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Old 08-10-2015, 06:03   #1
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Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Very new in this forum... but exiting to be here and to know so many cruisers, boaters here. From 2016 on I plan a living on a boat (I am familiar with as I was professionall Skipper. I had a living on a 15 meter Catamaran I skippered for a hotel business man over two seasons. Its time to go back to a floating home.)



I am yet not familiary with the "legal structure" in NS, so it would be helpfully to get some details about :-) - Or at least you know some people who have a fully living on a boat I can ask them. Best these people live along the South East cost (around Halifax or southly).



E.g. in North Germany where I live (for now), its not possible. An Inhabitant must have a "land based registration address", still. Only 1-2 small communities over last years on the coast of North Sea changed the federal state law (individually) so a "boat in a harbour" officially can become an officially "home address". But the German politics do not intend that "living on the water" is a "normal way of living". (Rec.: Germany never had been a seafarer nation. Boring.... )

In Netherlands one is allowed to live on a boat, but only possible if he owns the water area. E.g. It is very costly to have a living boat in Amsterdam or some of the other bigger cities. There a water real estate (roughly 30 x 10 meters size) has a huge prize of 150-160 Thousand Euros plus the boat prize.

How is it with Canada and Nova Scotia ? - E.g. I have seen different sales offers for ground directly front coast, inclusive beach.... at the size of ~2 acres. I like the South East part.


Would it be possible to install there a mooring and have a living on a boat, legally ?

And how is it with the registration of the boat ? Must it be under Canadian flag ? Or can it be a boat of other nationality, e.g. Malta (Valetta), Bahamas (Nassau) or Channel Island (Gursney) flag ?

What about the security standards of such yachts for living all year on board under Canadian flag ?

E.g. in U.S.A. buying a boat under US flag a foreign owner can stay there for maximum six months "tax free". Then he has to leave USA or pay fully tax of the boat prize.

Will there be new Canadian / Nova Scotia laws from 2016 on ? - As I target at a living on a boat from next year on it might be relevant to know if federal government of NS plans some changes in law (with more heavily restrictions).

Tks in advance giving attention.

With the next two posts I will show you where I like to stay along Nova Scotia South East coast... and what kind of boat I target at for a living.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:10   #2
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Some spots... laying front mooring for "living aboard" on South East Coast of Nova Sc

I have spotted some beautifully places, but do not know if they are "ice free". - E.g. Prospect Village little bit Southern of Halifx with some few moorings... feels like to be beamt back with a time mashine into 19th century. :-)


Chester Harbour close to Lunenburg has moorings, too.



Next door to Lunenburg and Chester harbour seems a big Mooring field in the Mahone Bay. Is there still the "wooden boat festival" annually in summer ?




The 3 churches of Mahone... :-)
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:20   #3
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Re: legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

I look for places with "moorings". So I 'd need some orientation about the legal aspects for "living on a boat" along the coast of NS.

Armdale (Halifax) looks fine, indeed. But maybe too expensive (and over crowded).


As I intend to live on a Trimaran in the size of 35 to 45 foot (still searching and yet not bought) with low draft (less than 1/2 meter), e.g. such one...



or such one...

So I look for places with "moorings". The boat shall be independently in maximum, e.g. with Watermaker and Solar.

I dont need a "box" in a marina with electricity.

Actually I thought about the "South East part", down from Halifax anywhere (see upper post). - As I work independently from time and place on board I only need quick Internet speed. Best would be speedy LTE (Wifi) I think all bigger providers (Bell, Rogers etc. ...) offer.

The Bay of Fundy is too heavily with extreme tidals (the biggest in the world I have read). Very impressive indeed but not for a "living on a boat" area as I see it... as I am not too heavily addicted with "wale watching".

