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Old 20-05-2018, 20:57   #1
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Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Has anyone here done this before? I'd appreciate any advice you can offer. Not a whole bunch on the interwebs about his topic.

Thanks!
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Old 20-05-2018, 21:06   #2
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

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Originally Posted by docrn View Post
Has anyone here done this before? I'd appreciate any advice you can offer. Not a whole bunch on the interwebs about his topic.

Thanks!
Plenty of topics here on CF. I'd recommend using Google with the "site:cruisersforum.com" limitation (advanced search).

As I've considered the same, the short of my research is:
- Easily doable, frequently done
- Many Canadian brokers are actively marketing to US buyers
- Favorable exchange rate
- Can't leave boat in Canada for the winter (I believe past Oct 31) or you'll have to pay provincial tax ~13% (akin to sales tax).
- There is an exemption for 12 months for the above if you're having work done at a boatyard
- Import fee into the us is 1.5% of the sales price
- Respective US state sales/use tax may be applicable
- US state registration or federal documentation is extra (as would be with any other boat)
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Old 21-05-2018, 10:13   #3
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Sounds easy enough. I did finally get in touch with a reputable broker in Canada. Looks like he's done this many times and as you said he actively seeks American buyers.
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Old 21-05-2018, 17:47   #4
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Many of our good boats get snapped up by Americans. To best of my knowledge if the boat is built in Canada or the USA it crosses duty free under NAFTA rules.

Not sure where you are looking or what your looking for however feel free to contact me off line and I will tell you who has a good track record. There are like every where the good bad and the ugly.

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Old 21-05-2018, 17:54   #5
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Im failing to understand what this has to do with having nuts.
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Old 22-05-2018, 09:38   #6
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

I'm considering the same - importing from Canada - and I would like to know if anyone has USCG documented their imported used vessel purchased in Canada and if so, were thier special hoops to jump through (chain of title, if boats were provincially registered in Canada, etc.). Thanks
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Old 22-05-2018, 10:35   #7
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Itís a piece of cake we bought ours from USA and brought to canada only difference is you s guys have a 30 percent exchange rate in your favour another words a boat costing 130 grand cost Americans 100 grand pretty sweet deal
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Old 22-05-2018, 10:42   #8
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

I just bought a boat in B.C.last month and brought it over to Washington state. I had a lot of trouble initially because everyone was telling me different stories about how to handle it including the broker. It turned out to be a simple process. Here are the steps that I found to be the most important.
Go to the American port of entry where you would like to bring in the vessel and ask them what they will require. I hear that this may vary from port to port. You will need the US customs form 7501 which you can get online and print it and take it with you along with the boat data such as brand, model, year, HIN number, place of manufacture. I had the broker fax me a copy of the provincial registration with this info so it looked official. I brought the empty form with this information the day prior to bringing the vessel in and they processed and stamped it right there which took 15 minutes. Go online and purchase the Decal which allows you to come across into America for one year which costs $28. Print a copy of the payment confirmation and have it with you when the agent meets you at the dock as you might not have received the decal yet. Tell them your expected arrival time so that they are expecting you but ask when they are most available. Don't arrive when other scheduled ferries or commercial vessels, lunch hour or weekends are happening or you will stretch this process way out. To avoid paying the gst and pst taxes in Canada you cannot take possession of the vessel until it arrives in the US nor can you step aboard until customs has been there. I was told that I had to be waiting on the dock to receive the vessel and it was understood that the delivery crew was leaving immediately to return to Canada. In my case the customs agent checked their passports, looked at my already complete and stamped form 7501, the receipt for the deal and said thank you, enjoy the new boat. A 5 minute process. WOW after a month of research and expecting the worst.

