-So what do you do when you are out in open deep water on route to somewhere and decide to just spend the night and resume sailing in the morning? How do you prevent drifting if water is 200 ft deep (no anchoring I suppose)?
BOAT US and some of the other organizations have banded together and they are in the process of placing FLOATING DEEP WATER marinas at various locations between New England/Bermuda and the Caribbean.
COOL!. No more sailing round the clock w/ your crew doing 4hours on/ 4 hours off, waking at 0200 or 0400 for your turn on the wheel.
Now, seriously, um. if you're going offshore, you're sailing round the clock unless you decide to heave to and catch a little rest. Most folks would only do that if they had a particular reason for not making progress (like heaving to so they can make an approach to a harbor in daylight)
-When sailing into the caribbean islands, what is the procedure for immigration purposes? Do you call in coast guard and "check in"? what is the procedure? IS there a fee for simply entering their waters (Bahamas and BVI/UVI)?
You clear in through customs/immigration just like you would when flying there. Check the website for each country to find out particulars.
If you're sailing THROUGH their waters, you should not have any issues. Only comes into play if you stop or are doing something illegal.
And don't sail through Cuban waters!
-Finally, when purchasing a boat, is there a sell tax like purchasing a car? What does that run typically (%)? Do most people simply finance large boat purchases or is it pretty common to simply plunk down a wad of cash for it? I am guessing when you are talking >$100K you are likely financing. What are the terms typically found (Years financed, typical interest rates, etc)?
No one size fits all answer. I would do a search of SAILNET to see if you can find the answer to a particular part of that question. Also read SAILINGDOGS Thread for Newbies...