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Old 16-06-2020, 17:53   #1
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Boat as my main domicile documentation

Not sure how to word this but here goes. I donít own or rent a dirt house. Wife and I are year round live a-boards. How do I prove, demonstrate, document that my boat is my home? Here in Alaska NOAA allows me to harvest 25 subsistence halibut a day only I canít process them on a boat. I keep running into situations where people often governments canít or wonít recognize my boat is my home and only home. My boat is just like any dirt house has all the same basic stuff, only a good part of the year, not all, itís in the water. Must be some way to establish occupancy or residency on a boat. Maybe Iím not explaining this well but I bet you know what Iím getting at. Any ideas. Iím sure others have dealt with this.
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Old 16-06-2020, 18:11   #2
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

I found this link:https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alask...alibut-program
Looks like a lot of rules. Maybe you could process them at a dock, or on a raft. Or maybe you need a piece of mail with a land address as proof of residency. The IRS will recognize a boat as a home, maybe that is an angle...
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Old 16-06-2020, 18:20   #3
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Here is the law, You are prohibited from : (m) Fillet, mutilate, or otherwise disfigure subsistence halibut in any manner that prevents the determination of the number of fish caught, possessed, or landed.
Here is a link to all of the ordinances:https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retriev...e50.11.300_166
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Old 16-06-2020, 18:34   #4
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Yes Iím very aware of these regs. I canít even cook and eat a halibut on my home boat. Even I process the halibut on shore I cant bring that processed fish back on my boat.
I want to establish my boat is my home and receive the same rights as anyone elseís home.
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Old 17-06-2020, 09:26   #5
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Have you called the Coast Guard, as well as the various fisheries agencies? Perhaps they can steer you in the right direction. Good luck with it.
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Old 17-06-2020, 10:24   #6
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

I'd talk to the IRS. They may allow you to claim it as a resident prorate with fishing and nonfishing days. Your fishing days are law. It sounds like you are attempting to double dip, business a residential expense?
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Old 17-06-2020, 10:43   #7
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

My boat has nothing to do with any business. In a fact I donít have a business Iím. Retired.
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Old 17-06-2020, 10:49   #8
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

I fish so I can eat. Itís called subsistence.
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Old 17-06-2020, 11:00   #9
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

What is your home port?

I may be totally wrong here but this is how I approached it. Domicile, Mailing Address and Residence can be 3 separate locations. My mail goes to my brothers house in TX. I consider my Domicile to be in Tennessee where I once lived and plan to return to. I do not own a residence. The home port for my boat which is located in Greece, is Lenoir City Tennessee and the USCG documentation certificate says that. Most of my belongings are in storage in TN and I expect that one day I will return there. During COVID i'm staying at my brothers. I spent a few months in hotels while I was working, but needed to leave NM because I was about to be there over 183 days which would have made me a resident.
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Old 17-06-2020, 11:13   #10
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

My home port is Skagway Alaska.
You dogscott are the first one to get what I’m talking about.
Thank you.
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Old 17-06-2020, 11:41   #11
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbs Up View Post
Here is the law, You are prohibited from : (m) Fillet, mutilate, or otherwise disfigure subsistence halibut in any manner that prevents the determination of the number of fish caught, possessed, or landed.
Here is a link to all of the ordinances:https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retriev...e50.11.300_166
Except that the sub section (m) is under a paragraph, that does not seem to be the OP's circumstances,

Quote:
(2) Persons who qualify as Alaska Native tribal members under ß300.65(g)(2) and hold a SHARC in the person's name under ß300.65(i) may be reimbursed for actual expenses for ice, bait, food, and fuel directly related to subsistence fishing for halibut, by any Alaska Native tribe, or its members, or residents of the same rural community or by rural residents residing within ten statute miles of the rural location listed on the person's SHARC application.
(l) Retain subsistence halibut harvested under a CHP, Ceremonial Permit, or Educational Permit together in any combination or with halibut harvested under any other license or permit.
(m) Fillet, mutilate, or otherwise disfigure subsistence halibut in any manner that prevents the determination of the number of fish caught, possessed, or landed.
So in the statute, subsection (m) applies to section (2).

