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Old 22-03-2011, 13:40   #31
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

Quote from Beausoleil
"There's a glaring exception to the antique status of a boat: the vessel must be "Powered by its original type power plant".

That's all well and good, you say? "My 40-year old boat still has a diesel engine, so it still qualifies!" Umm - NO. The definition on the Antique Registration form says that Original Power Plant is "Engine of same year and model that the vessel had originally". So, our 1979 Formosa 51, which will be 32 years old this year, no longer qualifies because we replace the original Lehman 120hp diesel in 2007 with a Westerbeke T120-4A turbo diesel.

We just changed our residency to Florida from Massachusetts, so at first I was disappointed to hear after the we registered that antique vessels were exempt from registration fees. Then I was doubly disappointed when I read the definition in the registration form! "


Not true. It says "original Type" not original. I just did it yesterday with a 1970 boat, and a 1989 motor. At first the lady said it had to be the same type of motor and that the motor had to be 30 years old as well. I pointed out to her in the instructions that come with the form that, it does not say that. It only says "original type", she read some more and said "your right that's all it says and proceeded with my application.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:56   #32
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

I had no idea antique boat registrations existed. I've never owned a boat less than 30 years old and have probably been paying the State too much every year. I say "probably" because of this part of the statute: "Engine of same year and model that the vessel had originally." My Catalina didn't come with an outboard originally. The one it has now certainly isn't 30 years old. Does that mean I need to find a 30 year outboard, or are outboards exempted? I have been contemplating an electric outboard. Those certainly weren't around 30 years ago.

I guess I need to call the DHSMV when I get home.
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Old 22-03-2011, 15:13   #33
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

Kevingy, Read the end of my post #31. It does not have to be the original motor, but does have to be the same "type". If your boat came with an inboard and you now have an outboard you don't qualify. If it came with no motor then you should be ok, that's just my opinion though. You can call and ask, but that does not mean you will get the correct answer though. Call 3 different branches and you will probably get 3 different answers.
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Old 23-03-2011, 07:25   #34
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

This thread raised a lot of questions for me since I intend to leave Canada in 2012 and sail down to the US and leave my boat there at least for a year or two. My target location is northern Florida, Jacksonville area for dry-dock and I wonder
1 - Once my cruising permit expires, will I be subject to taxes if I leave my boat in storage in Florida?
3 - How this antique tax applies to foreign vessels?

I still believe that foreigners have no rights to own a boat registered in the US, therefore how could I be subject to paying the State Tax??? When I purchased my boat in Anapolis, I had to cancel the USCG registration since I am not resident in the US.
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Old 23-03-2011, 09:52   #35
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
This thread raised a lot of questions for me since I intend to leave Canada in 2012 and sail down to the US and leave my boat there at least for a year or two. My target location is northern Florida, Jacksonville area for dry-dock and I wonder
1 - Once my cruising permit expires, will I be subject to taxes if I leave my boat in storage in Florida?
3 - How this antique tax applies to foreign vessels?

I still believe that foreigners have no rights to own a boat registered in the US, therefore how could I be subject to paying the State Tax??? When I purchased my boat in Anapolis, I had to cancel the USCG registration since I am not resident in the US.
First, you have to understand the difference between "USCG registration" and a state registration. The USCG is technically a US governement "documented" vessel and is not available to foriegn citizens. There are discussions about the legality of forming a US corporation owned by a foriegn citizen (this is legal) and registering the boat to the US corporation (not sure if this is legal, addressed on other threads).

But USCG documentation is completely different from a state registration. A boat can be state registered and not documented at all and vice versa. However, many states (like Florida) will require you pay them their pound of flesh if you keep a boat in their state for more than a certain time (90 days in the case of Florida and indeed most other states).

Not 100% certain but I believe this might apply to foriegn owned vessels as well as US owned. You can certainly learned this by contacting FL Dept of Natural Resources or the Dept of Revenue. I have the numbers here somewhere if you can't find them on the internet.

