||02-03-2007 07:38 AM
Our sailboat was federally documented with our home port being Boston, MA. However, we were outside the US for all but one year that we owned the boat, and never paid any state tax for it. Renewal of federal documentation is free.
Most states have a personal property tax on boats (I'm not sure what it's called in the various states, and not all states impose such a tax). If you lived in a house in the US you would have to pay property taxes. No property tax for a boat, but do you think that you shouldn't pay some sort of tax for your abode if you lived in the US somewhere on a boat? If you live outside the US on your boat, the only state that I know of that still charges a tax for the boat is California.
Can you title the boat in a different country? Yes, I believe you can. We know Americans who have their boat titled in Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, or American Samoa. And as Kirk said, Guam and the USVI. So, you do have options.