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Old 02-11-2010, 14:38   #1
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Buying a 40' Cat - Where to Register ?

Hello CF new friends. My wife and are looking to buy a 40' Cat and we think we have found the one. We work freelance around the USA and around the world as well. Home is the USA. We plan to live aboard part time. We are trying to decide which state to register. We do plan to document with USCG. We plan to sail N.Y, Florida, Bahamas, P.R., Caribbean, Central and South America as well. We understand that by avoiding certain state sales or use tax that we will be restricted in the amount of time we may remain in those local waters. Any suggestions?
Many thanks,

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Old 02-11-2010, 19:00   #2
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Hi Joe,
we have our boat in Turkey but I checked also about registration before. Delaware is the easiest and cheapest I could find. Check
everything goes via e-mail attachments. No problems at all

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Old 02-11-2010, 20:29   #3
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I would recommend that you bite the bullet and live wherever you want. The amount of extra money it will cost you to pay a state sales/use tax is a small price to pay for having a secure base of operations that is hassle free. Moving a vessel around to avoid taxes is expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient especially when you have another life. Add on top of that the challenges created by hurricanes and tropical storms limiting your ability to move the yacht at the time you need or want to make a move.

The lifestyle that you are talking about sounds like you will be away from the yacht for significant periods of time. Your highest priority should be a secure location when you are away from the catamaran. If you are flying around the world and USA a great deal, your second priority should proximity to airports that are convenient and affordable. Hurricane season happens five months a year, and a location that is safe from hurricanes should also be a high priority. The last priority should be sales/use tax.

That's my two cents.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 02-11-2010, 20:57   #4
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You can play the cat and mouse game, but you could also argue that they're going to find you at some point, and it's easier to have peace of mind. We bought our boat in CT and paid use tax there. Maine and Massachusetts both came after us that very same year. Maine found us because we have a mooring there. Massachusetts traced us even though we visited, on the hook, for less than two weeks. We had an electronics guy come and fix our radar, and the tax collectors traced us through the sales invoice, demanding full use tax for having entered MA waters (no grace period). It was nice to be able to tell them to buzz off.
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Old 03-11-2010, 16:22   #5
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40' Cat registration

Thank you all for replying regarding where to register. We are seriously considering registering in Florida as our base and paying the max $18,000
use tax. But then what happens if we decide to spend more than 90 days in N.Y. in the summer? Will N.Y. then come after us? Do the States expect one to pay in every state visited for more than 90 days? If we leave N.Y. before the 90 days expires and spend 1 or 2 days away, then return for another 90 days will they think we are trying to evade N.Y tax? We don't have regular 9 to 5 schedules. It sounds like the tax guys will constantly be after us even if we pay in Florida then try to move about freely. What we want to do is pay the tax in a location which best suits our needs and avoid the tax elsewhere.
Hope someone has more advice for us.
Many thanks again.
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Old 23-11-2010, 16:51   #6
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
There's a use tax?
Tea party time?
Sorry I don't have any answers. I've just never run across those types of things.
kind regards,
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Old 23-11-2010, 19:38   #7
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The basic idea in the USA is if you have paid the tax in one state, you are only liable for the additional tax that would have been due.

For example, if Florida is 6% and NY is 10%, you may be liable for an additional 4% if you are in NY long enough for the tax to apply. Please note, that I am using numbers off the cuff, and don't know what each state really charges.

Fair Winds,

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