I am about to buy a sailboat. The purchase
agreement has been signed by both parties and the survey
will be the end of March.
I am a green card holder, and other than my 5-year-old son, there is no US citizen in the family
, at least not yet.
Pretty early in our boat
search, we were made aware by a broker that we cannot document a boat
with the US coast guard since we are NOT US citizens. However, we were also told that that is not a problem. We should register the boat with the state where we intend to use and keep the boat, pay taxes
there, and it will be OK. We were also told about the "Delaware Option," but I am not really a friend of this.
So far, this doesn't sound pretty complicated. We are living in PA, and the boat will be kept and sailed in the upper Chesapeake Bay
for about 2-3 years before we can take it on longer trips. The vessel is currently located in CT, after the final purchase
we would bring the boat to the Chesapeake Bay
and register it with the State of Maryland
, pay the taxes
there and we should be OK.
However, I am not sure if I am missing an important something?
What could be complicating the situation is that the boat is actually from England
, the owner is British Citizen and the boat I assume is registered in Britain. The boat is probably on cruising permit
in the US, but I am not sure. The broker told us the owner/seller would pay for all the import
duties before we finally buy the boat.
The longer I think about this; the more my so far warm and fuzzy feeling goes away. But since I have no experience and the broker didn't mention any potential problems, I don't really know what could go wrong here. I just have that feeling that there is a potential for problems.
Should I consider to hire a company specialized in Marine Documentation
to support me in the process?
While I cannot document the boat with the USCG, what will be my proof of ownership
? Can I get a title similar to the ones I get for a car?
Does the vessel have to be deregistered in Britain? How can I get proof of that? I bet I may need that later.
What else do I miss here?
I appreciate all your input.