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Old 06-09-2014, 22:18   #46
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Would you recommend waiting until the boat budget is higher? Perhaps 60 - 80k? I was thinking / hoping for a boat in the 34 - 36 foot range. For example, I have been watching a 1998 Hunter 340 that recently sold down there for around 50k. The plan is to save up, move there to temporary housing and take our time to find a deal on a boat, then move aboard.
I think you're rushing it, Jake, and I'd wait for two things. First, more of a next egg. Second, adjusting to living more simply and on less.

Here's my concern. You have had a law practice and she's had an internet business so I'd have to assume you've had very good income. Yet, you haven't been able to build much of a nest egg. This indicates to me that you're spending a lot, perhaps high mortgage or auto payments, eating out, entertainment, clothes. I don't know. But the opposite to what you're talking about going to. So, to me the challenge is to lower your budget now. Change your spending patterns and life style. Find out if you can live like that. Some can live far simpler and be extremely happy but others can't. Those things you spend money on today won't be realistic if you move to BVI and live on a sailboat. Don't bet on crewing bringing much in and you have no idea how you'll like that. When you find yourself working many times harder but making less in three days than you currently make in an hour, you might find it not so enjoyable.

USVI Bar and build a relationship there in advance is a good idea.

But you've got a good bit to do before you make the move to be truly prepared for it.
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Old 08-09-2014, 22:17   #47
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Dohenyboy,

Thanks for your input! Do you really think there is demand for business transactional legal work in the USVI? I do a lot of formations, transactions, estate planning and some tax work. I am not a litigator. I do have a solid tax accounting background in addition to law (BS & MS in Accounting/Tax) that may help down there.

If there is demand, then you are right in that it probably makes sense to take the USVI bar. If the demand is uncertain, I would rather allocate the bar study time & $$ to working more to save up for a boat!

In reality, this will probably be a 3-4 year hiatus before returning to the States. Sometimes it sounds great to take a break from law and try something else. I am sure you have had similar thoughts. At the same time, a USVI license keeps that door open.
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Old 09-09-2014, 16:28   #48
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

I think that once you have a client base in the transactional area you can work anywhere. The USVI has some unique advantages that are little known and under-utilized. You could PM me. Some marketing I believe could result in more business. But be aware the government works much slower than stateside.For example, property tax bills did not go out correctly for almost a decade.
I went further and completed the six month programme in The Bahamas. After nearly 30 years practicing in the States, I soon will be called to the bar in the British Caribbean. it is quite different. its difficult to find attorneys with ambition and responsiveness. A lot of smart people... just not very driven. I have been told that those with excess ambition migrate to Canada.
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Old 08-01-2015, 18:53   #49
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Hi my name is Rupert.
I have been putting boats together for people for over 15 years on the east coast of the U.S. for the past 15 years. If I can help in any way give me a call.


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Old 08-01-2015, 19:41   #50
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Hi my name is Rupert.
I have been putting boats together for people for over 15 years on the east coast of the U.S. for the past 15 years. If I can help in any way give me a call.


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Well disregarding the fact I have no idea what "putting boats together" is supposed to mean, this isn't an advertising area of the forum.
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Old 08-01-2015, 20:57   #51
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Tons of good Advice here.
I moved to the USVI some years ago and bought a liveaboard boat.
Worked while sailing and picked up a 6-pack ticket intending to start day sails out of St. Thomas. Did a few "trial runs" but the commercial insurance among other things made me cancel the idea.
Had a 44' Yawl with a big cockpit and lots of deck space for guests.
Tough market and hat of to those who stick with it.
As for a $40k boat, not realistic except for a teenage handyman who loves to fix things.
Sailboats in saltwater takes far more maintenance than a landlubber can imagine.
Try $80k and plan on spending 10% of of the sale price annually for upkeep, repairs and upgrades.
Been there, done that.
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Old 25-01-2015, 05:45   #52
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Hey, new member here and I'm planning on doing something similar in the next year or 2. I'm s co-founder of a successful Internet company that is growing and within s year my role will be reduced to remote management. My advice is similar to everyone else- just do p/t legal work. Don't try to live aboard on an 80k boat, and charter, you won't ever get customers, yo
I'll have p/t income of around 100k so losing money isn't s big deal but would rather not lose my ass. To offset, my goal is an awesome small bar and beach club, combined with chartering.

