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post #1 of 12 Old 11-08-2011 Thread Starter
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Jacksonville marinas

Hi, Folks- I have a question about available marinas in the Jacksonville, Fl area. My wife and I are about 2-3 years from purchasing the "big" (ie. 40-45') boat and from what a friend of mine has suggested (a surveyor in Tampa), we look into keeping it in the Jacksonville area. We live in Charleston (ie. land of big taxes), so the approach we're taking is keep the boat at least half of the time in Florida, but close enough (this would be a 4 hr drive) to get down and either do some sailing there, or occasional work on the boat, and for much of the racing season, sail up the coast and keep the boat here. To make a long story short, we moved to Charleston a little over 2 years ago to begin the process of making the cruising dream a reality, and we plan to retire in about 7 or 8 years, give or take, and become full-time cruisers. Since we were virtual newbies when we moved here, and the boat purchasing process tends to be slow, I'm guessing it could take 3 or 4 years before we actually commit to buying-- all of this is just research to find out what's feasible.. It is just crazy expensive to keep a boat in South Carolina between taxes and slip fees. So, if anyone knows of a great website (maybe?) to look for marinas, or knows off the top of their head which ones would work best for this purpose, please advise... and, I hope this is the best forum for this question.

Thank you!

Ray
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-08-2011
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Been too many years since I moved out of Jax to have current info, have you tried "www.activeCaptain.com"?

Had a C22 when I lived there, the River was a great place to day sail. If you are after ocean/ICW experience, it is a bit of a hike from the downtown marinas. May want to look more in the Mayport area. How about Savannah, St Simons, or a Georgia port, make your commute a lot shorter. I have the impression Fla isn't that friendly to part timers, not sure about GA.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-08-2011
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have you thought about north carolina,i've heard taxes are very low there
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-08-2011
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Hi Ray,

We just bought a bought in Florida and had to pay 6% of the price of the boat. I have researched this topic for a long time now, and to be honest, you are better off paying the taxes in South Carolina because they, as far as I understand, have a $300 tax cap on used boats. In Florida, so long as you have proof that you've owned the boat outside of Fl for at least 6 months, you don't have to pay the 6% FL tax when registering your boat. SO if you ARE considering keeping it in Jacksonville, I highly recommend that you keep the boat in Charleston for at least 6 months before bringing it down, otherwise you are liable to pay the 6% and at the size of the boat you're looking at, that's a pretty high premium.

On the official SC site it states: "When purchasing a watercraft from an individual in South Carolina, you are required to pay Casual Excise Tax. The tax is 5% of the purchase price up to $6,000.00. Anything over $6,000.00 caps at $300.00 Casual Excise Tax fee. Please include this fee along with your transfer fee. If purchasing from a South Carolina permitted marine dealer taxes are collected by the dealer. If the boat and motor are purchased as a unit it is 5% of the total purchase price." Meaning that you would only have to pay $300 at most. If you need anymore information see http://www.dnr.sc.gov/boating/taxinfo.html or feel free to PM me as I have done extensive research on this.

Also, if you DO purchase the boat in Florida, you have a 30 day grace period to get the boat out of Florida and into the state that you wish to register it in (ie-pay the taxes in). If you can't get it out of Florida for whatever reason within 30 days, you can also purchase a 180 day extension for paying the tax, so long as you remove the boat from FL within that time frame. We know because we've just missed our deadline! We originally HAD planned to move our boat to Charleston for exactly that reason, but due to unforeseen repairs, we've had to stay here The slip fees from my research don't seem to be all that much more expensive up there...we pay around $10/ft plus $150 liveaboard fee a month at our marina here in St. Augustine.

Frank

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Last edited by StormBay; 11-08-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-08-2011 Thread Starter
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Hey- thank you for all the info, Frank. We knew about the sales tax in SC, and were pretty sure paying that would be best. We're looking all over the US for a boat, so depending on where it is (and at the moment, the right boat is more important than worrying too much about taxes), but slip fees are the next issue to think about. I haven't looked into NC yet, but will do so. I've exhausted Active-captain as far as Florida's Atlantic coast goes, but I was hoping someone had personal experience somewhere along there that wasn't documented on the web-site yet... ya never know. The most likely scenario is that we'll purchase a boat somewhere along the east coast or the gulf, then move it to wherever we finally decide on keeping it. The main priorities there would be a secure area and something reasonably priced-- $100-13/ft/month isn't too shabby... Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I guess!
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-08-2011
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marinas.com is the only other site I'm familiar with other than activecaptain. I'm not sure it will give you what you are looking for, but they have nice pics of the marinas.

Up to 4 years before you buy? That's a long time to research. I would caution that anything you learn today, might not remain the same by then.

Your OP reads like your primary motivation to keep her out of state is to save tax money. That can be done, but be sure to do it by the book and meet all requirements. Don't kid yourself that you might fly under the radar. From the sound of one of the above replies, you won't save much anyway. FL will want their sales/use tax from you if you call that home for the boat and I believe they collect it when you register. I believe they are also aggressive about patrolling marinas for those that don't volunteer.

Finally, traveling great distance to your boat can be a serious hassle. You will eventually have something you need to get there to deal with and can't afford the time for the roundtrip drive. If she is that far away, I'm certain you are going to be paying for a maintenance captain or paying the yard more fees to attend to more things for you. This I tell you from personal experience.


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post #7 of 12 Old 11-09-2011 Thread Starter
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Darn- I just received a PM about this from one of the members and I can't respond to it until I have > 15 posts... Guess I'd better crawl out from under the rock and get posting! Yeah, Minne- I'm starting to conclude that parking the boat down in Florida isn't such a good idea for exactly those reasons. Every time I go out on someone else's boat, I get excited to buy my own (and I know the costs and hassles of all of it)-- I'm just getting impatient. As my Dad has always told me, money tends to burn holes in my pockets! The best thing I ever did was marry the right girl, and she's kept me out of debt all these 20+ years- she'll never approve of a big mistake like that once we start crunching the numbers. This is still informational, and that's exactly what I was looking for. So, thank you!
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-09-2011
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Reynolds Park in Green Cove Springs, or GCSs marina itself. They are the same facility, but completely different arrangements.

It use to be where the mothball fleet was kept. A good hurricane marina with a short fetch in one direction only. Otherwise the boat sits lower than ground level at RPYC. We sat through 2 canes there while on the boat. It was pretty comfortable with winds over 90 knots.......i2f

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-09-2011
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If you are considering alternatives to Jax marinas, check out Brunswick Landing.

Pluses:
o Good rates.
o Deep water.
o Floating docks in good condition.
o Good wx protection.
o Much closer to Charleston.
o Decent facilities.
o Fuel.
o Plenty of shoreside ammenities within walking distance.
o Lots of cruisers hanging around.

Minuses:
o Pump out only at fuel dock (minor annoyance)
o A long way to open water (but still closer than Jax or GCS)
o Yard mechanics leave much to be desired.

Last edited by PorFin; 11-09-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
If you are considering alternatives to Jax marinas, check out Brunswick Landing.

Pluses:
o Good rates.
o Deep water.
o Floating docks in good condition.
o Good wx protection.
o Much closer to Charleston.
o Decent facilities.
o Fuel.
o Plenty of shoreside ammenities within walking distance.
o Lots of cruisers hanging around.

Minuses:
o Pump out only at fuel dock (minor annoyance)
o A long way to open water (but still closer than Jax or GCS)
o Yard mechanics leave much to be desired.
I second the above, my boat is there right now!
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