I thank you for your support to find out for now which places are "ice free" with moorings and to get informed about all other (legally/financially) aspects around this thematic "(all year) living on board along the coast of NS".
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Old 14-10-2015, 07:27   #4
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Re: legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Skip, I haven't year round lived aboard in Nova Scotia, but I have lived aboard in Canada and worked year round (former professional seaman) in Nova Scotia. You have a lot of questions but I'll try and answer some, maybe bounce back to me if you need clarity.

Southern Nova Scotia should be relatively ice free on the Atlantic. Cape Breton and the Gulf Coast certainly get very nasty ice, but south of Halifax, less so.

I would strongly consider avoiding live aboard on the West Coast of Nova Scotia because the tidal range (40-50 feet per day) would be very difficult to manage as a live aboard.

Very few (if any) people live year round on a mooring in Eastern Canada, by far the preferred method is to find a dock with shore power. The weather is just too nasty. Even southern Nova Scotia has very nasty winter storms with huge snow dumps that would make dinking out to your boat both hazardous and unpleasant. If you did want to try it, you would definitely want to install a robust heating system (wood or deisel).

From a legal perspective you're dealing with navigatable waters, so you're going to be dealing with Canadian Federal Laws as well as municipal bylaws, but very few provincial laws will have relevance. (Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy, not a republic so has a strong centralized federal government, with provincial governments having less influence, compared to a republic). It is certainly legal to live aboard a boat in Canada. I used to deal with the address issue by having a Post Office box ashore, cost about $150 CDN/year.

If living in Canada you will eventually have to import your boat and pay a tariff, but you should be OK for the first 12 months. Don't cross Canada Customs, they have a poor sense of humour.

As far as security goes, its a non issue. Aside from a few small wealthy European nations (Switzerland, Denmark etc.). Canada is one of the safest places on earth. It has almost nothing in common with the US to the South when it comes to safety and security. Although fire arms are common place, gun crime is rare, the mass shootings that occur weekly in the states just don't happen in Canada (there have been a few isolated incidents spread out over many decades). Canadians tend to be on average fairly wealthy with universal health care, good education and an excellent social service network- there just isn't a need for gangsterism or street crime (of course it exists, but is pale by comparison).

When I lived aboard my boat I didn't even have a lock. I grew up in a major Canadian city and we never locked the door to the house. I live in another major Canadian city now, and only lock the door if we are going to be away for a few days or more.

Canada is an expensive place to live, but I think Germany is too, so you're probably used to that.

Eastern Canada is much much colder than European cities with similar latitudes due to a combination of large land mass, arctic fronts and ocean currents from Greenland. , certainly the ocean has a moderating effect on southern Nova Scotia though. I live in Eastern Canada (on the St Lawrence) and we are already (October 14) getting ice on deck over night due to sub freezing temps.

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Old 14-10-2015, 13:02   #5
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Re: legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I live in Eastern Canada (on the St Lawrence) and we are already (October 14) getting ice on deck over night due to sub freezing temps.
hoho.... St. Lawrence stream.... thats an ambitious place to live on a boat, Indeed. :-)

Many tks for the insights... great. Not at all worrying what you tell me.. I think I can handle it. Good tip with the P.O. box. :-)

Lets go a step forward thinking theoretically into another direction to proof all possibilities beside a classy moored buoy.

As you say, I already have thought about, that it might require a land connected peer. - For this it would be great, I'd get a little piece of land with beach... and there install a wooden planked jetty where the boat is tied to get quicker access to land based infrastructures (like shower/electricity) during the "icey times".

Is the waterfront owned by government ? Or can I buy parts of the water front, too ? - At least get some rights there to build a "privately landing stage". Something small as shown in the attached pics (all from NS).

As trimarans have "low draft" < 3 feet I would not count this area as "navigatable". - Which authorities I'd have to ask for getting such permission ? Or can I just build it ?
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Old 14-10-2015, 15:04   #6
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Re: legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

No problem, people can own water front in Canada. Its likely to be pretty pricey in SE Nova Scotia though. If you want to build a jetty, you're going to need an environmental assessment, which can be expensive. You're much better off buying a property which already has one. My Brother and his wife have a cottage on the ocean in Newfoundland with its own dock, so they're fairly common.

