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  #11  
Old 10-25-2006
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One major issue to research in storing your boat in a given state...taxes. I'm not sure of the exact details but I think Maryland goes something like this...keep your boat in Maryland more than 6 months and you owe sales tax on the boat!!! I believe they will give you the credit on what sales tax you already paid in another state but Maryland is pretty high so if you pay 6% in state X then you will owe the difference (I think it's around 8%) to Maryland. Many, but not all, states are like this. Lots of homework to do on this one or pay the tax & lump it!

Different ins. agencies have different rules about where to be for ins. rates. Boat US doesn't establish a time frame, they charge a premium for being in Florida period. Less for the rest of the east coast and even less for the Great Lakes.
Ins. co. may offer a discount if the boat is on the hard instead of stored in a slip for any period of time. Again, some homework to do.
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Old 10-25-2006
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Actually, a lot of states have tightened up the time to 60-90 days consecutive...so it pays to look at the state laws very carefully.
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Old 10-26-2006
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Well, and not to throw out Texas again (assuming that it is not toally ruled out) but the rates West of the Mississippi were quite a bit less for us than East of the Mississippi. I just renewed. I will also tell you that you could have a bit of trouble finding insurance in general for Florida and many of the insurance companies we went to would not let us leave a boat unattended in Florida. Many of them would not even pick us up (and I have never had a claim, been through many safety seminars, and have been boating for over 15 years!!). Just a thought.

- CD

PS You will also have to pick up a rider for Bahamas. Only $100/year, though. Boat US does not cover Carrib (I do not think, but I might be wrong). I will tell you they will credit/debit you by % time spent in certain areas. So make sure you stay in contact with them as to where you are based.
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Old 10-26-2006
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I have lived on Long Is. since 1965 and have been through 3 hurricanes in that time (only 1 bad one). So if you want a guarantee, go up to Maine. Plus there are lots of good boats available there, and storage costs are more reasonable. Plus 6.5 ft draft is not a problem (I saw a boat on the hard in Camden that drew over 10 ft. and the yard said it had been cut down!) However you won't want to be sailing there in Oct.

Basically, the odds of a hurricane from the Chesapeake north are pretty small, but not zero. North of Cape Cod they get even better.

About draft, you will be pretty uncomfortable and restricted in the Bahamas with any draft over 5 ft. A 6.5 ft draft will be very hard to live with there.
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Well if you are actually considering Texas, I was in Alicia in 1983. In the marina where we were docked, we saw one submersion and a light damage to several other boats. Alicia hit Houston and Galveston directly, so considering the minor damage, I would feel comfortable keeping my boat there (in the clear lake area).
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Old 11-14-2006
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Kevin, I'm in the middle of a similar situation to yours. We bought our boat a little ahead of schedule and are still working, but plan to have the boat south outside of the hurricane season. We decided to put the boat in the Chesapeake, but initially in Virginia for tax purposes. The state tax for boats tops out at $2,000, and that saved us heaps of cash over keeping it in Maryland where we bought her. The Hampton/Portsmouth area offers the added benefit of having virtually no personal property tax on boats.

As others have said, we liked the idea of having the boat in the Chesapeake to get used to her and get ready for more extended cruising. Our plan is to spend next year cruising the Chessie, then head down to Florida next fall, and if we're ready also the Bahamas. Back up to the Chesapeake in spring of 08. The Caribbean would be the next step, and we're already talking into 09 in the plan.

We certainly looked at the draft issue with this plan, and I'd agree with the concerns others have expressed on your draft if you're going to do the ICW/Bahamas/Florida keys.

My .02 from someone executing a similar plan.

Sally
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