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Old 03-18-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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With any luck I will complete my boat purchase next week... the next step then is of course getting it registered... She's in New Hampshire and I am thinking of registering her there since there are no taxes on boats in that state (unlike Kentucky which treats boats like cars and taxes you each year).... problem is I don't have a NH address...can you use a Marina address where you will be keeping the boat for a bit as an address??

What about annual registration requirements... I don't plan to stay in one place for more than a month at a time probably for the next 5 years or so... NH wants you to register each year... which sounds like a pain since I may only be in NH for a month every two years... if that...

Does anyone know of a way/place that keeps boat registration simple and cheap... preferably no taxes or fees and doesn't want you to register each year.... how do people doing circumnavs or who are out of country deal with this?

thanks,

J
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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As I recall, your boat was homebuilt--right? and the original owner is the fellow selling it to you? If this is so, it wouldn't be difficult (I think...) for you to have it USCG documented and then you'd just keep that up to date--free year to year as long as nothing changes. The boat can move around but your "home port" is the thing that doesn't change. To get a boat documented, you at a minimum have to show the USCG proof of ownership going back to when the boat was last documented or built (if never documented before).

NH is probably a good deal for you on the registration. They likely don't even care that you're not from there nor that you won't keep your boat there. We bought a boat in California, kept it registered in California (though we're not residents of CA) and the state of CA just sent the bill to our out-of-state (FL) address for payment. Our present boat was purchased in CA and is documented. Because we're in an inland boatyard--not on the water--we are exempt from CA boater use taxes however once we go back to the water (and that would even include a boat yard right on the water), we're subject to CA taxes if we stay here any length of time--even though we are not registered in CA--clear as mud, huh? I'm honestly not sure what that length of time is but assume 6 months or something like that. I think its only 3 months or so for the state of Florida--every state is different.

Where ever you keep a boat--whether or not it is USCG documented OR registered in a different state--you will likely have to pay state and local taxes for keeping your boat in the waters of the particular state. So, you won't be dodging use taxes and in some cases personal property taxes by having it registered in another state. In the Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC area its a little tricky. I know a fellow who resides in Virginia--a state with very high boating personal property/use taxes for boats used in VA waters. Well, lucky this fellow knows his history and geography because as it turns out, the Potomac River where he uses his boat (this river separates VA from MD and from DC) is legally Maryland (MD) not Virginia waters--so he got out of paying VA taxes which are very high by simply paying MD taxes which are more reasonable

You'll likely have to check out the tax requirements of each place you relocate to in order to ensure that you're paying what you're supposed to and not paying "double" to 2 states. Best of luck in it
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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Delaware's system may be easier - CLICK HERE
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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So if i get it USCG documented do I still have to register it in a state? .... If not that's definitely the way to go.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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US BOAT DOCUMENTATION :- HERE

The form cg1258 spells out the process of applying for an initial documentation and registration.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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US BOAT DOCUMENTATION :- HERE

The form cg1258 spells out the process of applying for an initial documentation and registration.
cheers, will do some reading .... and probably be back with more questions
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:51 AM   #7
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So if i get it USCG documented do I still have to register it in a state? .... If not that's definitely the way to go.
- - USCG Documentation and "State Registration" are two different things. USCG Documentation is necessary if you are going to use the boat outside the USA waters. See the mentioned websites for the procedures, they are not difficult.

- - "State Registration" of a vessel is similar to the automobile registration system and purpose. If you are going to use the boat inside the USA waters you need to register it with whatever state you find most convenient. Usually there is an annual fee that must be paid and in some states they require an initial "sales tax" or "user fee" on the value of the boat in addition. If you take the boat to another state the relevant officials will look for the "sticker" from your "home state" to prove that you have paid the appropriate taxes and fees (if any) in that state. Otherwise the state who "catches" you will want you to pay its taxes or fees. And an additional wrinkle is - just like automobiles - if you keep the boat in a "new" state for more than 90 consecutive days they will want you to pay a "user fee" and/or "re-register" the boat in the "new" state. The rational is that you are not a transient if you spend over 90 days in the "new" state and you must "pay" for the use of the "new" states waters.

