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Old 28-09-2019, 07:59   #1
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Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Hey everyone!

Can anyone share any experiences they've had with buying a barebones from Croatia? I'm trying to wrap my head around additional costs associated with transporting the paperwork and the vessel to the US for fitting out.

I'm aware of Sunsail's $250 fees and separate US Fees for title and import. Obviously, I have to insure the boat and hire someone to move it.

Are there any other fees or troubles that come to mind? My next round of questions will be more along the lines of technical refit for example how can I get a copy of Leopard 44 schematics for wiring and plumbing, polar sail chart and hopefully a supplier of factory parts!

Many, thanks. I look forward to joining this forum and sharing what I learn with others but for now I am just a greenhorn!

-Steve
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Old 28-09-2019, 10:44   #2
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

- Be aware of boat current Electrical setup (volts/hertzs) and existing equipment onboard, AND shore power in your intended sailing area. Required mods and/or replacents can be costly. Even being bare bones, the Cat has some systems already in place

Shipping the Cat across the Atlantic on a cargo ship is an alternative to hiring a crew.
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Old 28-09-2019, 13:39   #3
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Thank you very much Valiente. Great idea about the cargo company. I'll see if I can find some shippers. Our spitball idea is to learn the ropes in US coastal and then head out to International locales so I'm on the fence about the best approach for Shore Power. I have a host of other refit questions but I'll save those for another day!
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Old 29-09-2019, 05:57   #4
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExchangeGeek View Post
Hey everyone!

Can anyone share any experiences they've had with buying a barebones from Croatia? I'm trying to wrap my head around additional costs associated with transporting the paperwork and the vessel to the US for fitting out.

I'm aware of Sunsail's $250 fees and separate US Fees for title and import. Obviously, I have to insure the boat and hire someone to move it.

Are there any other fees or troubles that come to mind? My next round of questions will be more along the lines of technical refit for example how can I get a copy of Leopard 44 schematics for wiring and plumbing, polar sail chart and hopefully a supplier of factory parts!

Many, thanks. I look forward to joining this forum and sharing what I learn with others but for now I am just a greenhorn!

-Steve
Steve,

From the perspective of a USCG Master who does deliveries- many boats exiting the charter trade have very tired sails and some ‘deferred maintenance’ issues. This can make the delivery rather challenging. Especially as a newbie, it would be prudent prior to the survey and sea trail to be involved with your delivery guy so he can review that specific boat and have his concerns addressed during the sea trial.

Of course since she is coming out of charter she will be turned over with no tools, spare parts or spare filters. Also many exit without a life raft. These items are needed for a crossing.

All of the above would need to be addressed in Europe prior to the transatlantic crossing.

The alternative is to have her shipped as deck cargo. The advantage of shipping her is that you can buy these items locally, and if she needs major work, you are there to see it done. Not sure about the differences in costs and workmanship of US vs Europe.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....
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Old 29-09-2019, 08:13   #5
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Would you not have to pay duties to import the boat into the US?
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Old 29-09-2019, 08:57   #6
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

As a cruising insurance agent I can tell you it would be far cheaper to insure the boat as cargo then to insure it for a crossing without substantial expense to get it offshore ready. That with the cost of the crew shipping maybe your best option.

Laura@legacyunderwriters.com
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Old 29-09-2019, 09:58   #7
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

noonsite.com has a lot of yacht shippers advertising there. Here's one:
https://www.petersandmay.com/en/requ...=square_banner
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Old 29-09-2019, 10:39   #8
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

StoneCrab, thank you very much. I've now requested quotes from a few transport companies and hope to followup on Monday with any others I can find. The tentative closing is set for middle November (The boat is in Charter for 2 more weeks) which is helping me stretch the timeline and arrange for travel

The tips you guys have provided are extremely helpful. Thank you very much.
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Old 29-09-2019, 13:11   #9
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

We bought our J 49 DS in Croatia and outfitted in Athens. Workmanship is 1st class at 35 euros/hr. Every possible part is available competativly priced. I would do whatever you need done there or Croatia where they return the vat tax to you when leaving.
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Old 29-09-2019, 16:58   #10
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

ExchangeGeek mentioned that the boat he is interested in is a Leopard. Leopards are built by Robertson & Caine in Cape Town, South Africa. South African products (including yachts) are exempt from import duty into the US by the AGORA Treaty which was signed by President Clinton in 2000 and has been extended until 2025.

