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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 02-22-2008
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Question Living Aboard in NY 2...

Just wondering if you liveaboards in the Big Apple can help me out....
My job has moved me from Chicago to Long Island, NY. So....with the cost of rent in NY being as high as it is, I was considering living aboard my Cal 27. Its not ideal nor a great setup for a liveaboard, but it can definately be done. My question is, once I get it to NY what challenges will I be facing? Friends of mine tell me of a luxury tax that I need to pay, extremely high marina fees, etc. Also, I hear some marinas allow liveaboards all year long. Does anyone know if they have showers and bathrooms available during the winter? How is payment done? Month by month or do you need to pay all up front.
What marinas should I contact?


-Nick
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Old 02-22-2008
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I'm in New Jersey and I have to pay in full up front by the beginning of the season. Cal 27 is a rather small boat to live on. Maybe look for a bigger boat and save money getting the boat to New York.
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Old 02-22-2008
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Nick, to put it in local terms, if you are moving to LI you will be in NY but you won't be in NY at all. Since Long Island (part of which is in NYC and part of which was once part of NYC, although neither wises to admit this) is "in" NY about the same way that Wheaton is "in" Chicago......

Where you plan to commute to is going to make a difference in where it is practical to keep a boat. Despite our rash of warm winters, it was not unusual for major parts of the local waterways to freeze up in the winter, that's one reason liveaboards are not common here. The few places where you can tend to be tucked into odd corners.

And, did you get your visa yet? Our annual quota on mainlanders coming out for 2008 is already filled, if you don't have a visa they won't let you on the island. [vbg]

Seriously though...NY/LI wx can be brutal, in July and August air conditioning for the combined heat and humidity is not optional. Temps from November to April can range from the 70's down to the sub-teens, you will get a mix of those that has only become more erratic in recent years. Nothing like the nasty lake winds you get in Chicago, but enough to make living on a small sailboat something to really think over.

Marinas here take payments the same way they do pretty much everywhere in the US: Up front, by the month, or the annual or "seasonal" contract for the discount rates. There is no "luxury tax" but you will pay sales and income taxes, and once your boat has been in the navigable waters of NY for 90 days, on the 91st day it had better be locally registered with any applicable taxes paid, or it is subject to arrest. Tax men in the Northeast in general tend to be humourless fellows. Your income tax rates will also be radically different depending on whether you reside in NYC, LI, or other parts of NY.
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Old 02-22-2008
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Nick...LI is 120 miles long. Where will you be working?
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Old 02-22-2008
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A slight correction on Hellsailor's excellent post. Once you become a resident of NY, sales tax is due and payable within 24 hours of your boat entering NY waters. If you've already paid sales tax in another state, it will be credited against the sales tax you have to pay for NY. Sales tax is a one time event per ownership transfer.
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"Once you become a resident of NY, sales tax is due and payable within 24 hours of your boat entering NY waters. "
That could hurt, since IIRC NYS declares you to be both a resident and a citizen (of the state) after a mere 30 days here, if you have made any declaration or shown any intent of residency. But it would be USE TAX, not sales tax, and it would not be demanded until the boat was registered.
I dug into that with the NYSDTF folks, and the NYSDMV folks, and if a powered boat is in the state, it doesn't need to be registered here until it has been "in the navigable waters" for more than 90 contiguous days. No registration? Then you're on the honor system for paying use tax, and it is unheard of for anyone to accept that honor of paying that tax unless they have to.

OTOH, if you're between the ages of 18 and 45 and you become a state resident, under the State Military Laws you are also responsible to serve on active duty in the State Militia (that portion known as the "unorganized Guard") at the discretion of the Governor, when and if he needs to activate it. Hasn't happened in a very long time--but that's an obligation on male residents here, too. The Brits are no issue, the Indians more problematic (there are some major land issues), and we've never formally condoned the Vermont Cecession, Vermont being part of NYS that ceceeded back before "America" was formed. (It was simply allowed to happen, as the land wasn't worth much and Ethan Allen & Co. swore to make it a very bloody fight.)
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Yeah... I can state without hesitation the 24 hour law, unfortunately. I thought it was 90 days too, until I got an interest and penalty statement from NYS Tax and Finance. I tried to fight it, they brought out the portions of the tax code that were relevant and they were very specific about the 24 hours. They are almost impossible to find on the Internet. On the other hand, we were able to get them to waive the penalty...
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Old 02-26-2008
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So far, all I know is that I'll be working in Garden City on Long Island. I'm still trying to find marinas without much luck. I also looked at what it would cost to move the boat...$2800. The boat in the condition its in is worth approximately 10K (my guess). Engine, sails, tiller pilot, everything is perfect on it with the exception of some cosmetic blemishes on the fiberglass and the need of a paint job. I'm trying to figure out what the tax on this thing would be. I paid tax on it when I bought it in Chicago. How much more do I pay in NY? Its Coast Guard registered, does this matter?
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Old 02-26-2008
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Your boat is not USCG registered, registration is a state motor vehicle process. The fact that it may be USCG documented will not affect your need to pay state registration fees and use tax.

You need to contact two New York state departments to get answers. The Dept. of Taxation and Finance, 1-800-225-5829; fax 1-800-748-3676
www.tax.state.ny.us who will now be in charge of collecting taxes including use tax from you, if any is due.

And the NYS DMV, who are in charge of registering your boat and collected associated fees, included any use taxes that may be due in lieu of sales tax. Depending on when you bought the boat and how long you have owned it--you may have to pay the difference between the Chicago sales tax rate, and the local rate in New York. (That varies by city and county, expect a little under 9% in the LI area.) They'll tell the specific time periods. 1-800-call-dmv or www.nydmv.state.ny.us/ where the answers may be online, someplace.

There are no marinas in Garden City. With a car, your only practical commute may be Capri or someplace else in Port Washington, unless you find someplace on the south shore (north shore of the Great South Bay, south shore of Long Island) where the water can be quite thin. Without a car...there's no good way to get into Garden City. Heading the other way, you might find something in Oyster Bay, north and east of where you will be.

And, you'll pay $75 for a 3-year state registration. The good news is that both the DMV and the tax people often do a very good job on the phones (or by email) and they can probably get you the right answers within the hour.
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Culinary...you're kind of in no man's land since all the close north shore marinas are in "gold coast" country where there are waiting lists for slips and no "livaboard riff-raff" allowed. You might find some marinas in Brooklyn willing to deal with you but that is a long drive to not so great sailing grounds.
I don't think ANY marina on the north shore is going to tell you that they accept liveaboards...though my guess is a few do. If you are determined to live aboard, I would suggest getting a car and driving around to all the north shore harbors and marinas and having face to face discussions with the owners. I would forget Manhasset and Port Washington Harbors...and focus on Glen Cove, Oyster Bay, Northport and (if you're up for a long commute) Port Jefferson. Marinas.com can give you the marinas and phone numbers and directions to the various sites in these towns...or pick up a copy of Dozier's ICW Guide Northern edition.
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