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Old 16-10-2017, 18:08   #1
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Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

Hi. I've found my dream boat but it's in Grenada and I want to get it to Canada. I'm new to this though and I'm wondering if anyone knows how to deal with this. I understand what I would need to do once I get to Canada to get it registered, pay the tax, etc., but how would I go about actually buying it and getting it here?

So questions:

How would I get a survey done?

What documents would I need to have to prove ownership once in Canada?

How could I get it to Canada? I was thinking that if I could get it to Florida I could have it trucked, but is it reasonable to ask the broker there to get it to Florida for me so I wouldn't have to worry about insurance etc. until it is here?

How does payment typically work? I plan on flying down there to check it out first, but if I want it, would I use a money order, or do a bank transfer right then, or wait until I get back home? I don't want to make 2 trips.

Would anyone buy something like this without actually seeing it, but rely on the survey to know if it is in good shape - then go down to do the final deal once everything is in place?

What questions have I not asked?

I'm sure I sound like a total noob, but I've only ever bought boats here in Canada but there is nothing like what I want here.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 16-10-2017, 18:11   #2
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

I don't have any answers for you but welcome aboard here David! Just out of curiosity, what boat?
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Old 16-10-2017, 18:50   #3
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

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I don't have any answers for you but welcome aboard here David! Just out of curiosity, what boat?
We're looking at a Jeanneau. My wife and I have been looking for a while and we seem to have settled on that. My cousin in Florida has a Beneteau, but there are some things I prefer with the Jeanneau. We're on the verge of retiring and want something that will allow us to become snow birds down south, but I'd rather sail the Caribbean than buy a condo or something in Florida. We're big into snorkeling.

I'm finding that there are no appropriate boats here in Canada. I'd prefer to buy in the US than the Caribbean or Europe as it's more of a known quantity, but the prices seem so much better outside of the US and Canada. I know that the price difference is due to the amount of trouble involved, but I want to find out how much trouble it is compared to the price reduction.

P.S. Thanks for the welcome. I just found this forum and it looks like a great place for info.
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Old 17-10-2017, 04:11   #4
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

We bought a boat in Grenada a few years ago and had it registered as a Canadian vessel. Your broker should help with getting the documentation of the old owner cleared and with getting a survey done . On Grenada flying fish ventures is well respected . Unless the owner is willing to do it you are going to pay for getting the boat to Florida . I would get the paper work clear before you leave .
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Old 17-10-2017, 04:50   #5
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, DavidK.
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Old 17-10-2017, 07:49   #6
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

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We bought a boat in Grenada a few years ago and had it registered as a Canadian vessel. Your broker should help with getting the documentation of the old owner cleared and with getting a survey done. On Grenada flying fish ventures is well respected . Unless the owner is willing to do it you are going to pay for getting the boat to Florida. I would get the paper work clear before you leave.
Thanks for the info and the survey recommendation. I've looked them up online and they look like exactly what I need. I was also expecting to pay for any delivery to Florida, I was just wondering if that was something that could happen.

It's good to know that buying in Grenada is an option. I've never done this before so it's scary, but knowing it's been done before helps a lot.

By the way, how did you pay for your boat? Money order, bank transfer? I presume people usually use US currency. Is that correct?
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Old 17-10-2017, 08:20   #7
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
We bought a boat in Grenada a few years ago and had it registered as a Canadian vessel. Your broker should help with getting the documentation of the old owner cleared and with getting a survey done . On Grenada flying fish ventures is well respected . Unless the owner is willing to do it you are going to pay for getting the boat to Florida . I would get the paper work clear before you leave .
One more thing. Did you bring your boat back to Canada or are you keeping it in the Carribean? If you brought it back to Canada, how did you get it here?
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Old 17-10-2017, 09:07   #8
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

A quick note on marine surveys... I would not recommend making a decision on a boat purchase based solely on a survey.
The best use of a surveyors time and effort is to have him or her check out the vessel after you have already viewed and poked around her yourself.
Even if it means a trip to see the boat first it is well worth it.
The most successful purchases I have made over the years entailed me looking at the boat first and identifying what might concern me then running over these issues with your surveyor. This gives them much more focus but does not restrict them in looking at areas that they know may also cause problems from their experience.
Buying a boat is in many cases a major expense and you should not cheat yourself on the front end of the transaction.
Hope this helps... cheers, Phil
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Old 17-10-2017, 09:25   #9
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

[QUOTE=davidkuehner;2500803]We're on the verge of retiring and want something that will allow us to become snow birds down south, but I'd rather sail the Caribbean than buy a condo or something in Florida. We're big into snorkeling.

