Originally Posted by AKA44
I hope that I am not co-opting this thread but how about this scenario, please:
I am a resident of Arizona. I am buying a boat that's registered in Florida but stays in the Bahamas where the POs have kept it for years with an annual Cruising Permit. I plan to keep it there too for the next couple of years, at least, spending six to eight months a year living aboard and sailing the Bahamas, progressing deeper into the Caribbean as confidence grows, only visiting Florida occasionally and briefly to equip and provision.
The boat is CG documented and I plan to renew that. It'll be insured. Given my plans to use it, should it be state registered? Would that be Arizona? What advantages or disadvantages should I consider? Am I obligated to pay someone sales or use tax?
The reason I registered in FL was because FL actively tickets vessels that stay there >90 days if not FL registered. They also ticket documented boats with no state registration. In NY and FL, you get to prove you've paid sales tax or pay sales tax when registering. For Florida, I had to show a receipt from NY, (where I was registered previously), to prove tax had been paid. If the amount paid is < the FL amount, you get to cheerfully pay the difference. In Florida, you need to be state registered somewhere regardless of whether U.S. documented. There was a lot of controversy about the ticketing of documented vessels a while back but I think the FL policy is still the same.
+1 on praise for the USCG documentation staff for being very efficient.