We're long time readers but first-time forum posters!
We're Australians who worked in the US a couple of years ago and are looking to return next year to buy a yacht and spend three or four years sailing it home with the kids through the Caribbean and the South Pacific!
Our question is regarding boat registration. We intend to purchase on the US East Coast so we expect to buy a US-registered boat. Are we able to simply change the registration into our names, sail home, and re-register in Australia? I understand that as non-US citizens we can't get USCG registration, but can we get State registration, and maintain this until we get home? Or do we have to do something crazy like go down to the Turks and get 'registration of convenience' for a few years?
Advice from those who have done it before appreciated.
Hi. I have recently purchased a US flagged boat in the US. I recommend you apply for Australian registration as soon as you make the purchase. If you send an email inquiry to AMSA (attn: Peter Blake) you will receive all the necessary advice to make the change from US to Oz rego. It is painless, relatively quick and easy and AMSA are extremely helpful. You will need the former owner to provide a certificate from the USCG removing the vessel from the American Registry as a precondition to the sale.
If you register the boat as an Australian ship you will see many benefits. The biggest benefit is that you will be able to claim part of the cost of sailing the boat home to Oz against the relatively low import tax, as a legitimate delivery cost.
Both AMSA (Australian Marine Safety Authority) and Customs will very efficiently answer all of your email inquiries and, it must be said, although a little slower the USCG is equally forthcoming when dealing with US citizens who are negotiating the international sale of their boat.
By changing the registration to Oz, you will also find, during the process, that you will have unencumbered title with no possibility that any hidden third party will emerge in the future to lay claim to your vessel.
Last edited by AuzzeeDave; 02-01-2013 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Because I goofed!
Thanks so much for your detailed response. We didn't think we would be able to get Australian rego before getting back here, as we assumed we'd need an inspection first. Great to hear that AMSA is so helpful and easy to deal with. Thanks again mate.