Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Any advantage/disadvantage to registering a boat in a particular state?
First, you have no choice but to register the boat in the State it's actually in. They all have rules that exempt you, if you're visiting for a short period. However, more than about a month and most require registration. Don't ever try to fake the system, but just claiming you're somewhere that you're not. John Kerry tried that last year and got caught. I understand Mass marinas are required to report long stay vessels and I've heard other States send inspector around to see who might owe them money.
If you have more than one State in which you are considering keeping your boat, let us know and some may know how to point you to the information you require.
You should also familiarize yourself with sales tax and use tax laws, in these competing States, as once you keep the boat there, these become factors too.
As general feedback, Rhode Island has no sales or use tax on boats. They do require you to register your boat and pay a bienniel fee. It starts as low as $32 every two years for boats up to 15 ft and climbs for 5ft of length, until you get to boats over 50ft paying $620 every two years. However, your boat better actually be here, if you try to avoid the sales tax.
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