Monday, August 02, 2010


Here's another reason not to own a mega yacht!
I mostly sail alone but, others load up their boats with friends, family and other passengers. And some of the bigger yachts have hired help. The New York Times reported a cautionary tale that owners of boats registered outside of the U.S. had better sit up and take notice of:
The trip, with more than 15 relatives and friends, was supposed to be the high point of a weekend family reunion. But a few hours into the cruise, after what began as an apparently routine stop by a marine patrol of local and federal law enforcement officials, two passengers — a Guatemalan caterer hired for the day and Ms. Rich’s boyfriend, David Quinn, an Irishman who had worked for years as a horse-carriage driver in Central Park — were taken away on a police boat by federal immigration officials. Both men were illegal immigrants; they now face deportation.
The July 4 incident began about 1:30 p.m. when a boat operated by the Nassau County Police Department pulled alongside the 63-foot yacht as it entered Oyster Bay. On the police vessel were customs and Coast Guard officers, Officer Saleh said; he did not provide more details about the stop. The Nassau police said they were assisting Customs and Border Protection and referred all inquiries to that agency.
And here is the money quote from the article:
It is frustrating for those with foreign flags, said the manager of a luxury marina in the Hamptons, who insisted on anonymity to avoid offending any of his clients. But, he added, “They really can’t complain because the reason they’re foreign-flagged is to avoid paying taxes.”
BINGO!  Perhaps that foreign registration to avoid taxes won't be so enticing if it keeps inviting a visit from the Harbor patrol and  Federal Authorities during cocktail hour. Personally, I like flying the U.S. flag on the transom. But, of course I paid my taxes and that entitles me to do it. 

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