||06-01-2013 05:55 AM
Despite post #2 above, I am sure there will be good advice provided from people who have made the transition from Mexico to the US. For what it is worth, I was going to sail my boat up to San Diego from San Carlos to buy a heap of nautical goodies (to avoid the delays and import duty imposed at Nogales). However, I chose to ship bits direct and didn't make the trip.
However, I asked the crew at Marina Seca and they informed me that while some boats will transfer with little regard for official protocol, it was legally necessary to check out of Mexico (there are many clearance ports). At the end of the day you are sailing internationally and just as though you were sailing from the US to the Marquesas, you need to clear in, and out for quarantine, customs and immigration.
I guess the possible consequences could include penalties for illegal entry, other immigration breaches, breaches of customs laws, smuggling, and so much more which could invite fines, jail time and confiscation of your boat. Also, if you don't properly clear out, you may face some difficult questions if, in the future, you decide to re-enter Mexico.
Having said that, when travelling through the border at Nogales, I had to plead with Mexican officials to provide me with a visa as I told them I was sailing out of Mexico, not returning to the US. Although when I returned to the US briefly (before I had secured a visa on my second entry), I had no trouble going back in by road.
The best bet is to go and see the local Port Captain and ask his advice. While I understand your TIP is still valid, I don't know if its validity is voided when you clear out.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I am sure more qualified advice will be forthcoming.