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Old 23-03-2011, 10:20   #36
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
1 - Once my cruising permit expires, will I be subject to taxes if I leave my boat in storage in Florida?
You will have to register the boat. This is pretty inexpensive. Unless your boat is over 65 feet long, it will be less than $200 total per year. You may need to prove that you have used the boat outside of Florida for more than 6 months.

Quote:
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3 - How this antique tax applies to foreign vessels?
The law does not make a distinction between domestic and foreign vessels. If your vessel is over 30 years old, and has the original type motor, then you should be able to register it as an antique, which is even LESS expensive.
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Old 23-03-2011, 13:40   #37
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

Luckily my boat is under 65 feet and is 35 years old with its original Ford Lehman! Thanks a million!
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Old 20-06-2013, 20:32   #38
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

This thread is a couple years old but I just went through this today. Reading this thread before I went to the tax collector's office helped me a lot, so for those who will come later I'm adding my experience today to this thread.

I handed the teller/collector's representative my out of state registration, said I wanted to "register" in Florida because of the 90 day rule and the first thing she said was that "because it's an old boat and you probably won't have to pay very much". (My boat qualifies for the antique registration.) (See earlier links/contributions in this thread.) She said nothing about the power plant. (See earlier comment in this thread.)

On the antique registration:

Before going to register my boat, I followed the link (earlier) to the antique registration form, printed it, filled it in, signed and dated it. I offered it to the tax person and she took it. It turns out later that she, the tax collector representative, had another, different form for the same purpose. (Registering antique vessels.) The form I printed has a place for a licensed surveyor to sign it next to the place for the owner's signature. I interpreted it as an either/or signature testifying to the boat's age. But no. (At least not today.) Today, the tax office interprets that form as requiring *both* the owner's and a licensed surveyor's signature attesting to the age of the boat. Problematic.

By contrast, the antique registration form the tax person produced *did not* require a surveyor's signature. *But* she was going to make me stick to the form I brought with me and send me away to get a surveyor's signature if I stuck to going the antique registration route.

Neither the tax person's antique registration form or the form I printed and took with me mentioned anything about the engine having to be ""Engine of same year and model that the vessel had originally" and in fact the subject did not come up.

The tax person seemed quite willing to register the boat as an antique and that's the way she seemed to want to go with it from the start. If you want to do the antique registration, you may be better off to just walk up to the window and say so instead of arriving, as I did, with the form printed out and filled in (except for a licensed surveyor's signature).

However!

What the tax person wanted to do was not what I wanted. The tax person wanted to re-title my boat as a Florida vessel and the antique registration leads in that direction. That's not what I wanted to do. I don't want to have residence in another state and all my vehicles registered in that state except for one boat that Florida demanded be considered "theirs".

Thankfully, I was forearmed with the link (see above) that says an out of state person can "register" a boat in Florida and "retain" the original/existing registration in the person's home state. I had that paragraph printed (along with the URL) and it really threw the tax representatives into confusion. They "called Tallahassee" (possibly multiple times) to find/figure out how to do the deal. (It took them over an hour, maybe two hours in all.)

Confused, the tax person came back to the window and said, "You don't have this vessel documented do you?" To which, I replied, "I do."

Well, that brightened her right up. She said, "That's different then." I produced the documentation for her and she bustled off. She soon returned with some paperwork and we finalized the deal.

Apparently, the tax people were at a loss as to how to enter my out of state vessel identifying numbers into their system, even though their website says you can keep your state numbering. Documented vessel numbering, however, seems to fit right into the Florida system, so they used that.

They issued to me a *single* registration sticker. (Not one for each side.) And a printed 1/3 page "Florida Vessel Registration" document and receipt for the money I paid. They did not title my boat in Florida or disturb the existing title/documentation. The registration is, as is normal in Florida, good until my birthday. The tax people did not know what will happen at renewal time.

It cost me $124.63. Cash or check. No credit cards accepted. But they do have, they informed me, an ATM.

