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Old 15-05-2017, 20:02   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Query on life and purchase options

Hello all,

Have been trolling these pages for some time. Have really valued the feedback I read which typically offers diverse and direct views from wide cross sections of opinions and experience – great stuff.

My wife and I are planning our retirement or part thereof, as liveaboards. Plan at present is to purchase a second hand 40ish foot catamaran as soon as our youngest daughter graduates (which is in 2 years, 4 months, and 3 days).

We currently live in Australia, and had been looking to purchase our new liveaboard home in Australia, and then, after a year or so to head off to South East Asia and perhaps beyond at a later stage. However, my wife recently suggested that perhaps an alternate, cheaper and better strategy would be to purchase an ex charter Catamaran in the Mediterranean or Caribbean (to me both have strengths and weaknesses as does South East Asia – any of these options are the reason I convince myself to go to work each day to ensure a comfortable future).

From past lives we hold financial presence’s in both the USA and England. Our holdings in each country would be sufficient to fund the purchase, fit out and about 2 years of living costs – based on our internet research and fairly detailed (albeit untested) budget.So the financial aspects are not primary drivers, but we also need to ensure we aren’t dumb with our spending (any dumber than we usually are…)

The main prompt for me was to ask if others have done similar, and I assume these models or plans would be well tested. I was wondering how one goes about several “things”:
- On the assumption that we would arrange a purchase through say Moorings, are there taxation issues in the USA or Mediterranean that need to be, or can be, managed for a non resident?On purchasing are there things to be wary of regarding where the vessel is flagged?(Part of our loose “model” at this stage is to ultimately sail or perhaps ship the boat back to Australia to use for a while, then sell.Although another “model” could be to sell the boat wherever we ultimately decide to finish our liveaboard lives).
- We would intend to fully insure the boat.Is this an issue for a non resident in the Caribbean or Mediterranean?(We have had no issue with being quoted insurance of approx A$3,800/annum for a A$500k catamaran – so assume our sailing experience meets some form of insurance hurdles).
- Along these themes, are the other things that you’d suggest should be something that we should consider or take?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-06-2017, 13:31   #2
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Re: Query on life and purchase options


Just a bit of an update.

I contacted Moorings and found they seemed very helpful. My contact was made through their website and I had a reply from them in a few days with a couple of queries and clarifications.

Since then I've had several email discussions with Moorings people and, just from emails, have been pretty impressed with their help and advice.

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Old 05-06-2017, 16:14   #3
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Boat: 57' Laurent Giles Yawl
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Re: Query on life and purchase options

I've met a whole lot of Australians who buy a boat in the Med or Caribbean and sail home. It seems to have worked well for them, so I'm sure you can do it. Maybe some of these folks are now hanging out at your local cruising yacht club, and you could talk to them in person?

For your questions...
- You should use a marine documentation specialist to help you with the purchase and registration. They'll be able to answer all of your questions about taxes and import duty. I don't think you'll have to pay anything until you bring the boat back to Australia. There are all kinds of very expensive ways the paperwork can get screwed up, so use an expert for this. It's worth it.

- You should have no problem getting insurance. The rate you quoted seems very very low. I suspect you'll pay two to four times that while out sailing far.

- I'd like to add that everyone I've seen buy a boat out of charter has immediately added a ton of equipment to it. So plan to arrive several months before you will need to go somewhere far. At least three months. Sourcing and installing stuff takes time, and so you don't want to, for example, arrive in December and hope to leave in January or February for Panama. I don't know what people tend to add to their new-ex-charter boats, but it seems like a huge list. Watermaker. Electronics galore. Bigger anchors. Downwind sails. Super dinghy. Solar Panels. Aft shade thing. Etc etc etc.
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Old 06-06-2017, 13:37   #4
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Re: Query on life and purchase options

Thanks for your thoughts.

I was surprised that Moorings also firmly recommended a specialist to manage the purchase process.

After learning from sites such as this one and buying more than a couple of beers to people sharing their experiences I have, over a bout a year, put together a fairly detailed starting budget for the "upgrades" to a charter boat. Surprisingly to me this was around 30% of the Moorings list price for a 40ish foot ex charter Cat (my wife agreed we should spend several months learning what we actually need to fix/change before committing).

Thanks again
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