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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, im a German sailor and live in Germany. I want to buy a used sailboat in the United States. As im not familiar with buying a boat abroad, i need some help about taxes, insurance, and so on. Would be nice if you would share your experiences with me. Im looking for a boat range 22-27 feet like a cal22 up to a cape dory 27. Thanks to all in advance.
 

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Welcome. Will the boat stay in the US or be imported back to Germany? If going back to Germany, how quickly? If staying in the US, what general region?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want to import the boat to Germany. My intention is to buy until july and sail back to Germany as soon as possible.
 

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Every state is different. Almost like the different countries within Europe. I can tell you that if you buy a boat in Florida, and remove it from the state within 90 days, you will not have to pay any taxes.

As for insurance, that would depend on circumstances. Some marinas require you to have liability insurance. Others do not. If you borrow money to buy the boat it is likely that your lender will require insurance. There are no states in the U.S. that I know of, however, that require you by law to have insurance.

Good luck.
 

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denverdOn is right, most states have a limit as to when you must leave to avoid paying their sales/use tax. Some state a number of days specifically, others say immediately. The rest is going to be specific to Germany, where you will have to title the boat anyway.

While it's been done, sailing across the Atlantic in a 22-27 ft boat would be pretty unusual. Can't imagine why you wouldn't just buy a boat there.
 

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I believe you will have problems importing a boat into Germany without CE certification which can be done but will be extremely expensive.
 
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There will be BIG problems for you as soon as you hit an EU country. EG in the Azores you will be hit for VAT.

You will have MAJOR issues getting it certified for the EU. I know more about the UK version of certification but it will cost you a lot of money and may not even be possible.
 

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For such a small simple boat it can be done. I know a fella in Michigan that does CE certification and there are others online. Ball park around $2000US plus and then as TQA says you will get hit with VAT as soon as you hit EU waters.
 

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For such a small simple boat it can be done. I know a fella in Michigan that does CE certification and there are others online. Ball park around $2000US plus and then as TQA says you will get hit with VAT as soon as you hit EU waters.
That may work, but I read about someone who needed original specification paperwork from the manufacture to complete the importation, since Cal and Cape Dory have been out of business for a long time it may be hard to get. Seems you would be better off getting a boat where you are now. Prices look really low here, till you start adding up expenses. To get a small boat like you are talking about ready for a cross Atlantic voyage, will take quite some expense. Keep in mind these smaller boats have not been all that popular for quite a while, so many are in need of lots of deferred maintenance to be caught up on before it will be ready. Figure that you will need at least new sails, running rigging and standing rigging. Wiring will likely have to be redone to pass any inspection once there as well.

If you can't find a similar boat in Germany, there seems to be lots in the UK for similar prices to here. Likely easier to import and there seems a good small boat culture there so you might find one in good shape.
 

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For such a small simple boat it can be done. I know a fella in Michigan that does CE certification and there are others online. Ball park around $2000US plus and then as TQA says you will get hit with VAT as soon as you hit EU waters.
Who is this guy in michigan, do you have contact details?
 
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