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Actually there are three taxes paid on California boats, but normally you only have to worry about two of them, the sales tax and the annual property tax. Sales tax is due on the purchase, you can avoid it by taking an off shore purchase. The boat has to go out of the State for at least one year. There is an exception for repairs, and the boat is allowed to stop in the State for making repairs. But the use of the boat is limited while under repair to 25 hours on the engine.

The second tax is property tax, and that is assessed on the boat if the boat is moored or docked in California on January 1st. The State actually hires people to walk docks to check on boats.

Best bet, take an off shore delivery and head for Ensenada. They do great work there and you don't have to deal with the State.
 
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