Originally Posted by dohenyboy
A non-US citizen CAN own a US documented boat, if it is used only for recreation (not freight or commercial
fishing). The boat must be titled in the name of a US corporation. A majority of the directors (can be just one director) , the chairman of the board and the CEO have to be US citizens. Citizenship of the shareholders is irrelevant. Other officers, such as the Treasurer or Secretary do not need to be US citizens. I set this up and provide the corporation and the nominees. Caveat: you are not my client until you sign a retainer and pay the fee. Not trying to solicit business, just telling you its not complicated to do. BVI, Panama
etc. are fun but you usually have to get a survey
done by an agent of that country, and the fees
are high. US is easier and cheaper than the flags of convenience.
Most boat brokers or documentation companies learn by rote. They rarely understand WHY behind the rules.
Well, to clarify just a little.
From the USCG website USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Fee Page
1. WHAT VESSELS MAY BE DOCUMENTED?
A vessel must measure at least five net tons and, with the exception of certain oil spill
response vessels, must be wholly owned by a citizen of the U.S.
2, HOW DO I ESTABLISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP?
Citizenship is established by completion of form CG-1258. In addition to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other entities capable of holding legal
title may be deemed citizens for documentation purposes. Corporations must be registered in a state or the U.S; the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens, and no more than a minority of the number of directors necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens
. In addition, at least 75% of the stock must be vested in U.S. citizens for a coastwise or fisheries endorsement.
So unless I misunderstand, a US corporation owning a vessel to be , documented the BOD must be a majority US citizens, leaving the actual boat owner a minority member
of the corporation that holds title to his/her boat. I would be a bit nervous buying
a vessel in a foreign country under a foreign corporation that left me as a minority owner.