The OP needs to talk the game law enforcement people, and see what they say. Criminal statutes are complicated, and game law statutes are more so.

There very well might be another statute or a court cases that solves the OP's problem.

Establishing the boat as your home, and proving it is another matter, as Dogscout posted. The problem is, what does the officer who is checking on game laws, need/want to verify your residence? Call up the local game people and talk to them. You might have to climb the chain of command a bit to get the right answer since your in a unique situation.

Later,
Dan
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Old 17-06-2020, 11:58   #12
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

I have thought about the same issue here on the Chesapeake as they are restrictive on stripped bass. Do I clean my fish when at anchor, underway or dinghy to shore to clean? If I have frozen fish, do they consider this a questionable catch? I have never been stopped (knock on wood) and have cleaned my fish underway......did I just hear a police siren????
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Old 17-06-2020, 12:18   #13
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Freshalaska,

We are full time livaboards in SE Alaska and also have a halibut substence permit. [For those who may not know, halibut are federally regulated- at least in Alaska. Most (all?) other harvested seafood species are regulated by the state. And fish and game harvested for subsistence cannot be sold... ]

If we have a good halibut harvest day [which could be 500-1000 lbs or more] there is no way way could properly clean and process that much catch on our 43 ft sailboat- let alone land it all if there are any large ones (~<80lbs in our case.) We are forced to go to land to process that much fish efficiently so it remains edible. [Which is also a legal reqirement; no waste that could have been avoided through proper handling.]

We also need freezer space [on land in our case] to properly store all that is subsistence harvested. [We use publically available cold storage facilities (warehouse sized freezers) in communities like Petersburg, Wrangell, etc.]

My point is even if you spoke with the local enforcing feds and convinced them your boat is your only habitat and they should come to you to validate your harvest, how would you demonstrate to them you can properly harvest and store a large day's harvest on your boat?

I believe that is where the logic test fails [from the law enforcement perspective] making the question of primary residence moot in this case. [At least for we small boat owners...]

Another point that will likely not change: we need to affirm [with references included] we live in a region that allows us to be eligible for subsistence permits.

I'm not being argumentative, but commiserating as we deal with these same issues. I just wanted to point out likely counter arguments to your use case.

Best wishes sorting it all out.

Cheers! Bill

PS: For the most part, we have no issues in this region with people/entities understanding we live full time on a boat. Even my Alaska driver's license lists an Alaskan PO Box as an address. [Most of our mail goes to SBI in Florida, however...] Since we keep a full time slip [actually pretty cheap in this area...] we sometimes have to use that commercial harbor's physical address to satisfy some entities requiring a physical address... [Commercial facilities; no harbor office nearby, so it won't work/can't be used as a mailing address...]
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Old 17-06-2020, 12:33   #14
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannc View Post
Except that the sub section (m) is under a paragraph, that does not seem to be the OP's circumstances,

So in the statute, subsection (m) applies to section (2).
...
Actually, it is the other way around. (1) and (2) in your post are subsections of 50CFR300.66(k). 50CFR300.66(m) applies to all subsistence fisherfolk.

And the OP is in a pickle, the rules are clearly designed around someone taking subsistence halibut off the boat to a land house. For those of us that don't have a land house....
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Old 17-06-2020, 12:35   #15
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Re: Boat as my main domicile documentation

We all take some risks in this world. One of the risks I take is having frozen fish aboard my boat that is TECHNICALLY in violation of fishing regulations just about everywhere we go. If I am fishing in controlled waters, we keep our current day's catch whole until we are at anchor. then butcher, package, and label them with a date and off they go into the freezer.

We comply exactly with the INTENT of the law (being sure a boarding party could identify our daily catch as to size and species) while being in technical violation.

We have been asked to show our catch, but never had anyone ask to go through our freezers. If I am obviously in compliance with licensing, and take rules, and am respectful and polite to a fisheries officer, I don't expect to ever have any problem.

On the other hand, if I am rude and obnoxious, driving my boat drunk, do not have a proper fishing license, and have a bunch of out of season and undersized fish, I would expect a complete search and a citation for every technical violation of the rules. In a case like that, I'd expect the field officer to throw everything at the wall and let the judge decide what sticks.
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