Learning the HARD way...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
Thanked 320 Times in 311 Posts
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Part of the reason that the broker receives his commission is that he knows the answers to these questions.
In this case, it seems that you have the option of transferring title in international water (which means that you have to figure out the logistics), paying the full sales tax, cancelling the deal, or use a broker.
If you investigate using a broker, I believe that you could arrange with a local brokers, for a reasonable fee (say 2-3% of a realistic sale price for this vessel), to handle the transaction. You should be upfront and tell the broker why you are doing this. Your position to the broker is that you have already lined up the seller and buyer, and there will be no effort required on the broker's behalf other than handling the paperwork. If the first broker doesn't agree, then the second one will.
This requirement is a bone thrown to the brokerage community by the Florida Tax Collectors (or more likely the legislature), to help these guys stay in business. Like it or not, brokers do preform a useful service.
You should be happy that you are getting a good deal on a boat.