I know that the price difference is due to the amount of trouble involved, but I want to find out how much trouble it is compared to the price reduction.
QUOTE]

I'm a bit confused. If you're thinking of having a boat to sail the Caribbean, why are you looking to take it to Florida and truck it to Canada? If this is the ultimate goal, why not just sail the boat in the Caribbean during the 'snowbird months' and put it up on the hard there during the hurricane season (ie. Grenada). When we bought our boat in St Lucia and sailed in the Caribbean for a few seasons, we met dozens of snowbirds that had been doing this for years.


As far as price difference between Caribbean boats and boats in North America being largely due to the trouble. The difference is also largely based on condition. The tropics are hard on boats and equipment. The sun is relentless and there’s no 6 month winter break from it (your choices are hot and humid or hot and not quite as humid). If you’re on the Great Lakes or the PNW, you’ll notice a big difference in the general condition of boats of the same age when you go to the Caribbean.

I'd caution against getting into a mindset that you've found THE boat and starting to work logistics on how to get payment sorted. Photos on the internet always look better than being there. I'd budget a trip to first go down and take a look at some boats in Grenada (and possibly Martinique as it's a French territory there are a lot of Jenneau's and Beneteau's there), plus it's been spared the brunt of the hurricane damage this year. The BVI's and St Maarten were also good, but I think you'll find the 'inventory' of good used boats there is substantially lower at the moment unfortunately.


Finally, you're probably aware, note that until the EU Trade agreement fully kicks in, on top of GST/PST or HST, there's still an additional 9% import duty on boats that are built outside of North America (and maybe US built boats soon if NAFTA talks keep on the track they're on..... but that's another topic). If you don't bring the boat back to Canada, you don't have to pay GST, PST or duty.......
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Old 17-10-2017, 09:30   #10
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

Where in Canada? A delivery skipper to the Maritimes is going to be much cheaper than trucking from Florida. The latter will charge you by the foot, the bigger the boat the higher the per foot cost. You will also need oversize load permits issued by every state the truck will have to transit to the Canadian border. These are of course not free and it will add up quickly.
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Old 17-10-2017, 10:44   #11
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

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Originally Posted by davidkuehner View Post
One more thing. Did you bring your boat back to Canada or are you keeping it in the Carribean? If you brought it back to Canada, how did you get it here?
David , I flagged the boAt Canadian but kept it in Grenada . We use it as our winter home and cruise up and down the Islands . Taking a good look at the boat before hand is a good idea before calling the surveyor. Also if you don't have one get a tablet so you can take lots of pictures .My wife opened every drawer cupboard and laid out what ever there was to look at ,we then could go over the, later . Tablet gives a large format photo .
As for getting it up there call Andrews trucking and Murray Baldsdon they probably have a good idea right on the phone. Bringing a boat on it's on bottom is fun but not necessarily cheaper especially if you pay a good skipper. If you do do it that way it is Hudson River to the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario at Oswego.
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Old 17-10-2017, 13:19   #12
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

We purchased our catamaran in Grenada this past February. We are from the US so we can't answer all your questions, but we can share our experience.

We made an initial offer based on the internet description and contingent on a survey. There are only a couple surveyors on the island. We used Bob Goodchild with Flying Fish Ventures. It was a good experience. We did fly down for the survey, which was the 1st time we saw the boat.

The broker coordinated the payment. All we had to do was wire the funds per their instructions.

After having some work done on the boat in Grenada (huge cruiser community there), we sailed her back to the Ft Lauderdale area ourselves. If you're looking to have someone transfer the boat, we'd suggest talking with the broker.

Ideally we would have been able to see the boat before the initial offer. But with the logistics of traveling to Grenada, we felt comfortable making it contingent on the survey.