Of course, just joining a yacht club is going to be your easiest option, the other Nova Scotia thread on here is discussing that aspect right now.

I believe live aboard on the Avolon Peninsula in South East Newfoundland is also an option, its far enough out in the ocean it gets some moderating effect from the gulf stream. If you want to do something hard core- live aboard year round in Newfoundland! That would be awesome, I've actually looked into it myself.

The economy is quite good there too due to offshore oil and gas, so if you need to find work while your conducting your experiment, you would likely have better luck in Newf than Nova Scotia.

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Old 14-10-2015, 16:27   #7
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hard core....

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
...do something hard core- live aboard year round
haha.... never thought about such extremes.

Most tough night I had to sleep outside in a military sleeping bag (very bad isolated) while I did my services for German military... and during a winter manoever the temperature fell down to -20C (= -4 Fahrenheit). That was really "hard core". I still can feel the cold in my bones after more than 30 years had gone.

I grew up with skiing in Alpes (I stood at the age of 3 on skiis) I am used to cold, lots of snow and ice. I was federal champion of South Germany in the sports discipline cross-country skiing.

But never came into my mind to sail around in ice zones :-)

I have my doubt, that I might like it as Arved Fuchs did it... he is most famous German sailor and professional adventurer to go into ice regions with his wooden boat Dagmar Aeen, a Danish fishing trawler built in the 30th which can overwinter in packed ice...




Arved failed with his attempt to sail around North Pole on this traditional sailing boat during 1991-1994. That's real "hard core".

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Old 14-10-2015, 16:44   #8
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Yes, I've watched documentaries on the boat very cool.

Below is a pic of my boat in the ice. Just freshwater ice though.

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Old 14-10-2015, 19:52   #9
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

The South coast of Newfoundland gets pretty remote pretty quick.

I would look at Grand Bank. Fortune, or Marystown for a start.

I think there is a daily "taxi" to St. John's from these areas. But really a car is needed. That's probably true anywhere you go.

I am not overly familiar with a lot of harbors and I don't know of any live a boards where I have been. Shelburne on the SE tip of NS is a pretty town with a yacht club. That is a large harbor with a shipyard and some marine facilities. There are a number of small properties with water access. From Shelborne East the tide is pretty normal, not a big issue.

In genera land in Newfoundland is very expensive, if you are looking for any size of lot. Houses are very cheap. Land in NS is much cheaper, but houses are more. We have a small house in Newfoundland ($32k US) and property on the Bra d'Or lakes (168 acres $58,000 US ten years ago).

I believe you will find the harbors on the South coast of Newfoundland have less ice than on the South coast of NS. Hell, we froze in solid in Delaware last year. Had temps to 1F. It was frequently warmer on the East coast of Newfoundland than here. But not near as remote.

As you go East of Halifax there are many long bays, such as Ship Harbor. I would not rule them out. Not so far from Halifax.

Canadian registry requires the owner to be a Canadian citizen. Both NS and Newfoundland are encouraging immigration as the populations are declining. Still, it would take some years and you would probably have to forgo German citizenship.

Taxes to keep your boat there are pretty stiff. I forget exactly but something like 15 to 20% I think, surely someone will know better. They have been informing it of late, not making the yards in NS happy.

My Wife is from Burghausen.
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Old 15-10-2015, 05:06   #10
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Pretty cool Hpeer, properties on Cape Breton and Newfoundland. Sounds like you appreciate rugged beauty.

