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World’s Yacht Capital in 2023, the Best Countries for Registration of Boats and Popular Marinas of Europe

The first yachting capital was the Netherlands where this sport/entertainment was created in the 16th century. The yacht of those times initially looked like a light maneuverable boat that allowed you to freely escape from the pursuit of pirates, and later became the prototype of modern yachts for participation in regattas and cruises, and used for private recreation.

Fort Lauderdale

In the 21st century, Fort Lauderdale, a city in the state of Florida (USA), is recognized as the capital of yachting. This name is well deserved as Fort Lauderdale is home to more than 45,000 yachts, and it annually hosts the largest boat show in the world called Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

However, there are other famous marinas in addition to Fort Lauderdale where wealthy foreigners moor their boats on the pier and also choose berths not just for temporary rest but as a permanent place of stay in the country of yacht registration. And they choose to register their yachts outside Fort Lauderdale.

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How to register a yacht or a boat quickly and safely in 2023? You will get an answer at a personal consultation with the experts of our portal, and they will also provide services related to the registration of an offshore company and relevant documents required to own yachts.


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Why Fort Lauderdale is the World’s Yacht Capital

Fort Lauderdale is a resort town, an administrative part of the state of Florida, USA. It is geographically located 37 km from Miami on the Atlantic coast. The large number of canals in Fort Lauderdale makes people compare it to Venice, and its mild climate and magnificent marinas have become a favorite place for owners of yachts and boats.

Fort Lauderdale also retains the title of the sailing capital and the hub where the best boats and yachts that arrive at the port from different parts of the world are exhibited for everyone to see. Today, Fort Lauderdale is recognized as the world’s yachting capital for a number of reasons:

  • Fort Lauderdale has more than 300 miles of inland waterways, 165 of which are within the city limits. This allows the owners of boats and yachts to go on a free voyage through the vast expanses of oceans and seas merged into a single whole.
  • Fort Lauderdale has more than 50,000 boats, catamarans, and yachts of various configurations – from large superyachts to kayaks, from luxury world-class ships to private boats. Some ships are registered at the official level, while some yachts are moored during rest, holidays, or a pleasure cruise around different countries.
  • More than 2,000 giant yachts pass through the city of Fort Lauderdale every year, and many of them stop here for the winter on their way to the Caribbean Sea. Boat owners do the same when they leave the Caribbean. Since Fort Lauderdale has several marinas for superyachts and shipyards for servicing ships, wintering in Florida is the most profitable option for most of them.
  • Fort Lauderdale is home to the maritime industry. It is recognized as the world yachting capital as Fort Lauderdale has a well-developed maritime business due to the number of marinas and the maintenance of ships. This includes retail and wholesale trade, yacht brokers, service companies, equipment production, repair and maintenance services, etc. Taken together, this brings significant profits to Broward County (reaching $10 billion).

The maritime industry in Fort Lauderdale ranks second after tourism in terms of size and income.

  • For more than 60 years, Fort Lauderdale has hosted the world’s largest shows of yachts and boats on the water. The international boat show took place here in 2022 and is scheduled for October 2023. During the holiday, ships from around the world (more than 50) arrive at the ports of Florida, and the number of visitors to the Fort Lauderdale show exceeds 100 thousand people.
  • Fort Lauderdale is one of the few cities on the ocean that offers rare fishing. Today, there are several such places in the world where fishermen are allowed to enjoy fishing in fresh and sea water for a few minutes. Those interested can test their skills in freshwater (more than 200 species of freshwater fish) or go to sea for perch, snapper, mahi-mahi, and other sea depth dwellers.
  • Fort Lauderdale is a diver’s paradise. This resort is known for the largest collection of sunken ships, vessels, yachts, and boats in the Western Hemisphere of the Earth. Also, Fort Lauderdale’s authorities have added flavor for lovers of diving into the depths by artificially flooding 76 ships to make a great place for observing marine life.

Also, you can rent a boat in Fort Lauderdale and become a captain for a while by going on a trip with your family.

