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Old 15-01-2017, 07:44   #1
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Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Life is short, and I want to fulfil my youth's dream and launch myself (and family) into sailing adventutes. I would start along the US / Canada East Coast, and given my total lack of experience, I will be grateful is someone can help with legal and logistical questions, which I could not answer browsing forums.

I would prefer to purchase and permanently keep a $10k-$20k sail boat on the US East Coast waters somewhere between Maine and NJ rather than in Canada, given that sailing is in general better in unfrozen water. I hold Canadian citizenship and live in Montreal, so few questions come around:

A. Can I register the boat in US (probably not) or it has to be registered in Canada?

B. If a sail boat is registered in Canada can it be kept indefinitely in US? I assume this shall be not a problem, but are there some legal tangles about?

C. Does a Canadian need some other paper than the "Pleasure Craft Operator Card" license to sail a boat?

D. Is there a need for some insurance to operate a boat in US waters (or somewhere in the Caribbean later)?

E. Can someone provide a reference to ports where the boat can be permanently kept on the East Coast, in the Maine - New Jersey strip? What are approximate yearly costs for keeping around 30 feet boat there?

D. There is a load of regulations, requirements and rules you need to follow sailing in US / Canadian waters. Is there a wiki or some information resource for those?

I assume what I plan shall be pretty common for people living north of the border, but most discussions I found are for importing a boat from US, not keeping it there.

Merci bien les corsaires, et en espère qu'en se croise quelque part!
Thanks all you buccaneers, and hope we cross somewhere!
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Old 15-01-2017, 08:21   #2
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

A. Yes, you can register the boat in whatever state it's kept.
B. Beats me
C. Some states require some sort of basic education, otherwise no.
D. Yes, most marinas require liability insurance against damage you or your boat may cause.
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Old 15-01-2017, 08:26   #3
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggeorgiev View Post
Life is short, and I want to fulfil my youth's dream and launch myself (and family) into sailing adventutes. I would start along the US / Canada East Coast, and given my total lack of experience, I will be grateful is someone can help with legal and logistical questions, which I could not answer browsing forums.

I would prefer to purchase and permanently keep a $10k-$20k sail boat on the US East Coast waters somewhere between Maine and NJ rather than in Canada, given that sailing is in general better in unfrozen water. I hold Canadian citizenship and live in Montreal, so few questions come around:

A. Can I register the boat in US (probably not) or it has to be registered in Canada?

There are ways to register it in the USA but its complicated and usually not worth it (doesn't really gain you anything).

B. If a sail boat is registered in Canada can it be kept indefinitely in US? I assume this shall be not a problem, but are there some legal tangles about?

Canada doesn't care where you keep the boat (ours has been in 16 different countries and never been to Canada). However the US may have a problem. Each State has its own rules. You need to look into this in the State you want to keep it and find out if its even possible.

C. Does a Canadian need some other paper than the "Pleasure Craft Operator Card" license to sail a boat?

Depending on the country you operate in, you may not even need that. I don't think the USA requires anything (again may be State dependant)

D. Is there a need for some insurance to operate a boat in US waters (or somewhere in the Caribbean later)?

You would be very smart to carry liability at least. Actually most marinas or boat yards won't even allow you if you don't have that at least.

E. Can someone provide a reference to ports where the boat can be permanently kept on the East Coast, in the Maine - New Jersey strip? What are approximate yearly costs for keeping around 30 feet boat there?

I can't help here.

D. There is a load of regulations, requirements and rules you need to follow sailing in US / Canadian waters. Is there a wiki or some information resource for those?

You should take some sailing courses. The rules are the same in almost every country in the world. Some good sailing classes will teach you the basics of those rules. There is also some online courses (runs about $300)

I assume what I plan shall be pretty common for people living north of the border, but most discussions I found are for importing a boat from US, not keeping it there.