Oh yeah.... And I furnished a copy of a prior year's boat insurance to prove I've owned the vessel outside Florida for longer than the required period of time. (I was prepared because I read the link earlier in this thread.) Before going to the tax office I called my insurance agent and his office emailed a copy of a prior year's policy to me. I printed that.

I took with me:

- State vessel registration
- Federal documentation/registration
- My driver's license
- Copy of prior year's insurance policy showing prior ownership and the vessel's out of Florida home port.
- Money
- Print out of the Florida website paragraph saying I could keep my existing state registration
- Florida antique vessel registration form. (This is the only thing they did not use.) (They said I could either go the "temporary registration" route and keep my existing registration or I could do the antique registration and become a Florida vessel. I could not do both antique and temporary out of state registration.)

I love Federal documentation. This is not the first time it has resolved an issue for me and saved me (and my vessel) from being at the mercy of some third party.

I hope the next person who needs this thread finds this additional information helpful.
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Old 21-06-2013, 02:42   #39
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

In Kissimmee Florida, at the Tax Collector's Office where all the vehicle/boat registration is done - there are about 20+ clerks and the one I got did not know about the "Antique registration" but looked it up and found it in his computer system.

I used the form found online which did have a place on it for a "surveyor's certification" but I left it blank. The clerk accepted the form and my Florida registration for an "antique vessel" cost me only $8.75 - the "service fee."

So it seems - where you go - makes a difference as the clerks seem to have considerable leeway in how the read the requirements.
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Old 21-06-2013, 06:36   #40
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

I worked for a state attorney general's office in a state with 82 counties early in my career. I found that there were basically 82 versions of how every single law and regulation should be enforced, with every single county 100 per cent sure the rest of them were doing it wrong.

The fact that we had attorney general's opinions on how to do just about everything, didn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference.
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Old 21-06-2013, 07:33   #41
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I tried registering my vessel as an antique at my local office and they told me I couldn't do it because it was documented. I drove down the road to another office and had no problem, the clerk called Tallahassee to make sure . Two years for less than $14 !
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:27   #42
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

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Originally Posted by READY2GO View Post

Not true. It says "original Type" not original. I just did it yesterday with a 1970 boat, and a 1989 motor. At first the lady said it had to be the same type of motor and that the motor had to be 30 years old as well. I pointed out to her in the instructions that come with the form that, it does not say that. It only says "original type", she read some more and said "your right that's all it says and proceeded with my application.
If your motor was not the same year you are wrong. State law specifies this. The definition under state law is same year and model that came with the boat. Not trying to be a dick, but if you want to prove it we can both go to the state and let them know....I bet they'd cancel your registration and make you pay a fine.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:33   #43
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

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So it seems - where you go - makes a difference as the clerks seem to have considerable leeway in how the read the requirements.
Well, no, actually they don't have a lot of leeway in how they read the requirements. There is one, and only one, way that the requirements are SUPPOSED to be applied. The problem is that there is a lot of ignorance behind the desk at the tax collectors offices, and so it is often done wrong.

If they do it wrong in a way that benefits me, frankly, I'm going to keep my mouth shut and accept that as a gift. If they do it wrong in a way that costs me money, though, I'm going to insist that it be done according to the law as it is written.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:40   #44
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Re: Cruising Florida and Being Legal...

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If your motor was not the same year you are wrong. State law specifies this. The definition under state law is same year and model that came with the boat.
Yep. This is one of those things that they get wrong quite regularly at the tax collectors offices, but you are right. The law clearly says that the engine in the boat must be the same year and model as original. A newer, replacement engine disqualifies you from the antique exception.

But, like I said, they get this wrong pretty regularly. If you go to renew your registration, and the person behind the counter tells you that your boat does not qualify as an antique because the engine has been replaced, I would advise against telling them "But they let me register it as an antique for the last five years."

You may well get a bill for the unpaid registration fees for the last five years!
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