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Old 15-03-2010, 23:54   #1
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Too Hot to Liveaboard Year-'Round in Florida?

Hi There,

I am considering moving back to Sarasota, FL where I lived for a few years.
I may or may not want to have a sailboat big enough to live aboard on.
But if I live aboard is it just too damn hot?

If I bought a boat (34-40 sloop) without air conditioning do you have any idea what the unit and install might cost and can it TRULY air condition the entire boat interior (um hey a little in the cockpit area would be nice too!

I have a 60lb Collie, you know lassie type. She is my baby and I have to think of her heat needs as well. I have to make certain that if I leave the boat for say 3 hrs and need to leave her on board that she will be cool and safe

Also, anyone here sail around Sarasota?
I have not been back since oh boy 1997?
Any idea what the avg. marina charges per ft. and is it impossible to find liveaboard or sneak-aboards?
Also, do you know if you can legally sailout outside to siesta key beach area, anchor and dinghy to shore? I cannot recall seeing that often it at all at Siesta or Crescent beaches.

I live in San Francisco bay area....I want to move to be near the beach, lower cost of living. We have such picturesque beauty on land and while sailing but I keep being pointed towards FL.

LASTLY, when you buy a boat in FL do you pay sails tax, if not what kind of taxes do you pay?

Thanks a lot!
Cherise
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Old 16-03-2010, 02:25   #2
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Purchase of an air con system that will meet your needs is a relatively simple problem.

However, what is significantly more difficult is powering such a system away from shore power, and finding an appropriate place in the boat to fit the a/c system and its distribution around the boat.
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Old 16-03-2010, 04:32   #3
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We have silver/semi-reflective awnings covering the entire boat home made out of tarps from a chandlery...you can probably get them at Home Depot. They lower the boat temperature very dramatically both by shading the boat and creating a wind tunnel effect. They help prevent the boat getting too hot during the day-time sun and make it much easier for the boat's A/C. On our boat, sitting in Trinidad for hurricane season, the tarps reduced A/C need by almost 50%.

Total cost for a 55ft boat was about $100.

Marine A/C is very expensive so go to Walmart or Sears and buy small 'in the window' type home A/C units and make simple hatch fittings out of plywood. We spent the summer in Trinidad and even the boats on the hard rented such units and had functional A/C.

You can even run one small A/C unit at anchor using a Honda 2kw generator.

I am in Puerto Rico at the moment and a live-aboard next to me has had 2 such units working for the last 2 years.
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Old 16-03-2010, 06:58   #4
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Hi Cherise,

If you are acclimated to the temps in SF you will find Sarasota area pretty warm in the summer. However I concur with the other replies that recommend an awning over the boat. The difference is huge. A lot of covers only shade aft from the mast, the cockpit and main cabin. To be really effective you either need one large or a second cover forward of the mast to the bow as well.

A lot will depend on where you have the boat. If tied up to a marina in town you will be a lot warmer than anchored out in the bay. The benefit of the marina will be access to shore power to run an AC system and easier to walk the dog.
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Old 16-03-2010, 07:55   #5
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sarasota in the summer will be very hot and also very humid .. not like the islands where the trade winds cool things down. a full awning would be a good idea. a marine ac would run several thousand at least and may require the boat to be hauled for the install. but yes it could cool the entire boat. there can be situations like brownouts where the ac might shut down and in that case you would not want your dog closed up in the boat. you may want to have a groomer shorten the length of your dog's hair .. not sure.
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:08   #6
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I have lived aboard on the Magothy River off the Chessie for a few years now. It's not Florida, but it does get pretty hot in the summer. I've done just fine without an A/C, but then my boat is pretty well ventilated. Before that I also lived in the tropics (SE Asia), so was pretty acclimitized, I think.
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:19   #7
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I'm on the east coast of Florida and concur that A/C will be a necessity. If you decide a boat is the way to go, this will mean, access to shore power. Live aboards in my marina have been fairly ingenious in adapting Walmart A/C home window units for this purpose during summer months.

