We've decided to recharge the cruising kitty (i.e put some money in the bank for future cruising adventures). This wasn't in our plan, but then Kathy stumbled into a great job working for a start up bio tech company. Kathy will be traveling frequently for work and Seattle seemed a natural place for me to find work. Unfortunately, the state of Washington would like to collect 9.5% 'Use Tax' based on the fair market value of the boat simply for the privilege of keeping the boat in Washington waters. We thought we could find a way to avoid or moderate the tax, but have exhausted all avenues without success.
Moving on to 'Plan B' we looked at moving to British Columbia and perhaps obtaining Canadian Citizenship. The requite privileges of Canadian Citizenship such as long term health care, unencumbered ability to live and work in any of the Common Wealth counties were carefully considered. However, it would be a minimum of three years as permanent Canadian Residents to qualify for Citizenship and a hefty import tax on the boat of 14%. We really like the idea, but value our unconstrained flexible lifestyle too much for such a major commitment.
'Plan C' Oregon. No taxes on our boats and no long term commitment. The cons are State income tax and limited ability to actually use our boat as it will be 100 miles up the Columbia River in Portland and far from exciting cruising grounds in British Columbia.
We've decided on Oregon and the next big challenge is delivering the boat to Portland from Seattle. Not too many weather windows this time of year and lots of strong Southerly wind and big swell to complicate crossing the Columbia bar. Racing in the 'Round the County' race this weekend (Around the San Juan Islands) then will look for a window to make the hop to Oregon.