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Documentation in lieu of paying sales tax is a myth. If the boat is home ported or spends a majority of its time in a state which requires sales tax the tax man will come calling--sooner or later. If you move the boat to another taxing jurisdiction proof of payment of tax will be required upon registration. Documentation does not supplant registration in most states. Buy the boat in Rhode Island and home port it there as a suggestion.

Typical reasons for documentation are;
1) provides a clear chain of ownership
2) most bank''s, if providing financing,
will require documentation so that a
a clear title may be provided.
3) there are benefits to being a U.S.
documented vessel if traveling in
foreign waters.
In New England, most of the marinas are contacted on an annual basis by their respective taxing authorities, to provide a list of out of state boat owners and/or non state registered boats. This is typically followed up by a letter to the boat owner requesting proof of payment of sales tax. There is no free lunch!
 

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Those lawyers in Hartford are the same ones who were putting together tax shelters for boaters back in the 1970s & 80s and charging as high as 3500 to do it. I know from personal experience, what a sham and an expensive lesson!!
 
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