It looks 'tacky' as hell, as there's no way to blend them into the lines of the boat or hide them. Also, they wear out fairly quickly, but then again they're cheap A/C units to begin with.
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:20   #8
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Here are some pics that keep Imagine cool in Jax Fl. You can see the square boxes of insulation to force the air in, and down near the port bow, and on the fron of the roof...We can raise, and lower the shades over the windows too......i2f
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Old 16-03-2010, 10:29   #9
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Just recently moved to the Sarasota area 6 months ago so I will add only to the question of sales tax you raised as others have already covered A/C. There is a great deal of misinformation I've seen posted here and elsewhere regarding registration in Fl which is required and aggressively enforced on any boat in Florida over 90 days. As part of that registration process, you must either prove you paid sales tax elsewhere (in excess of that required in Florida) to obtain a credit or pay it all here.
Regarding availability of marinas and their cost/ft, you would be well-advised to find a marina which has vacancies first that would suit your taste before worrying about cost. That isn't to say there are no available slips in this area; just that many of the vacant areas are vacant (or not full) for a reason. Cost varies greatly depending on location, amenities, cleanliness and service.
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Old 16-03-2010, 12:58   #10
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Cherise--The Gulf of Mexico is hot> When the water warms up>WOW! Even sitting under a tree is not a way to cool off. If the Gulf is not hot, the sun will be scorching. That is why a full cover will benificial. The cover will help the airconditioner by keeping the interior of the boat cooler. You will pay sales tax if you buy a boat in Florida and keep the boat in the state. One year we shaved our Keeshhound. She walked around the house looking embarrassed. That was the last time she was shaved. She would lay on the airconditioner vent. If you have vents near the cabin sole, your collie will probably lay in front of the vent blocking the air flow. I prefer the Atlantic Coast because the ocean stays cooler than the land in the summer and warmer than the land in the winter. This causes a breeze. When the Gulf gets hot there is little difference between the temperatures and therefore a little breeze. Move to Florida in January when it is colder instead of the heat of the summer. Give your body time to acclimate itself.
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Old 16-03-2010, 14:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
There is a great deal of misinformation I've seen posted here and elsewhere regarding registration in Fl which is required and aggressively enforced on any boat in Florida over 90 days. As part of that registration process, you must either prove you paid sales tax elsewhere (in excess of that required in Florida) to obtain a credit or pay it all here.
Hi Illusion,

You are quite correct that there is lot of misinformation about FL tax laws so I spent a good bit of time researching the issue. Since I live primarily in FL but maintain a residence in RI and kept my boat in RI and registered in RI I was very interested in this particular issue.

Again you are correct that the state of FL will go after the sales and use tax but there are exemptions. Following is information directly from State of FL various departments and web sites. I confirmed all this in numerous phone calls to the relevant agencies.

If there were no exemptions to the FL sales tax laws then anyone moving to FL would have to pay a sales tax on every item they own and that just is not the case.

All information below is coped verbatim from the relevant sites.


Skip


Sales and Use taxes

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/gt800005.pdf

"Sales Tax - All boats sold and/or delivered in this state are subject to Florida’s 6 percent sales and use tax, unless exempt."

"Use Tax - Use tax is a component of Florida’s sales and use tax law. Use tax and surtax apply to taxable goods and services that you bring into Florida untaxed or taxed at a rate less than Florida’s 6 percent rate. We allow a credit for lawfully imposed taxes paid to another state, a U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia. We do not allow credit for taxes paid to another country.
Discretionary sales surtax is also due on the first $5,000 of these purchases. Example: If you purchase a boat in a state that has a sales tax rate of 4 percent, you will have to pay an additional 2 percent when you bring the boat into Florida."

3. Exemptions from sales and use tax

"Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to
cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats
flagged in countries that have a treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as
long as you do not violate the provisions of the license to cruise."


"Use tax and surtax are not due on boats brought to Florida if you meet all of the following
conditions:
• You own the boat 6 months or longer, and
• You have shown no intent to use the boat in Florida at or before the time of purchase,
and
• The boat has been in use 6 months or longer within the taxing jurisdiction of another
state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia. Time spent in foreign waters does not
count as part of the 6-month period.
"
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Old 17-03-2010, 19:16   #12
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THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Such great tips and I really appreciate it!
Any idea what FL tax is?
Illusion (or anyone)- you own a boat in Sarasota? Do you have an idea what the berthing fees per foot usually run?
In sfo here they range from $6.50-$15.00

How about some opinions on draft MAX pls? I could pic up a sweet deal on a 37' sailboat out here in SFO, from a friend, BUT his draft is a deep keel like 7'!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 17-03-2010, 19:40   #13
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FL tax, which one?

- Sales tax 6% with 0.5-1.0% local surcharge in some counties.
- No state income tax.
- Gas and diesel higher than neighboring states due to higher fuel taxes.

Marina costs similar to CA.

7' draft would be somewhat limiting. 5-6' would open a lot more options.
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Old 17-03-2010, 20:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherise View Post
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
....How about some opinions on draft MAX pls? I could pic up a sweet deal on a 37' sailboat out here in SFO, from a friend, BUT his draft is a deep keel like 7'!.....
I think you'd find much better deals on boats already located in Florida comparing apples to apples. Florida is suffering the effects of this recession a bit more than many other states.

As to draft, you'll be getting a bunch of opinions on this but hey it's Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas, right? Shoal draft will be best IMHO.

Now, when I take in account the implications of your question, and you buy a boat out west, you plan on either sailing the boat through the Panama Canal to get to Florida or plan on hiring a trucking outfit to truck it here. That alone will take your good deal in SFO and turn it into a marginal deal or possibly even a poor one.

Unless of course it's about the journey and you're up for the adventure of taking a new to you boat on a 6000 mile delivery (3 months minimum, probably a lot longer).

In which case, have at it.(did I mention the pirates of the caribbean?)
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Old 17-03-2010, 21:15   #15
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I agree with TC...buy a boat in Florida...shoot it will probably already have Air conditioning
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