Southwest Florida Yachts


Float Your Vacation Home

by Barb Hansen
November  2007

I just opened my property tax bill. Yikes!

You've heard about Florida's sky-high property taxes? Alas, it's true. Tallahassee even called a special session to try to lower property taxes. State legislators (Motto: You shake the trees--We rake the leaves) don't get much practice lowering taxes so they're not very good at it.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that this year the cost of living has flown off the charts.  It's not only higher property taxes and insurance rates, it's the electric bill and the weekly trip to the grocery store where the bottom line on the register receipt looks like the national debt.

Even the airlines are rubbing salt into our checkbook wounds. When you try to book a flight with your frequent flyer miles, they tell you there are no seats available. ("But, sir, I'm calling for reservations two years from now.")

It's the high property taxes that rankle the most. Which brings me to the point of this essay.

The best home deal in the state of Florida is probably a boat.

Think about it. Liveaboard boat owners don't pay property taxes. They pay a monthly fee to the marina to keep the boat in the slip and to stay hooked up to fresh water and electric. That's just about it.

Please promise me you will not tell our elected officials. If you do, sure as shooting they will raise taxes on boats and marine services. Does anybody remember the disastrous consequences of the Luxury Tax?

Richard and Suzy Koths live in Michigan but their second home is a 42-foot boat in Florida. They keep Final Sea-Lection with the Southwest Florida Yachts charter fleet and live on it when they visit. When the Koths retire, they'll already have their winter home at a marina where the water never freezes. Putting their vessel in the charter fleet even helps pay for their home away from home.

Liveaboard vessels also make great vacation rental homes for a week or so. They are certainly a lot less expensive than those resorts where every meal comes with a big bill and a wait person who seems to like to say "great choice" and "awesome." 

You'll keep reaching deep to tip the pool boy and pay for the beach cabana and kids' activities.  And don't forget the extras you discover on the final bill which they slip under your door while you're sleeping.

There is no pool boy to tip on a charter boat. You can cook aboard, fish, read or putt-putt the dinghy over to a deserted key so the kids can hunt for treasure. If you feel like it, you can put out a line, catch a fish and cook it for dinner.

But the biggest advantage to living aboard and vacationing aboard may be the fact that every day your vessel brings you at least two of the essentials of a satisfying life – rest and relaxation. Some would add another of life's essentials – romance – to this list.

Come to think of it, when you're on a boat two more necessities of life, sleep and sustenance, seem more satisfying than ever. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taste especially good when you and yours are up on the fly bridge with wind and smiles on your faces.

Click here to visit out Sailing School website!

Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

©1989, 1999 Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This website contains
original copyrighted graphic and textual material created and owned by Southwest Florida Yachts., Inc.
Reproduction and other use of this material without the express written consent of Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc. is prohibited.