Join Date: Nov 2000
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One is that, when we were cruising in Venezuela we came upon many, many boats with flags from (I think) Austria? Holland? (I will check on this).... but the owners would end up being French, English, Canadian, whatever. When asked, they said that it was far easier and cheaper to register in that country (Austria or whatever it was) than in their own country. So if you're taking a trip down to VZ to work on the boat or something, maybe walk around the docks in PLC or wherever and ask the foreign-flagged boats about it. If you're out cruising the world and not living/working in USA, and not bringing the boat into US waters (for any length of time) then do you legally have to pay the sales tax? I have no idea but it seems reasonable not to until you actually bring the boat back to the States...someone else probably knows the actual law on this: anyone?
Second thought is that, if you're going to stay with US flag, definitely DO get a USCG documentation, NOT a state registration. Foreign officials often REQUIRE USCG doc when checking in. US State Reg may work in Mexico but not in less-visited, further locales. Of course, you don't need to fly the ensign or paint "USA" on the transom if that's bothering you. Technically you're supposed to have your hailing port and state in 4"+ letters but I don't think this is enforced.