Keeping a boat in the US

Oscarpop

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Can anyone shed light on how long we can keep our boat in the U.S.?

We have our B2 visas, so I know we can stay in person for 6 months.
However can we leave the boat for longer , so long as we remove ourselves from US soil?

Just trying to work out how to plan for hurricaine season next year.

Cheers
 

TQA

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Assuming the boat is above 30ft loa apply for the optional cruising permit. This is good for one year. After that you must leave US water and visit another country, usually Bahamas or Mexico [ not Cuba although this will change ] after 15 days you can return and get another 1 year permit. As far as I know this can be repeated indefinitely. There are cruisers who have renewed their permit with leaving, it seems likely that this was done by an official who did not understand the rules.

Without the permit you have to apply for a 'permission to move' every time you go anywhere. $36 a pop.

MAJOR CAVEAT The authorities who administer this and those that control the movements of non US boats are often at odds over the interpretation and application of these rules. Check with Noonsite and if possible get a current view on them in writing from the official that issues your cruising permit.

I am assuming you are thinking of Florida or maybe California. If you are planning further North on the West coast life gets more complex and expensive.
 

BobnLesley

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As TQA states you'll get 'up to six months' but the boat can stay twelve.

Regarding applying 'for the optional cruising permit'; if you're on the 'approved list' nationality wise (British is on the list) you can obtain a cruising 'Licence' rather than 'permit' which is far less restrictive/onerous when it comes to reporting your 'coastal movements' as you move around the US - you just need to phone them up.
When planning your dates for entry/exit, do be aware that if you visit and get stamped into USVIs or Puerto Rico and go from there directly to the USA, the clock on your visa will be ticking from that initial entry, you will not get a new visa when you reach the mainland. Similarly, if you visit Puerto Rico (the USVIs doesn't issue them) you will be issued with your Cruising Licence there and once again, the clock on its twelve month validity is running.
 
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