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  #31  
Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteris View Post
Frogma - I am also living in Europe and am purchasing a boat in the US to cruise in the South for a while, but eventually planning on importing it to Europe. I'm just wondering what documentation you will have, because you cannot register the boat in your name in the US. Also, you will have to apply for a radio license as well.

It has been VERY difficult for me to get any clear answers on this from any authority, and was wondering if you could tell me what you know.

Thanks
What prevents you from registering the boat in your home country? Couldn't you simply "import" it immediately, pay your fees, and get your papers? Or do you have to physically bring it there in order to register it?
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  #32  
Old 11-10-2009
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You can still register the boat in your country, provided you have the proper paperwork filled out, and you can apply for a radio license in your country, and it will be valid in the US...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteris View Post
Frogma - I am also living in Europe and am purchasing a boat in the US to cruise in the South for a while, but eventually planning on importing it to Europe. I'm just wondering what documentation you will have, because you cannot register the boat in your name in the US. Also, you will have to apply for a radio license as well.

It has been VERY difficult for me to get any clear answers on this from any authority, and was wondering if you could tell me what you know.

Thanks
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #33  
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Paper work can be important as you will likely be boarded by Customs when they see your flag.

Technically you do need a radio license for the Marine VHF but technically so does everyone that uses a VHF to communicate with you. I did not have anyone ask us if we had a license but we did have to show bill of sale and Canadian license as well as all the paperwork required for a person to be in the US.

So I would say put lots of effort into getting the proper paperwork for boat and yourself, then worry about radio license.

and another vote for hiring a captian for the trip or having it shipped for you.

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Hello again!
Peteris: Where about in europe are you?I have been in touch with bristish custom, and will not be regestering her in the us, but will sail under the union jack(et pavillon breton, of course). As far as the radio licence,...i don't know, but will look into it,might try and get 1 in the UK aswell. What boat are you looking at?
JohnRPollard: Yes I have been looking in the tax issues. I will only have to pay 17% vat on the price of purchase, as I will be sailing her home myself, there no import duty.
Anyone on this site in RI, qualify to prep my boat and getting her ready for spring? I will be in RI for a week, and would like to organise the work, and get some quotes.
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documentation

Frogma - I have a Latvian passport, but I was looking at registering in the UK, since with the EU, it is very easy to register anywhere within the EU. I was looking into registering the boat in Malta as I have been told this would be easiest. Another option would be the Cayman Islands, or Panama (expensive, but anyone can register there).

Out of frustration, and from reading about other's experiences in the same situation, I think that a notarized bill of sale, and perhaps a notarized letter from the previous owner indicating that you are indeed allowed to possess the yacht (and haven't stolen her) should be enough to allow you passage back to Europe. Once there I'd assume you can deal with the bureaucracy.

The radio license should not be a problem at all and is very easy to apply for over the internet. The license is for the actual radio and not the yacht as far as I have learned.

Another idea of mine is to leave the boat registered to the current owner, who hopefully agrees, and have them provide you with a notarized letter stating that you are allowed to use the boat. This would be the same as 'renting' the yacht. For some reason I am unsure of though, many owners are hesitant to comply with this.

I am currently looking for a yacht in California, as I want to take the long westwardly way around back to Europe. Luckily enough, I have a brother that is a US citizen, so in the worst case I can register the boat in his name, and deal with all the bureaucracy later.

I would really like to know how you deal with this, and if anyone has any more clear information on a simpler way, I'd love to hear it.

Finally, can a foreigner register for a radio license in the US?

Cheers
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  #36  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteris View Post
....Another idea of mine is to leave the boat registered to the current owner, who hopefully agrees, and have them provide you with a notarized letter stating that you are allowed to use the boat. This would be the same as 'renting' the yacht. For some reason I am unsure of though, many owners are hesitant to comply with this....
Peteris,

In the United States, anyway, legal liability is closely attached to ownership. And legal liability equates to financial liability. So you will find that most Americans would not agree to this arrangement, because they would not want to assume legal liability for a stranger's actions with their property.

To protect from that liability, that sort of arrangement ('renting') would require a different level of insurance in the U.S. This would be a significant expense that the seller would not normally want to incur. Most folks selling their boats want their money with no strings attached or further responsibility/liability after possession of the vessel has been transferred to the new "owner."
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  #37  
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I'd also point out that the owner of the boat could easily claim that what you paid them for the boat was actually a rental fee and that you had absconded with the boat... and then things get pretty sticky.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #38  
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documentation

Yes I somewhat understand the liability aspect to some degree, but in my opinion your second point is the one that is the dealbreaker, and understandably so. The previous owner wants to only take the payment, sign over the title, and be done with it. However the additional hassle to the owner would in fact be totally negligible, other than to perhaps verify the document, and possibly later removing the title from their name.

I said 'renting', and that isn't the correct term because yes, that would imply huge liabilities insurance-wise. Moreso, it would be a letter of consent allowing explicit use and essentially a power of attorney over the ownership and sale of the yacht, such as one that might be provided to a consignment broker.

What other liability is there? If Frogmo is sailing by himself and kills himself while delivering the yacht, I don't see any ramifications for the 'current' owner. Any lawyer can draw up a contract that would exempt the owner from such liability.

On another note, Frogmo, having obtained such letter, I wouldn't worry about flying the British flag. Customs will not board your yacht looking for documentation, or for any other reason! You need to clear customs to leave the country, but once you're sailing, they can't touch you. If you're worried, just sail straight out and once you're 200 km out (hopefully less than a day), they have no right to board, especially if you're flying the British flag.

Finally, if you're not planning on taking a direct route, ie. waiting for spring to make the crossing and would like to visit the Caribbean, just dump all your food prior to entering port and claim force majeur. lol. This is a bit of a joke, but this would work in the case that a foreign port doesn't recognize your 'loose' documentation. Most Caribbean islands are very lax with this anyways and don't really care.

I'm curious to hear any responses to this. After myself contacting Canadian, British, and Latvian marine administrations and not being able to get any CLEAR procedures for purchasing a yacht from abroad, I'm tempted to take this method myself.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
What prevents you from registering the boat in your home country? Couldn't you simply "import" it immediately, pay your fees, and get your papers? Or do you have to physically bring it there in order to register it?
From my research, you cannot import the boat immediately. I have heard of a temporary registration that the UK provides, but that was hearsay, and I cannot find any specific information on that.

In order to register a yacht in Europe, it needs to pass certain certifications, then VAT must be paid, and only then can it be registered.
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Don't be depressed. If the boat is in good condition and you are a good sailor it is not too late to slowly go south alongshore. Or wait until spring and move her more pleasantly. Just yesterday a cruiser came into Post Jefferson (on Long Island NY, a day south of RI). He is probably southbound. I have friends that only just reached New Jersey going back to the Bahamas.
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