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Photos of the Day: Rolex Big Boat Series

September 18 - San Francisco Bay

Phantom Mist goes sideways. They were one of many.

The 2006 Rolex Big Boat Series ended yesterday in spectacular manner as 90 boats in 8 divisions completed the four-day series with the traditional Bay tour race under sunny skies and moderate breeze. When the spray had settled, the final tallies for the 7-race, no-throwout series showed a few runaway wins, as well as a few hard-fought ones where victory was decided - literally - in a matter of inches.

Charge of the J Brigade

The stats for this year will also include one dismasting, one crewman on injured reserve, a grounding right in front of the hosting St. Francis YC, countless shredded sails, countless broaches, multiple lead changes in some classes - in every race, glorious weather, and miles of smiles even aboard the tail-end boats. All in all, even without the 'glam' boats, this 'little' Big Boat Series was one of the most epic we can remember. Look for the complete story in our upcoming October issue. Until then, congratulations to the following class winners:

IRC A: Morpheus, Schumacher 50, Jim Gregory
IRC B: Scorpio, Wylie 42, John Siegel
IRC C: Tupelo Honey, Gerard Sheridan
Sydney 38: Copernicus, Michael and Kate Kennedy
J/120: Mr. Magoo, Steve Madeira
1D-35: Double Trouble, Andy Costello
Express 37: Stewball, Caleb Everett
J/105: Good Timin', Chris Perkins

Morpheus on her way to winning IRC A.

Complete results can be found at www.stfyc.com.

- latitude / jr

Doing the bow boogie. There were lots more 'bow babes' this year compared to the past.

Dodging 'movable obstacles' was part of the fun.
Photos Latitude/JR

Hurricane Lane Soaks Mazatlan

September 18 - Mazatlan, Mexico

Thanks to a turn to the northeast, Hurricane Lane saved La Paz from getting whacked by a second hurricane in one month, but it gave Mazatlan its closest call in 31 years. Antonia Cevallos of Marina Mazatlan reports they only had about 40 to 50 knots of wind, and there was no real damage to boats, just ripped tarps. The most damage was caused by the tremendous rain, which made the creek that runs through much of the city flood. But nobody in Mazatlan was killed. The eye of the hurricane made landfall further to the north, where the damage was much more extensive.

If you're looking for a place to go - or perhaps leave your boat - after the Baja Ha-Ha, we'll remind you that Marina Mazatlan has some of the best long term rates in Mexico. For 40-footers staying for 90 days, it's just $360/month, the 15% tax included. Cevallos says the prices will be going up slightly at the start of the season, but that they will have room to accommodate just about everyone.

Marina Mazatlan
Photo Latitude/Richard

Not sure of what to do after the Ha-Ha? Check out the feature story on that subject in the October issue of Latitude 38, which will be out on Friday, September 29.

- latitude / rs

What Taxes Are Due When Buying a Used Boat?

September 18 - Sacramento

"I'm about to buy a used boat that's been advertised in Latitude 38, and I'm confused about what sales tax I'll owe," writes Bill Coplin. "Can you point me to a good source for the correct information? I Googled the question and apparently there is only a 'casual excise tax' or 'casual use tax' of 5% of the sale price to a maximum of $300. The excise tax we hear so much about doesn't seem to apply to resales, only new boats."

Unfortunately, Bill, nothing could be further from the truth. When buying a boat you're either going to pay sales tax or use tax. You pay sales tax when you buy from a dealer and he collects it, you pay use tax when you buy from a private party, and it's your responsibility to fork it over by the end of the month following the month you purchased the boat.

No matter which tax you have to pay, the rate is the same - although it varies for cities and counties where the boat will be kept. Figure on between 7.25% to 8.75%. The state knows you owe the tax because it gets that information from either the DMV or Coast Guard, depending on how you register your boat.

The only way to avoid the tax is to take possession and use the boat out of the state for more than one year - which is why marinas in Mexico are so full and marina owners in Mexico are so happy with the California Legislature. For prior to '04, boats only had to be kept out of California for 90 days before they could be brought back to the state tax free. Now they have to stay in Mexico four times as long. For folks buying really expensive boats, the nearly 10% 'discount' for keeping a boat in the wonderful waters of Mexico - or Canada - for a year is very tempting.

For a very clear explanation of taxes owed on boats in California, visit www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/faqtrans.htm. Whoever was responsible for putting that site together did a very nice job.

- latitude / rs

When Dad Goes Out on a Limb . . .

September 18 - French Polynesia

. . . what better place would there be to do it than French Polynesia?

The dad in this photo is Chay McWilliam of the San Diego-based Kelly-Peterson 46 Esprit. We hope son Jaime was suitably impressed.

- latitude / rs

Barient Winch Parts Are Still Available

September 18 - Portland, OR

"Having seen the photo of Cipango's worn-through Barient 33 winch," writes Alison Mazon of A. Mazon & Associates, Marine Surveyors, in Portland, "I'd like to pass along the word that many Barient winch parts are still available through the Australian Winch Company. I don't know if they have the drum Cipango needs, but they might. I've found dealing with them in Australia to be as easy and as fast as dealing with any U.S. company."

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