This is my second attempt to buy a boat
. The first one failed due to the condition of the boat
Now I have a little more information about the rules and regulations
attached to boat ownership
and realize that they can be complicated, especially if one is not a US citizen, and the boat is one of those that potentially could cross an ocean.
I am a legal
permanent resident, residing in Pennsylvania.
I plan to buy a Beneteau
40 and have her exclusively on the Chesapeake Bay
, at least for the next two years.
What I know (or think that I know...)
- as a legal
permanent resident can NOT document a vessel with the US coast guard.
- if the vessel I intend to buy is documented with the US coast guard, it has to be "undocumented" (for lack of a better term) before I can buy it.
- I have to register the vessel with the state where the boat is located most of the time. There I have to pay taxes
- I can get a title for the boat from the state where the boat is registered.
If all of that is done:
- State registration
alone doesn't give the vessel a nationality, and because it cannot be documented with the US coast guard, it will have the status of an UNFLAGGED/no nationality vessel.
- the vessel will assume the nationality of his owner (or captain
- Because I am NOT a US citizen, the boat will be considered a "foreign vessel."
So far, so good?
I am NOT sure.
The broker told me that the above vessel status "state registered' - "state titled" and "unflagged - foreign" is not a problem at all and pretty common and that I can travel the entire country in a vessel with that status.
As long... and here comes the caveat... as long as I am not leaving the country (and try to come back, I would assume?). But that will not be a problem since I am not planning to do that for at least the next two years.
So what is the problem? If there is any at all?
Maybe the problem is that I will have an unflagged vessel with no nationality.
As a German citizen, I can apply for a so-called "Flagg Certificate" in Germany
when I can prove ownership
of the vessel. Since such a "Flagg Certificate" is internationally recognized, the vessel would become the status of an officially German flagged vessel, at least I would assume.
What would be the advantage?
As long as I stay in the Chesapeake Bay
, I don't see a direct advantage, but I may be wrong here.
As soon as I would plan to leave the country and come back, maybe the Bahamas
or the like, there is clearly an advantage. Being flagged or having a nationality, the vessel would be subject to international recognized agreements.
Wouldn't that be a weird construct?
A vessel that is registered by a US state, paid taxes
there, and is foreign-flagged?
I am wondering what the insurance
company has to say about that?
I am pretty sure I should involve somebody, like a lawyer, who understands Maritime Law. There are many and it's not so easy to identify the right one.
What do you think about all these assumptions? Are they close to correct or way off from any reality?
Can somebody maybe recommend a Maritime Lawyer in Maryland