' sailboat located in SC.
I am willing to call any state home that has good storm protection.
I will be storing it either in the islands or "home state" during the hurricane season. On the hard.
I will be sailing it extensively the rest of the year or living on it in the islands.

My residence is Alaska. I rarely go there except for a few months in the summer to catch my yearly abundance of salmon and halibut. The state has no sales tax but I do not want to lie because the boat will probably never see Alaska except once.

What state should I base the boat to avoid hurricanes and taxes?

Lance835 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 17:41   #2
CF Adviser
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,256
Re: Taxes???


cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 05:33   #3
Registered User
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,465
Images: 6
Re: Taxes???

If you only want a short and easy answer then Delaware, as Bash says, is probably as good as anywhere. But that doesn't really tell you much, it won't work for all situations, and you might end up paying taxes (or getting hit by a hurricane) that you didn't expect.

The truth is that these questions have been answered many times. Yes, people go off on tangents, but if you read through the threads, the answers are there. In the end it really depends on a lot of variables, and there is no one, simple, complete answer. You have to weigh the pros and cons, and figure out what works best for you.
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 05:50   #4
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,847
Images: 47
Re: Taxes???

BoatUS has information on state registration and taxing here... Government Affairs

If you click on the "State and Regional" button to the left of the page of this link, you'll find additional information.

Some states have personal property taxes which might apply. You'll have to research that separately.
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 05:59   #5
Senior Cruiser
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somewhere along the US West Coast
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,455
Images: 122
Re: Taxes???

You could document it using AK as the home port and just pay for state permits to keep it where ever you want it.

SCDNR - Documented Vessels
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful!
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints!
delmarrey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 06:52   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Beaufort, SC
Boat: 2004 Hunter 41 AC
Posts: 299
Re: Taxes???

As has been said Delaware is a good place to have as your home port since they don't have sales tax or personal property tax on boats. However, if you have a legal residence or physically keep the boat in another state, you might have to pay taxes to them.

If you document your boat in DE, the USCG will send a list of boats whose owners list AK as their mailing address. So your home state will then pursue you for whatever taxes accrue to you as a resident of AK. If you physically keep your boat in say MD (or most other states), they will likely also come after you for personal property tax if appplicable. FYI the state revenue people walk marina docks looking for boats they can tax. Also as you may have read, documenting a boat with the USCG does not release you from whatever state taxes/fees you may owe.

The good news is that all (AFAIK) states will forgive what you owe them if you can prove you paid that tax in another state. The trick is to find the combination of legal residence/boat location/documentation/state registration vs. sales and use tax/property tax that minimizes your total outlay. It can be complicated and you have to do your homework. It all depends on your individual situation. Keep searching here and check out your proposed states' boat registration/tax laws.

I'm not an expert but I have gone through this a few times with different boats. BTW, SC just informed me that they have put a tax lien on a boat that I sold almost 2 years ago because I haven't paid my personal property taxes on it. So they can be persistent...

s/vPainkiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 13:47   #7

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,077
Re: Taxes???

I'd beware of the BOATUS web site, it looks like they sent out a form letter and didn't actually research the laws. For example they say of New York:
"Registration Grace Period (Days): 90 days"

And that's true. What they have totally missed, is that NYS requires registration only for vessels that are in the navigable waters of NYS for more than 90 days in a row. If you cross the bay to NJ or the Sound to LI, your 90 days starts anew. If you haul the boat out of the water to paint the bottom, your 90 days starts anew.

That's in direct contrast to some states like Florida, where the clock counts how many days you are in the state during one year. No restarts and IIRC hauling isn't counted either. (Could be one calendar year or simply 365 days, I don't recall.)

So BOATUS...a good start, like the SC note of a maximum tax of $300. Although I didn't see any note there that annual personal property tax would also accrue. (Ah, Caesar. Any Caesar, every Caesar, they all get their due, one way or another.)

But someone at BOATUS needs to go on the web and do a little more research to fill in the blanks.
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2012, 05:41   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: nyc/chesapeake
Boat: gozzard 44
Posts: 263
Re: Taxes???

Being a resident of Alaska and the fact it doesn't have a sales tax obviously you don't have to worry they will come after you for a sales tax. Document your boat using your Alaska address. Besides Delaware, Rhode Island also has no tax so you can keep it there. As you're cruising keep watch of time spent in other states. Maryland doesn't have property tax but has a 90 day limit, I believe.


ronbo1 is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:05.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.