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  #1  
Old 03-26-2011
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Non Resident Living and Sailing in the US

Hi all
First post, so some background info about me - deep sea diver by profession, frequent holidayer in the good ol' USA (non resident).

I was looking at maybe doing my sailing classes in the US - possibly Maryland this summer with the intention of buying a boat in the US and keeping it parked here. I work a month on/month off rota the year round, so looking at coming down to the US for atleast 4 - 5 months of the year duroing my month off, and doing the whole liveaboard/cruising thing.

Questions are:

1.) Can I (as a non-resident) register the boat in either Florida or Texas, if so tax-wise which is the better option?

2.) Is is possible for a non-resident with no credit history in the USA to get full insurance cover for a boat (38' to 42')?

3.) Whilst I might have the resources to buy a boat outright, in the eventuality I need finance for say 50% of the boat, does anyone (especially boat vendors/dealers) know how easy that might be to get if I can provide full documentation from a recognised bank about my financial position? Once again - no credit history in the US.

4.) Lastly, would it be advisable to keep the boat in a marina up north (Annapolis) from June to October and then down to Florida the rest of the year? Would I end up paying tax in both places?

Thanks in advance guys, a lot of questions i know, but I promise to return the favour someday to other newbies in this great community when i get a few nm's under my yet-to-be-bought hull....

Finally - a salute to all the members and participants of this community, I am truely impressed by the effort and time members have been putting into this forum, with their exceptional and invaluable advice.

cheers n beers
Heliox
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Old 03-26-2011
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Hi Heliox, I don't know about all your questions, but I'm fairly certain the answer to #3 is yes - the financed asset will be in the US, which matters more to them than where the income is. Lots of boats for sale now, good time to buy.

Regarding #4 - we knew a guy who found it cheaper to keep his boat in Annapolis and fly here from Texas every few weeks to go sailing, than to pay insurance in a hurricane zone. Maryland will make you pay if and only if you spend more time here per year than any other state. So by your scenario, you'll be in MD 5 months, and FL 7 months, plus or minus transit time, so you wouldn't have to pay in MD. Generally, any state will want to see that you paid sales tax somewhere, then exempt you from paying again. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2011
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I bought a boat in TX and registered it with a birth certificate and driver license, I am canadain and had no problems with it at all. They even said I was allowed to keep the TX registration numbers as well, and advised that If I went back to canada with the boat that I transfer registration to Canadian and did so with a 35.00 transfer fee three years later.
What ever state you reside in the most will collect your taxes, As for the loan, as long as you can verify your employment and have a printout from your bank statements of the last 6 months or so they will see your spending patteren and if good then you have the loan.
As to where you keep her, thats between you and your insurance, some are different from others and have requirements that you have to meet to decide what and how your insured.
Now that your in the fold welcome and coffee is on you next time...
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Old 03-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heliox View Post
1.) Can I (as a non-resident) register the boat in either Florida or Texas, if so tax-wise which is the better option?
Most state are willing to accept a registration, even if you aren't actually there. You're just sending them money, why say no? However, just because you registered it in one, does not exempt you from the other. Registration requirements are usually triggered by the time you spend in the state. They are all a little different.

Quote:
2.) Is is possible for a non-resident with no credit history in the USA to get full insurance cover for a boat (38' to 42')?
I would think you could be covered, however, the premium might not be friendly. The thought that you would be away from the boat for long periods will make the insurance company nervous that no one is available to mitigate risks. A contracted captain helps.

Quote:
3.) Whilst I might have the resources to buy a boat outright, in the eventuality I need finance for say 50% of the boat, does anyone (especially boat vendors/dealers) know how easy that might be to get if I can provide full documentation from a recognised bank about my financial position? Once again - no credit history in the US.
I will bet there is a bank from your home country that has a branch here. Almost all have business here. That's worth exploring. I suspect that with a good downpayment, you will find a local lender that is interested as well.

Quote:
4.) Lastly, would it be advisable to keep the boat in a marina up north (Annapolis) from June to October and then down to Florida the rest of the year? Would I end up paying tax in both places?
This is no small endeavor. The variance in your insurance premium isn't likely going to cover the cost to move the boat. If you are motivated to preserve the boat and avoid the insurance claim, that makes sense. Whether you will owe local use tax is completely variable, state by state. Again, it typically has to do with how long you stay and they all set different standards.
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Old 03-27-2011
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It will be worth your while investigating registering your boat in the USVI.

No sales Tax!

It was one of the options I looked at when buying in the USA.
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Old 03-27-2011
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Thanks for the input

Thanks for the info everyone, most informative. Do keep your thoughts coming in - much appreciated. Minnewaska - I concur about the insurance not being cheap in case of an "absentee" owner - the contracted captain is definitely food for thought. Thnaks for the inputs again.
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