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Old 15-10-2015, 11:30   #11
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The South coast of Newfoundland gets pretty remote pretty quick.
I would look at Grand Bank. Fortune, or Marystown for a start.
I think there is a daily "taxi" to St. John's from these areas. But really a car is needed. That's probably true anywhere you go.
I suppose I still keep in mind "NS" and South East. :-)

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I am not overly familiar with a lot of harbors and I don't know of any live a boards where I have been. Shelburne on the SE tip of NS is a pretty town with a yacht club. That is a large harbor with a shipyard and some marine facilities.
Funny you name it, I already drove along Shelburne (virtually via Google maps): http://bit.ly/1VUHqZD I liked it.

I am not one of these "club member guys". You might ask your wife she will confirm. We make here the joke: "What do 7 Germans first, when they meet first time ?" - Answer: "They found an NGO (in German: "Verein").

In Germany lots of life is organized in clubs.... I dont like it. As you "need to have the right smell" to be welcome... with lots of duties. Hey, Skippy, why you didnt come to my birthday party ? Do you not like me ? I dont know if I can take you on board next time for the regatta.

I think you understand... :-) To meet sailors here and there in clubs, participate in a regata... all fine. But an intensive "club life" is nothing for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
There are a number of small properties with water access. From Shelborne East the tide is pretty normal, not a big issue.
For now I mostly look on LandWatch.com for sales offers.... I have an account there: Nova Scotia, Canada Land for sale, Nova Scotia, Canada Acreage for Sale, Nova Scotia, Canada Lots for Sale at LandWatch.com

Is there any other source to get a clear picture about properties for sales (with beach and (wooden) jetty) ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
In genera land in Newfoundland is very expensive, if you are looking for any size of lot. Houses are very cheap. Land in NS is much cheaper, but houses are more. We have a small house in Newfoundland ($32k US) and property on the Bra d'Or lakes (168 acres $58,000 US ten years ago).
hpeer, what the hel***** are you doing with 168 acres = 679,872 square meters ???? Thats sooooooooooo huge. Do you plan to found an own independent state and make Queen Eliz angry ? :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I believe you will find the harbors on the South coast of Newfoundland have less ice than on the South coast of NS. Hell, we froze in solid in Delaware last year. Had temps to 1F. It was frequently warmer on the East coast of Newfoundland than here. But not near as remote.
Ah.... didnt know. Interesting.

No, no... no ice sailing... :-) I mean, not the boat in the ice. Sailing on the ice instead might be lots of fun. I love scating...


Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
As you go East of Halifax there are many long bays, such as Ship Harbor. I would not rule them out. Not so far from Halifax.
Yep.... I like that area. Lots of nice little places... indeed.

In UK the "living boat" folks must leave their place every 2 weeks by law. They are not allowed to stay in the channels at one place. So they swap around every 2 weeks to another place. Really stressfully for these boat people in UK.

But I'd like that idea... at least during summer time to "jump" around here and there along the NS coast.... so long I get Internet access via LTE, all is fine as its urgent for my job as cultural journalist and radio presenter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Canadian registry requires the owner to be a Canadian citizen. Both NS and Newfoundland are encouraging immigration as the populations are declining. Still, it would take some years and you would probably have to forgo German citizenship.
Yes, I know... 300 days is the regular time frame :-) I already did my "immigration eligibility test". Canada said: Come here, you are welcome ! :-)

So I can get a "permit" to stay, live and work there as permanent resident. I suppose that wont be a big problem. Still I have to do the "medical test". As I know for now, I am healthy. :-)

I do not know how it is then with the "boat ownership" and "foreign flag so long I dont have a Canadian passport ?

And what about my "German licences" ? Will they be recognized ? I have all qualifications from inshore, coastal, offshore and high seas, inclusive GMDSS, radio broadcasting and radar licence.

I dont want go through the whole procedure to make all boat qualifications newly... so time intensive as you know.

Damm**** all so complicated. My list of question gets longer and longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Taxes to keep your boat there are pretty stiff. I forget exactly but something like 15 to 20% I think, surely someone will know better. They have been informing it of late, not making the yards in NS happy.
Yes, thats something I still have to proof... 99% the boats I am looking for come from outside, e.g. US, Australian or NewZealand flag.

