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Old 08-16-2012
skelmir skelmir is offline
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Florida or not?

I'm a new owner of a 44 foot sailboat in Boston, MA and I see that winter will be coming too soon.

I'm wondering about the practicality of extending our use of the boat by bringing it (or having it brought) down to Florida and what the implications of that might be.

I'm not to the point of taking out the charts and studying the currents. I'm more wondering how would I manage the boat down in Florida being a resident of MA. What are the tax implications and what permits/licenses do I need to acquire? I would plan on bringing the boat back up before hurricane season next year (at least that would be the plan, maybe Florida is just so awesome that I will want to leave it down there but that would remain to be seen).

The 6.25% Massachusetts taxes has been paid, so I'm assuming that I don't have to pay additionally in Florida since their rate is only 6%. But I also assume that I'm wrong about that.

I read somewhere that if your local rate was less than the Florida rate you would have to pay the difference to Florida but I assume they aren't fair minded about that and won't give me a 0.25% refund.

I do see that I'd need to update my insurance policy.

I assume I will have to register my dinghy in Florida as well or else leave the outboard at home. If I did that would I really need two sets of registration numbers on my dinghy? It already has MA plates.

I guess the second step is to figure out where in Florida to base it. The boat draws 5'10". The Keys look nice, but it might be more practical to base it farther north. Recommendations where and why would be welcome. I think I'm partial to the East Coast of Florida, but other than the additional trip of getting to the other side I don't have a good reason for that preference.

Once that is all figured and if it makes sense. The third step would be to plan the trip. If I went ahead with everything I would most likely hire an experienced captain who has done this before and he would provide the plan.

If I was allowed to retire and just take off sailing I would probably just keep going once I got to Florida. So a hired captain would be good in either case.
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