Washington governor signs law to attract superyachts

The state of Washington is welcoming large yachts with the signing of a new pilotage bill that will take effect this summer.
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (seated, center) signed legislation that could attract more superyacht visitors to the state.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (seated, center) signed legislation that could attract more superyacht visitors to the state.

The state of Washington is welcoming large yachts with the signing of a new pilotage bill that will take effect this summer.

The Northwest Marine Trade Association pilotage bill, which Gov. Jay Inslee signed last month, will provide a path for superyachts as large as 1,300 gross tons and 200 feet to enter Washington without needing a pilot on board.

Once they successfully complete the exemption process, the vessels can receive a waiver and cruise Washington’s waters.

This success builds upon the NMTA’s marine tourism bill, which was passed in 2015 after it was introduced four years earlier.

That bill allows a yacht registered as an LLC to stay in Washington waters for 180 days before the state imposes a 10 percent tax on the value of the boat. Previously, boats would owe about 10 percent of their value on that 61st day in the state.

“While small in number, these vessels pack a punch when it comes to boosting local communities,” NMTA government affairs director Peter Schrappen said in a statement. “We are hustling to get these boats here and have them stay here in the Northwest. Our region can compete with any other area of the world for scenery and workforce. Now, we are succeeding on improving the legislation, too.”

The new law takes effect on July 23.

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