Gordon & Kate Nissen, Tortola, VGB asks:
We own N46 #4 ..Viking Star and are considering the idea of
registering the boat in the BVI.....we noticed that you are BVI
registered and were wondering about any issues when we get up to the
USA..we will be going up in June and plan to be there for an
indefinite period. We have heard that there are very severe
restrictions on Foreign flagged vessels when moving around up there.
Could we get your observations?...have you had any issues? Thanks for
any help or advice you can give. Hope all is well with your amazing
travels...it's been fascinating to check in to see where you are!
All the best
Gordon & Kate Nissen
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Gordon & Kate, We registered Egret in the BVI (Trident Trust, Road Harbour, Tortola) prior to our taking possession. We used a Ft Lauderdale based maritime attorney, Alley - Maas (Rob Maas) to form our offshore corporation. The corporation issues shares of which we own every share. We have no interest or money in the offshore corporation except its sole possession - Egret). The atty fees were $10,000. At the time maintenance fees were $650/year to maintain the corporation vs $1000 in the Grand Caymans. The fee is now $850/year. Prior to leaving the US 5 years ago (and not returning during the interim) having a foreign registered boat was a non issue either with the US Government or boat insurance. We would get a 1 year cruising permit for US waters. We were not required to advise of our whereabouts or check out when we left. We would apply for and receive a new cruising permit each time we returned from a foreign country, ie. Bahamas, Nova Scotia, etc. The cruising permit required we leave the US after a year to a foreign country before re-entering. No problem.
Since May 04 we have no idea what is happening so I think its best to check with similar folks who are in the States with foreign registry or do an internet search for US Government policy. Like you , we have heard horror stories from foreigners and US citizens with foreign flagged boats trying to cruise in US waters. I'm sorry we can't be of more help but our personal situation is old news and not current.