World’s Best Marinas in 2023 Where Yachts Are Moored

In addition to Fort Lauderdale, there are other cities and countries where yachts of famous businessmen and private boats of wealthy people go:

  • Portugal. Marina Vilamoura is officially the world’s best marina for yachts and ships: it received the 5 golden anchors status in 2019, and in 2021, TYHA awarded Vilamoura the title of the “International Marina of the Year”.
  • Montenegro. Porto Montenegro is the marina equipped no worse than Fort Lauderdale and is the best for superyachts.
  • Cyprus. The marina of Limassol was the first on the island to receive the 5 golden anchors status. It has 750 moors for yachts and boats of all sizes, and there are comfortable villas nearby for owners that wish to have a rest.
  • Turkey. The marina of Yalıkavak is one of the largest ones in the Mediterranean Sea. It is smaller than Fort Lauderdale but was recognized as the International Marina of 2019, and the bay itself received the Blue Flag award for crystal clear water. The Turkish marina accepts yachts of all sizes and offers maintenance, boat rental, shipyard, yacht storage, and more.
  • Italy. The marina of Porto delle Grazie is the best one for mooring yachts, large ships, and boats. You can visit the marina anonymously, and its administration guarantees confidentiality.
  • Greece. The Flisvos marina is one of the most picturesque ones in Europe. It has managed to get its “5 golden anchors” from the Association of Yacht Harbors, and the facility also has 4 stars from EFQM. The marina is located almost in Athens (6 km) and is ready to accept mega-size yachts up to 180 meters long.

And this is just a small list of marinas for yachts, boats, and ships of various sizes. Each country claims to be the best yachting capital, but today’s leader is still Fort Lauderdale.

Best Countries to Register a Yacht in 2023

The best marinas for parking, recreation, wintering, and travel do not always coincide with the place where yachts and boats are registered. The most profitable jurisdictions where the owners of superyachts are trying to formalize the official right of ownership are offshore territories and some countries with preferential conditions.

For example:

  • The Marshall Islands is the third largest country by the number of registered yachts and ships.
  • The state of Delaware is a sister state of Fort Lauderdale with more favorable rates and conditions of yacht and boat registration for locals. Unfortunately, foreigners will not be able to register individual ownership here since one of the conditions is residence in the United States. However, this is possible if you have a Delaware LLC. An LLC has the right to become an official owner of the vessel registered in the state of Delaware.
  • The Cayman Islands are a great option for those who are looking for favorable conditions to register foreign yachts and boats.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis is another offshore jurisdiction where you can not only protect your capital from foreign courts but also register rights to yachts, boats, etc. The legislation here is on the owner’s side, and it provides him with all protection and confidentiality guarantees.
  • Liberia is a country in Africa where ships, boats, and yachts are not taxed and their registration is a simple and quick process.
  • Cyprus, just like Fort Lauderdale, has the best marina for superyachts and also offers loyal conditions for ships registration. The island register provides the lowest cost of registration in Europe, and profits from the vessel maintenance or management, as well as dividends received from the corporation owning the yacht, are exempt from taxation.
  • The British Virgin Islands became a new member of the Red Ensign Group (2014), which allows owners to register boats of any size and class. Also, the yacht registration in the BVI opens access to all ports of the world.
  • The Cook Islands has a ship’s registry modeled on the British system. The registration of yachts and vessels does not require the presence of a business or representative on the island. You only have to be a member of the yacht club (Cook Islands Yacht Squadron) to do so. Also, yachts are not required to be classified, and the document of ownership is valid around the world.
  • Panama is not only a place for offshore banking operations but also the world’s largest ship registry, with more than 9,000 ships on the list. In Panama, there is no minimum yacht weight requirement, and the temporary registration fee is fixed. After receiving a temporary registration, the owner can issue permanent documents within 6 months (they will be valid for 2 years).

One of the decisions to be made by the owners and their representatives is which flag to use. This significantly affects confidentiality and liability.

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Contact the experienced specialists of our portal for advice on how to choose the right country to register a yacht, boat, or vessel! Contact us by writing to [email protected] or using phone numbers: +372 5 489 53 37 , +381 6911 12327 .

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