There comes a time in the lives of successful people when they have decisions to make about using resources. For many, the answer is a choice that can enhance the lifestyles of their families and at the same time offer distinct financial advantages!
I’m talking about acquiring a boat, one that’s big enough that it can serve as a second home, a floating office, a luxurious travel option, or all three. In short, a yacht.
As with any boat, this is an investment in a particular lifestyle that’s available only on the water. Here, in the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach area, we are blessed with uniquely beautiful destinations that are readily accessible on the Intracoastal Waterway, the Cape Fear River, or the open sea, within just a few hours of convenient full-service marinas.
What sets the biggest boats apart is that they incorporate the comforts of home, with well-appointed spaces for dining, entertaining, sleeping, relaxing – and doing business.
A valuable benefit for the owner is that a yacht can be used as a second home, thus qualifying for the same tax deduction on interest that applies to a real-estate mortgage. If the vessel has the amenities needed to live aboard, even for a fairly short time, it qualifies for that deduction. A permanent galley (that’s the kitchen for you landlubbers), toilet facilities and at least one bed are minimum requirements to meet the IRS standard that the boat is “reasonably” livable.
The tax rules don’t specify how frequently the boat must be used as a living space. That’s entirely up to the owner. But when it does serve as a vacation condo, a big boat offers some unique benefits. First of these is the unparalleled views and atmosphere that come with this ultimate version of waterfront living. Those views can be different every day if the owner chooses.
Socializing with fellow yacht-owners can be great fun, and in fact we organize regular social gatherings and Getaways!® for our clients. These events range from just a few hours for “Docktail Parties” and day excursions to extended trips that may last a week or longer. We have more information about these events on the MarineMax website.
The term “yacht,” of course, typically brings up images of a 75-foot vessel with a professional captain, and possibly other crew, too. But the yachting lifestyle can be enjoyed in a boat as small as a 26-foot cabin cruiser, which offers plenty of amenities for leisure and travel.
The longer the trip, and the more time spent aboard, the bigger the boat should be for maximum comfort. Larger yachts, which are most suitable for long-distance travel, get wider as they get longer and require special skills in handling. That’s a reason that the biggest boats’ owners should consider hiring at least a part-time captain. Having a professional at the helm also frees the owner to relax, socialize or work while the vessel is under way.
Some owners include a chef as part of the crew, if fine dining and entertaining are part of their preferred lifestyles afloat.
And speaking of entertaining, if you are accustomed to wining and dining potential clients in a restaurant or club on shore, you can also do so aboard your yacht. Likewise, the vessel can serve as a floating, movable office.
We have a number of clients who conduct all their business from their yachts rather than incur the expense of a shore-bound office. Bringing the office – and your home – with you when you travel has certain advantages over packing up and lugging a laptop wherever you go!
For our clients with larger boats, we help to expedite some truly exciting group trips. Each year, for example, we organize and lead a voyage to the Bahamas. We take care of all the logistics that surround a trip of this magnitude, which allows our customers to relax and enjoy the water. We also help arrange activities and evening dining choices to match our participants’ desires.
Luxurious living and unparalleled social and travel opportunities, all close to nature, are essential elements of the yachting lifestyle.
Thom Cross is the general manager of MarineMaxWrightsville Beach. Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and services as well as provides yacht brokerage and charter services. For more information, visit www.marinemax.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarineMaxWrightsvilleBeach or call 910-256-8100.
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