In my case there was a paid delivery skipper who I paid for in cash however as far as customs was concerned that person if paid was done so in Canada by others so as not involve American employment and tax laws. If the boat was made in either Canada or the US there should be no 1.5% duty or any other fees. Some people say that you need a customs broker but they are just doing what I did. Some say that you need to buy a bond for $500 to transport the vessel in but if you are buying from a broker they already have this which they buy annually. The customs agent never mentioned it and neither did I bring it up. My boat was not documented so there could be added steps if it is. From here I only needed to go to our local DMV and apply for new title and registration and pay the local and state sales tax. Good luck, Ken new owner of Spirit Moon- Ericson 38
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Old 22-05-2018, 10:44   #9
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

You are not. I was trying to buy one in Canadian east coast while I am at California. I spent almost 2 years to figured out to shipping to west cast.
I could not find a shipper who was reliable within my budget.
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Old 22-05-2018, 10:47   #10
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

We are Canadians living on L Ontario. We looked far and wide (FLA x4, all points between Annapolis and Charleston and 3 laps of the Great Lakes) over three summers and finally bought a 1999 Catalina 42 30 miles from home. The boat is 19 years old, the Yanmar has 1000 hours and overall the boat is like new! Our surveyor (veteran of our 4000 surveys!) kept remarking what a great boat it was as the day unfolded. In the end, he was astonished at the condition of the boat.

Consider that Great Lakes boats have not been battered by lower latitude UV, are fresh water only, mostly used on weekends and stored on the hard seven months of the year. In addition, the $US goes 30% farther presently in Canada. With so many American's on the hunt in Canada this spring, we are grateful to have put a deal together before it ended up in someone else's hands!
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Old 22-05-2018, 11:40   #11
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

My first contribution. Believed my own experience would be worth mentioning. My 'lesser' boat is a West Wight Potter 15. Purchased it in Ontario, Canada. It has been sitting in my backyard for six years because I have never been able to successfully register it in New York State. Will limit my explanation to "Differences between Canadian and NY title/registration verification." For the curious; it does have Canadian registration numbers and the paperwork required, in Canada, for such a small boat Obviously it was inexpensive, and since I was able to find a unrelated application for the 3.5 hp Mercury that came with it and the trailer (which was a story in itself) I don't dwell on it. But I wouldn't do it again. Since you're certainly considering a greater financial undertaking I would volunteer that this might not be a simple as it might seem and that having a lawyer/agent with legal obligations to ensure that this goes smoothly/properly is imperative.
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Old 22-05-2018, 11:58   #12
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

I researched a bit on it a few years back. It doesnt sound too bad, something like 1.5% or less tariff.
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Old 22-05-2018, 12:03   #13
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Seems like a good idea to me. The US dollar is running around 20% higher in value than our Loonie. Makes boats here even cheaper for Americans.

Iíve gone the other way (buying in US, importing to Canada), but I assume the process is similar. All I had to do was ensure the American boat I was buying was properly de-documented. Then I sailed it home, and when hitting the border simply imported the boat. Had to pay the appropriate taxes, but it was no big deal.

Going the other way youíll have to make sure the Canadian boat is de-registered (Canadaís version of Ďdocumentingí). Then, bring it across the border, paying whatever taxes or duties are due.
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Old 22-05-2018, 12:19   #14
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Thanks so much for all the replies. I've been put in touch with a Canadian broker who prioritizes American buyers and has done this a lot. Unfortunately I will have a lender involved for this particular boat but it doesn't seem to be a problem. I foresee this going down just as Ken described.

Now I just have to wait on the passports and hope the buyer likes my offer because the bank won't loan anymore than my bid is going to be. 😳

Lots of balls in the air to make this happen. I am even having to put my 18.5 fishing boat in a 40 slip temporarily so I don't loose out on a slip at the marina I want to be in. I don't want to know what my BP is doing right now. Lol.
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Old 22-05-2018, 13:16   #15
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Re: Am I nuts? Seriously considering buying a boat in Canada (I live in the U.S.)

Whenever the canadian dollar dips down low, many of our best boats move south. And boats in the great lakes not only have never seen salt water (mostly), but only get used a few months a year. Although technically they may be "in the water" 6 months, most boats get used only a few weeks during the height of summer. There are plenty of old C&C, Mirage, Tanzer, CS, Niagara, Alberg and Whitby brand boats in excellent condition and modest prices. I'm guessing/hoping that keel bolts will do better around here as well.
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