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Old 10-07-2016, 03:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
Home Port: Zarcero
Posts: 42
Default Changing Country of Registry

I am a US citizen and am currently negotiating the purchase of a sailboat registered in the Netherlands.

I found a site that says I can keep that flag of registry without being a EU citizen. I have sent them an email for more information. Selling this service is their business, so I am asking for anyone who has experience with this for advice.

My preference would be to have it be a US flagged vessel, but I know that many ships and yachts are flagged in different countries for various reasons. This is mostly tax avoidance and I'm not talking a super yacht here.

The boat is a Cape Dory 28.

Do any of you have a vessel that is flagged in a country other that that of your citizenship? Has there been any downside?

I appreciate any help.


Tom Bunker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2016, 10:04 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2016
Home Port: Royston
Posts: 130

I saw a lot of small power boats in Mexico with Grand Cayman as their home port ,owned by US citizens. The Marshall Islands is another one, with easy access to the US.

Brent Swain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 08:34 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2014
Home Port: Ballina
Vessel Name: Rondo III
Posts: 6

For what its worth, Tom, I (Australian) used to own and run a British registered ship through Australia. Used to get much more interest from Customs, who severely discouraged coastal cruising (duty was more of a problem then) but no sense of doing anything wrong. My feeling is that the ship (like a corporation) has an identity and nationality of its own - and the owner is a separate entity. But the US is funny about these sort of issues!
L'ete Indienne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2015
Home Port: Zarcero
Posts: 42

I think I have a handle on this.

I could keep the Dutch registry, but I don't like the method. It would involve forming a UK corporation and then using a company that would provide it with an address in Holland. This may be sort of legal, but does't sound simple to me.

I checked with the USCG and a hull number search found that the boat was never documented with them. I will have the seller remove the boat from Dutch registry. Then, i can register it where I want. I want to do it in the U.S.

I'm getting closer to owning another sailboat. It's God's way of saying that I shouldn't die with money in the bank.
Tom Bunker is offline   Reply With Quote

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