Merci bien les corsaires, et en espère qu'en se croise quelque part!
Thanks all you buccaneers, and hope we cross somewhere!
See answers above in RED!
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Old 15-01-2017, 08:28   #4
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
A. Yes, you can register the boat in whatever state it's kept.
B. Beats me
C. Some states require some sort of basic education, otherwise no.
D. Yes, most marinas require liability insurance against damage you or your boat may cause.
The above is not true.. You must be a US citizen to register a boat in the USA. Like I said, there are other ways that involve a registered company and such, but they are complicated. Unless you know a US citizen you trust and sign the boat over to them.
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Old 15-01-2017, 08:41   #5
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

You can blue book a Canadian boat with offshore registration. This gives you all the required paperwork you need and you can insure and keep your boat anywhere. You will pay no tax as long as the boat is kept out of Canada. .Carefully check the State you are keeping the boat in for their taxes as in some cases they are substantial. I was able to keep our boats in the States for over 20 years without paying any taxes as in some States if your a foreign boat they pass you by so if you get lucky you can have your cake and eat it.
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Old 15-01-2017, 09:09   #6
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
The above is not true.. You must be a US citizen to register a boat in the USA. Like I said, there are other ways that involve a registered company and such, but they are complicated. Unless you know a US citizen you trust and sign the boat over to them.
You must be a US citizen to Document a vessel with the USCG, you can own a boat registered by a state regardless of citizenship or residence.
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Old 15-01-2017, 09:59   #7
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

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You must be a US citizen to Document a vessel with the USCG, you can own a boat registered by a state regardless of citizenship or residence.
Yes that is indeed true... However there are a couple of "gotchas".

1. If the previous owner documented it (with USCG), you will be required to "undocument" it before doing state registration. Since you cannot transfer the USCG documentation to a non-citizen. I have not found if this is even possible in the USA.

2. Bank loans are almost impossible on State registered boats, espeically a loan on a foriegn boat. No big deal if you buy in cash.

3. Many insurers require documentation. Not all do, but most.
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Old 15-01-2017, 10:16   #8
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Anyone know the tax implications of a Canadian boat staying in New York State.
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Old 15-01-2017, 11:06   #9
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

If your boat is registered in Canada you must get a cruising permit when you enter the US (or when the boat becomes registered in Canada if it is already in the US). Unless you have some sort of visa that allows you to live in the US (i.e. not just a visitor) the cruising permit is good for one year, then you have to go to another country for 15 days and then you can get a new permit. If the 15 days is to Canada you will have to pay HST (and possibly duty) when you land in Canada. You can suspend the clock on your cruising permit when the boat is on the hard in the US.

Cheapest state to register your boat in the US northeast is Rhode Island, sort of like the Liberia of the US. Note that the sailing season in the area you mention is not particularly longer than where you live. I assume you know that many Montreal people keep their boats on Lake Champlain.
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Old 15-01-2017, 12:30   #10
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
If your boat is registered in Canada you must get a cruising permit when you enter the US (or when the boat becomes registered in Canada if it is already in the US). Unless you have some sort of visa that allows you to live in the US (i.e. not just a visitor) the cruising permit is good for one year, then you have to go to another country for 15 days and then you can get a new permit.


According to this article:

http://currents.bluewatercruising.or...-process-2016/

The boat does not have to leave the US to renew the cruising license. The license just needs to be expired for at least 15 days before the new one can be applied for. I am not sure what your status Is for the 15 days that you go without a license, are you legal if you don't move? Why to the always make these things so complicated?
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Old 15-01-2017, 13:14   #11
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Yes that is indeed true... However there are a couple of "gotchas".

1. If the previous owner documented it (with USCG), you will be required to "undocument" it before doing state registration. Since you cannot transfer the USCG documentation to a non-citizen. I have not found if this is even possible in the USA.

2. Bank loans are almost impossible on State registered boats, espeically a loan on a foriegn boat. No big deal if you buy in cash.

