Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally. - SailNet Community

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Old 01-23-2013
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Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Who knew? Better read this if you are from one of the several states like Maine that do not have a separate state registration process for documented vessels:

Cruiser's Net » Archive » Important – Florida Boat Registration Questions Answered

Hundreds of cruisers are down there now subject to fines from whatever cracker jackboot local cop wants to justify his running around in the homeland security funded speedboat instead of driving around in a cruiser dealing with real crime.

People have already been ticketed.

Don't bother mentioning the Sojourner's Permit. You have to meet the same requirements to get it and have a Florida Street address. They want everyone boating there to be renting or owning property; not just cruising through. Sure, you can probably use a marina address but that's part of the deal. If you hadn't planned on staying in any marinas or don't have a friend who will let you use their address, good luck.

Unless you are from a state like Maryland, you have to register your documented vessel in advance before entering Florida to not be at risk of being fined. Federal Documentation is good enough for foreign countries but not for Florida.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Guess I won't be visiting Florida any time soon. Not in my own boat anyway.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

for once I am Glad NJ has registrations
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

how about cars on florida highways ? i was going to drive there in april. will they be giving you a fine for being on their roads without a permit next ? i guess they don't want tourists.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Seems like a pretty small price to pay to have fun in the sun for the winter.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Anyone who wishes could get this cr*p thrown out under several Federal laws regarding interstate free trade, blah, blah, blah; but who's gonna challenge these laws and take the time and expense to get them thrown out? So Fla gets away with all this and we get screwed.
I gave up on Fla in 2004. Had a sportfishing/diving business (I lived aboard) in the Keys and was doing OK. New laws ("ecological" they called them, but revenue was the truth), a National Marine Sanctuary with no money for enforcement and a greedy, untrustworthy service industry soured me on Fla completely. Pump out laws w/ no pump out stations, midnight boardings by the FMP and a general unfriendliness by municipalities also contribute to making Fla a boat unfriendly state.
It's not even a very good state for sailing. The west coast is very shallow far offshore, creating some horrendous conditions in winter fronts and summer squalls and the Keys are generally too shallow for comfortable sailing. The east coast has some very dangerous inlets, unfriendly municipalities for cruisers and the gulf stream is an ever present potential for a really unpleasant day on the water.
If you want to live aboard without the hassles, give Fla a pass; head directly for the Bahamas and the Caribbean and get into the real "island lifestyle".
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Florida state registration is going to be well under $200 per year for the average cruiser. I have never been able to figure out why people who will spend tens of thousands of dollars buying a boat (maybe hundreds of thousands), and then more thousands every year maintaining it, get so worked up over the cost of state registration, which probably amounts to considerably less than what you spend at restaurants every couple of months.

Now, having said that, it's silly that there isn't at least some grace period. That's something that should be fixed. Of course, that sort of fix is going to be pretty far down on the priority list for most Florida legislators. Perhaps BoatUS, or some other organization, could be encouraged to do some lobbying to make the change needed?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Ah, Florida and their money grabbing schemes. We lived there for 26 years, and may go back. Two schemes come to mind, one was charging people a fee to register their cars from another state. The fee was a catch up fee, since the residents of Fl had been paying for so long to build and maintain roads then new comers should help out and pay some into that pot. The other was a rainwater tax passed by the city of Palm Bay. At that time we owned land in Palm Bay and received a bill from the city. Didn't pay it, the tax was struck down and the lawyer kept most of the money that people had paid in.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

you said;
"Unless you are from a state like Maryland, you have to register your documented vessel in advance before entering Florida to not be at risk of being fined. Federal Documentation is good enough for foreign countries but not for Florida."

I'm registered in MD. Does that mean that FL is reciprocal w/MD ? Or did you mean only for Fedreally Documented boats?"?

I'm a noob and confused
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Many cruisers with documented vessels can not enter FL legally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Florida state registration is going to be well under $200 per year for the average cruiser. I have never been able to figure out why people who will spend tens of thousands of dollars buying a boat (maybe hundreds of thousands), and then more thousands every year maintaining it, get so worked up over the cost of state registration, which probably amounts to considerably less than what you spend at restaurants every couple of months.

Now, having said that, it's silly that there isn't at least some grace period. That's something that should be fixed. Of course, that sort of fix is going to be pretty far down on the priority list for most Florida legislators. Perhaps BoatUS, or some other organization, could be encouraged to do some lobbying to make the change needed?
It just isn't the less than $200 registration fee, one must also pay sales tax of 6% minus any sales tax one paid to another state when the boat was bought.
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