Overall it was a fairly straightforward process. Hope this helps.
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Old 17-10-2017, 13:32   #13
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

I also used Bob Goodchild in Grenada for an insurance survey when I was changing insurers for our South Pacific leg. Good experience, but as it was an insurance survey, I can't really comment on how much more detailed he is for a pre-purchase survey.

With any surveyor though, I'd certainly recommend being there for the survey. The quality and level of detail of investigation will be better.
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Old 17-10-2017, 14:05   #14
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

We also bought a boat in Grenada early this year and registered it in the US. I can give you some idea of the process we went through.

I arranged with my bank to be able to wire funds before I left home. That was eventually useful to place a deposit on the boat. I went to Grenada and saw a couple of boats and made an offer on one. If you are flexible about your travel dates it can be very reasonable to fly there.

To complete the purchase I had a survey done and reached final agreement on price and terms. The owner then must deregister the boat with their national authorities and provide a notarized bill of sale. In the US (for US documentation), the bill of sale must be notarized by a US notary or go else through an approval process with the Grenada foreign ministry. If there is a Canadian consulate in Grenada, that would be the best place to use for you (just in case of something similar).

After the purchase I registered the boat in the US. We will keep it in the Caribbean for now. If our US-owned and registered boat enters a US port (such as Puerto Rico) then substantial taxes are immediately due. As noted earlier, the same would be true for you entering Canada. It seems for your intentions it would be best not to bring the boat to Canada.

There are many other things to deal with that your broker might help you with or at least let you know how to go about doing. Some examples are any work needed on the boat, insurance coverage (you will need that once you own the boat), radio license, etc. A broker from Canada or one familiar with the Canadian registration process might save you some missteps.

If you don't have a broker when you look at the boat you will probably end up using the seller's broker, who may or may not manage to represent you both fairly. The 10% typical commission for the brokers is split between the buyer's and seller's broker. But if you go into the transaction without a broker, the seller's broker will not want to split the 10% with some new-comer, so if you want your own broker be sure to initiate contact through your broker. If the boat is for sale by owner, you might manage without a broker on either side.

I was able to initiate the purchase in one trip and complete the purchase from home. After the closing, I went down for the hand-over and began a short cruise. Then I left the boat on land for the hurricane season (and very happy to be so far south this year!).

I definitely agree that seeing the boat first is a good idea. Many listing pictures are from the boat's earlier years (or other boats) or otherwise not representative. Good luck and try to have fun.

Mike
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Old 17-10-2017, 14:28   #15
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Re: Advice wanted: How to import boat from Grenada to Canada

I forgot one additional item. Not sure what size you're looking at, but over a certain size, for Canadian registration you need to have the boat measured by an approved Canadian 'Tonnage Suveyor' or it's official tonnage and dimensions on the registration.

When our 53' Amel was registered in Canada (by a previous owner) they got surprised by this requirement. Luckily they found a qualified surveyor in the Caribbean, but it was more by chance. I've spoken to others that had to fly someone in for this. I think the 'Simplified Method' referred to below came in recently and may help if you're considering a boat in that 12m-15m range, but I'm not sure. Regardless, I'd recommend some investigation to ensure you understand where the boat you're considering fits.

Regards,
Mark


From the Transport Canada Website:
https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafet...-2311.htm#faqs

. Have the vessel measured for tonnage under Canadian rules using one of the following methods:
  • Non-Calculated Tonnage (Assigned Formal Tonnage)
    • Less than 8.5 m = gross tonnage of 4.99
    • 8.5m or more but less than 10 m = gross tonnage of 9.99
    • 10 m or more but less than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
  • Calculated Tonnage Measurement
    • For the simplified method complete one of the following forms:
      1. Simplified Method of Tonnage Measurement for monohull vessels of not more than 15 metres in length, having not more than a single tier of deckhouses and/or superstructures whose total combined length does not exceed 70% of the length;
      2. Tonnage Measurement of a Simple Multihull Vessel for simple multihull vessels of not more than 15 metres in length, consisting of a flat platform installed on two or more pontoon hulls and having no other spaces that could contribute to the volume of the vessel except the pontoons.
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