- - If you keep the boat outside the USA waters then the "state registration" is not necessary, only the USCG Documentation must be kept current. However when you return to the USA waters you will have to obtain a "state registration" or be subject to taxes and fees by which ever state catches you in their waters. So pick a low cost state and keep the registration current each year is the simpliest method.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:40 PM   #8
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- - USCG Documentation and "State Registration" are two different things. USCG Documentation is necessary if you are going to use the boat outside the USA waters. See the mentioned websites for the procedures, they are not difficult.

- - "State Registration" of a vessel is similar to the automobile registration system and purpose. If you are going to use the boat inside the USA waters you need to register it with whatever state you find most convenient. Usually there is an annual fee that must be paid and in some states they require an initial "sales tax" or "user fee" on the value of the boat in addition. If you take the boat to another state the relevant officials will look for the "sticker" from your "home state" to prove that you have paid the appropriate taxes and fees (if any) in that state. Otherwise the state who "catches" you will want you to pay its taxes or fees. And an additional wrinkle is - just like automobiles - if you keep the boat in a "new" state for more than 90 consecutive days they will want you to pay a "user fee" and/or "re-register" the boat in the "new" state. The rational is that you are not a transient if you spend over 90 days in the "new" state and you must "pay" for the use of the "new" states waters.

- - If you keep the boat outside the USA waters then the "state registration" is not necessary, only the USCG Documentation must be kept current. However when you return to the USA waters you will have to obtain a "state registration" or be subject to taxes and fees by which ever state catches you in their waters. So pick a low cost state and keep the registration current each year is the simpliest method.
If you use the boat outside of the USA, you are not REQUIRED to have it documented--it is just a very good idea. Some boats cannot be documented for administrative reasons but yet those cruisers sail far and wide

If you use the boat in the USA, state registration is NOT required for USCG documented vessels. However, paying the appropriate state use taxes IS required in any state that you use the boat in. Period of time of use before use taxes or personal property taxes kick in vary by state.

You cannot bystep taxes by registering in a different state than you will be using the boat in, it is not legal nor is it ethical. But, I repeat--USCG documented vessels do not have to be state registered.

Registration and taxes are completely different animals.

Regards,

Brenda
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:11 PM   #9
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If you use the boat outside of the USA, you are not REQUIRED to have it documented--it is just a very good idea. Some boats cannot be documented for administrative reasons but yet those cruisers sail far and wide

If you use the boat in the USA, state registration is NOT required for USCG documented vessels. However, paying the appropriate state use taxes IS required in any state that you use the boat in. Period of time of use before use taxes or personal property taxes kick in vary by state.

You cannot bystep taxes by registering in a different state than you will be using the boat in, it is not legal nor is it ethical. But, I repeat--USCG documented vessels do not have to be state registered.

Registration and taxes are completely different animals.

Regards,

Brenda
** Yes, technically correct - but I use "registration" to mean going to the State office and filling out the forms and paying to appropriate fees, taxes, etc. You do not get State "numbers" from the State but you do get a "sticker" to prove that you have paid the taxes and/or fees. This "sticker" is what is necessary to prove that you have paid the appropriate fees/taxes and the "new" state cannot assess you their fees/taxes.

** As to USCG documentation, you will not be able to enter many foreign countries and islands without it. State registration is not recognized in some of the countries. Even though the USCG has a minimum size requirement for documentation, they will issue a documentation if you let them know the boat will be used outside the USA.

** The 90 day rule is pretty universal in most states - if you stay inside a State for 90 days or more they will want you to pay their fees/taxes. Under 90 days, they will be satisfied by seeing your "sticker" from your "home State" which also connotes that you have an address there - or - it is not really your "home State."
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:26 PM   #10
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** As to USCG documentation, you will not be able to enter many foreign countries and islands without it. State registration is not recognized in some of the countries. Even though the USCG has a minimum size requirement for documentation, they will issue a documentation if you let them know the boat will be used outside the USA.
I believe there are numerous cases in which you cannot document a boat--if you cannot show a clear abstract of owners, for example, you can't document it.

I've also heard the following but do not know the work-arounds for them:

1. If the boat was not built in the USA or given "special" status (example, the ketch Klang, built in the UK, was used during WWII by the Allied Forces, therefore it was given "special" status...which I think takes an Act of Congress...)

2. If the boat is under 5 or 6 tons (I'd heard there was a way around it...)

3. If the boat is owned by a non-US citizen. (e.g. you've got a green card and work/live in the USA, but aren't a citizen...)

Fair winds

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