My plan though is much different:

Buying a used beneteau sense or Oceanis with cabin space for 8 (55 and up ) (500k-750k ) ( can be single handed )
NOT LIVING ON IT buy a condo
My girlfriend owns a well known food business here in Seattle and is a locally awarded 4 star exec chef. SHE will chef and host our charters
1 week charters or renting the boat out as a bare bones charter
Day sails on weeks when charters not booked ( partnering with concierges, listing on airbnb )
Opening a small beach bar and club in st Thomas ( I owned a successful bar here )
Partnering with holland America and their sister cruise line ( I know execs there )

I don't expect that we will book more than 12 weeks of charter crewed a year, what can I expect for bare bones bookings?



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Old 25-01-2015, 06:12   #53
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Welcome to the forum. I applaud your entrepreneurial spirit and hope your dream works out.


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Old 25-01-2015, 06:18   #54
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, djofdm.
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Old 25-01-2015, 07:15   #55
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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It is quite an investment in time and money to take the USVI bar, but I could do that as well, or work as a legal assistant/clerk. My specialty is business law, tax law, estate planning & asset protection planning. My sense is that civil matters and maritime law dominate the legal arena down there. I am up to learning new areas of the law, tending bar, crewing for daysails, or whatever it takes really.
If you enjoy practicing law and are even a little bit good at it, this will be vastly more rewarding than the other occupations you mentioned. How much time and money will it take to pass the USVI bar exam? You've presumably passed the bar in another jurisdiction and know what to expect. The fees are less than a grand; how long will it take you to earn that back? .

There's plenty of demand for business & tax law in the USVI, and probably even more for T&E and asset protection work. I don't know how much competition there is, but if you're any good at it, you should be able to carve out a place for yourself. That's a dream occupation, interesting and generally highly paid, compared to trying to compete catering to tourists.
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Old 25-01-2015, 10:31   #56
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Example...friend of mine owns a financial company on the mainland and he wanted to get a USVI endorsement so he could add a resident there as a customer. Its a simple procedure, and everywhere else takes 1 day to one month at most. Still waiting on the government there after 6 months


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Old 25-01-2015, 11:12   #57
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

A question to those living in or familiar with USVI. What is the situation with immigration law practice there? I.e. is there much apprehension and detention activity, such as exists in FL or CA?
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:40   #58
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Short answer is no.


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Old 25-01-2015, 12:50   #59
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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I don't expect that we will book more than 12 weeks of charter crewed a year, what can I expect for bare bones bookings?
Well, first you're being very optimistic on the 12 weeks of charter crewed per year. I didn't see where you intended to keep the boat and run the charter business in your post. I assumed St. Thomas.

You're going in where there are established charterers and Moorings is big. The average individual chartering a boat gets 2 bookings a year. Now, that does include many boats that never move.

My optimistic numbers for the first full year are:

Crewed charters booked
3 for 1 week and 1 for 2 weeks

Bareboat charters booked
2 for 1 week and 1 for 2 weeks

Total time chartered 8 weeks. And those numbers if anything are on the optimistic side. That assumes you're working through a solid, established agency and your prices are below market.
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Old 25-01-2015, 13:03   #60
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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A question to those living in or familiar with USVI. What is the situation with immigration law practice there? I.e. is there much apprehension and detention activity, such as exists in FL or CA?
There is not a flood of immigration. We need to keep perspective on size. The US Virgin Islands has a population of 106,000 and the British Virgin Islands has 30,000, depending on whose estimates you use. So the demand of any specific area of law practice is relatively small. Think of them as two relatively small towns.

However, currently in the USVI, I show 461 lawyers. 7 practice immigration law. Could there be room for one more? Yes, there could be.
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