3. Many insurers require documentation. Not all do, but most.
Not sure where you are getting your information... I assume you are thinking about a cruising yacht traveling in foreign waters.

I live in Florida and MANY Canadian Snowbirds own, operate and keep boats down here.

A US Documented Vessel cannot be owned by a foreigner. It is very easy to "undocument" the vessel with the USCG Vessel Documentation Center.

It is also very easy for Foreigners to register the vessel in the State that it lives in. Of course that also means paying taxes on the boat after a certain amount of time... Usually, but not always, more than 180 days of being in the state.

As far as Bank notes requiring USCG Documentation.... That would depend on the Bank. Most do not require USCG Documentation if the vessel is not leaving the US.

I have never heard a US Insurance Company turning down a State Registered vessel solely because it didn't have USCG Documentation.

The best thing to do is pick a State and then do your research.

Here are Florida's rules: https://www.sarasotataxcollector.com...sel-to-florida
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Old 15-01-2017, 13:43   #12
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Everyone will try to help you. I think I would decide where I want to keep the boat. Then check with the State and see what they recommend. Then you will have up to date information. You may check more than once since your are not going to be a normal everyday local registration that the Government employee is accustomed to working with. Check with your government. Be patient red tape is not fun for anybody. The one behind the government desk just wants to complete his or her work day and keep their job. I have always enjoyed Canada. Would the great lakes be an option? You would be closer to your boat and could learn the (ropes) required. You would still be able to go to the east or south on the great loop. Kind regards, Lou
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Old 15-01-2017, 14:18   #13
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy View Post
According to this article:

Pleasure Boat Entry to US – New Process for 2016 - Currents Bluewater Cruising

The boat does not have to leave the US to renew the cruising license. The license just needs to be expired for at least 15 days before the new one can be applied for. I am not sure what your status Is for the 15 days that you go without a license, are you legal if you don't move? Why to the always make these things so complicated?
One of the problems is that the American rules are very complex and in fact vary from one district to another. For example, if you are cruising in the New England district which goes as far south as Connecticut they want you to call in each time you move - this is tricky unless you have a US cell phone. If you are on the south side of Long Island Sound you are in the New York district which goes from Long Island to Cape May. In this district you only need to call when you enter the district. Also the officers you meet have varying knowledge and different interpretations of the rules. I would not want to go to many officials trying to explain the missing 15 days. We were told by one officer that we would need to show proof that we had left the US, e.g. an arrival form from Bermuda or Canada. Heading offshore for 15 days would not do it.

We were a Canadian boat in the US (and many other countries). We had insurance through a US company (Skipper's Plan). We just needed a US mailing address, after we took off cruising this was a friend's address.
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Old 15-01-2017, 14:40   #14
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

AiniA gets at the root of the problem....there is no one set answer and it changes place to place. I kept my Canadian boat in the USA for a few years, but I'm a dual US/Canadian citizen so the rules are different for me.

Getting South of NJ will be helpful. NJ doesn't have a great cruising ground and the Delaware isn't great either. Too much tide, not enough water, lack of interesting places. Look to some place on the Chesapeake Bay, northern limit would be Delaware City in Delaware.

By being on the Chesapeake you are in the Baltimore region. Call the Balitmore port customs office and ask to speak to Betty Tune. Nice lady. She can tell you what the rules are for the Chesapeake. She was always very nice and congenial and helpful to me.
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Old 15-01-2017, 14:50   #15
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re: Is there a way for a Canadian to keep and sail a boat on the US east coast?

Some are making this way too complicated .... Given the budget of the OP..... Buy an American owned , state registered boat and go sailing, No cruising permits or interactions with customs at all, no limits on how long your boat can stay in the US. As previously noted each state has it's own tax rules so be aware of those depending on where you buy the boat. If you buy a Canadian boat and try to take it into US waters on a long term or permanent basis things get more complicated.
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