I have imported these boats twice, once from French Polynesia and once from the BVI with no charges for duty. I have heard that some people, ignorant of this fact, have paid when it was not due on these boats. Also many customs personnel are ignorant of their own regulations and will charge the unsuspecting boat owner. If charged by customs agents I would pay under protest and file and appeal. This treaty has been made into the law by Congress and the President and can be found in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).
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Old 29-09-2019, 16:59   #11
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

ExchangeGeek mentioned that the boat he is interested in is a Leopard. Leopards are built by Robertson & Caine in Cape Town, South Africa. South African products (including yachts) are exempt from import duty into the US by the AGORA Treaty which was signed by President Clinton in 2000 and has been extended until 2025.

I have imported these boats twice, once from French Polynesia and once from the BVI with no charges for duty. I have heard that some people, ignorant of this fact, have paid when it was not due on these boats. Also many customs personnel are ignorant of their own regulations and will charge the unsuspecting boat owner. If charged by customs agents I would pay under protest and file and appeal. This treaty has been made into the law by Congress and the President and can be found in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).
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Old 30-09-2019, 15:58   #12
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Good point! I did a little researching and it looks like I'll need to pay 1.5% of the value plus about $1500 of other fees; tax , bond, customs, etc. That's assuming there are no EPA or documentation problems. Maybe someone here can tell me if I'm way off, but it honestly sounded like a far better rate than the sales tax I've paid on some of my power boats!
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Old 30-09-2019, 16:07   #13
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

Jmschmidt, holy cow, I hope that's true and I'm going to look into that deeper. It never occurred to me that I could be exempt from import duty. THank you very much. I'll likely hire an agent to help me with the USGC paperwork so hopefully I can find some smart people to help me out.
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Old 30-09-2019, 20:24   #14
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

ExchangeGeek, I can't speak to the various state tax laws, my boats are home ported in a state that has no personal property tax, so the is no annual tax on boats or any other personal property. There are license fees for cars and state registered boats but not for US Coast Guard "documented" vessels. If the boat you import into this state is a new vessel (or car) or anything else you are meant to pay a general excise tax (like a sales tax) but for used items of a certain age and years of use there may be no tax.

If you buy a foreign flagged or "registered" boat you may want to "deflag and reflag" to US if you want it US "documented." For this I would recommend an agent be used if you have no experience at this. Personally I would not own any boat that was not US Coast Guard "documented" for many legal, financial and practical reasons.

If you are buying a boat that is already US flagged (documented) there is no requirement to use an agent. Simply get an abstract of title from the USCG National Maritime Center ($75), or require the seller to provide one, and and make sure the title is clean, no liens or loans. Use a US Coast Guard bill-of-sale to complete the transaction and get a "Builders Certificate" if possible.

I am not a lawyer. As always I recommend people seek competent legal advice for such a transaction.


Good luck.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:22   #15
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Re: Purchasing a Sunsail Charter from Croatia for US and International Cruising

JMSchmidt, thank you very much. Your insight helps me ask the agents the right questions. I'm also looking into states to register the boat. I have 4 other smaller boats in Ga and when I bring them into the state, I only have to enter their details to get the registration so I am leaning toward just owning it in Georgia. I am certainly hiring an agent to help me with the USGC. I don't know if the (State) process is different for a $300,000 boat than a $50,000 boat but with my fishing boats only required me to pay a few hundred dollars every 5 years. I'm going to look more into that before I rush out for a Delaware LLC. I'm also considering registering in FL since I have property there but Florida seems pretty aggressive about collecting their taxes and their fees.
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