I think about to registrate a "Ship management ltd." which will own the boat "as legal person". And then I rent it back like renting a house.

For such "legal constructions" mostly are selected "tax free havens", e.g. Gurnsey/English Channel Island, Valetta/Malta or Nassau/Bahamas.

I do yet not know, if I can stay with such a "foreign boat" (non Canadian flag) all year along the coast. Or eventually, I have to sail away, e.g. to US coast for 1-2 days, e.g Yarmouth / Maine (New England/USA).... and then coming back ???

Does anybody know some links I can read the "officially text of law book" about such issues ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
My Wife is from Burghausen.
Oh, nice.... naturally I know Burghausen as I love Jazz. Its the "Jazz City of Germany" some say so. At least there is the "International Jazz Week". Its one of the top class events for "Modern Jazz".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...che_Burghausen


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Old 15-10-2015, 11:42   #12
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Re: legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

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Of course, just joining a yacht club is going to be your easiest option, the other Nova Scotia thread on here is discussing that aspect right now.
Which thread do you mean ? Link pls.... :-)
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Old 15-10-2015, 12:15   #13
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

I can't link as I have only my cell phone for internet access right now, but it was up yesterday, I checked, you posted on it, so it won't be hard to find "living aboard in Nova Scotia".

I can help out with a couple of your questions for hpeer. Regarding yacht clubs, I understand your distaste for them, I've always been a marina guy myself, no judgment, just an exchange of cash for services. Much easier than wearing a blazer and tie around and trying to pretend you give a damn what the membership thinks, unfortunately I can't recommend a marina in NS, but I'm sure there are lots.

For searching real estate, by far your best option will be www.realtor.ca you can customize your search however you like.

In terms of license, only a single license is required in Canada, its issued by Transport Canada and is called a " Pleasure Craft Operators Card". If you have any kind of STCW masters license, it will be accepted as proof of competency for boat operation in Canada.

If you do need to challenge the PCOC, it is very easy and inexpensive to beat, maybe $20 and 25 basic multiple choice questions. I'm sure if you have a German license of some kind no body will bug you to get a Canadian license until you're well settled in. I wouldn't worry about it. Nova Scotia Policing is done by the RCMP, but any government boat over about 25' is operated by the Coast Guard, who aren't the least bit interested in enforcement. Really, when it comes to sailboats, the RCMP isn't too interested in enforcement either. Canada Customs will be the first and probably only enforcement agency you'll have to deal with and they're only interested in customs related matters, not boat licensing.

One consideration is nearly any marina or yacht club will require you to have proof of insurance or they won't let you Moore, you will likely require "live aboard" insurance if you plan on being on the boat between December and April, it costs about $500 extra

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Old 15-10-2015, 14:03   #14
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Re: Legal aspects of living aboard in Nova Scotia (Canada)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I can't link as I have only my cell phone for internet access right now, but it was up yesterday, I checked, you posted on it, so it won't be hard to find "living aboard in Nova Scotia".
ah, yes... got it. Seems the founder of this thread is quietly since 2-3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I can help out with a couple of your questions for hpeer.
Many tks....

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Regarding yacht clubs, I understand your distaste for them, I've always been a marina guy myself, no judgment, just an exchange of cash for services. Much easier than wearing a blazer and tie around and trying to pretend you give a damn what the membership thinks, unfortunately I can't recommend a marina in NS, but I'm sure there are lots.
Time will show it... :-)

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For searching real estate, by far your best option will be www.realtor.ca you can customize your search however you like.
Tks... registrated :-)

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In terms of license, only a single license is required in Canada, its issued by Transport Canada and is called a " Pleasure Craft Operators Card". If you have any kind of STCW masters license, it will be accepted as proof of competency for boat operation in Canada.
wowh.... Man, my heart is jumping by happyness. So easy ?

In Germany we have so many licences from basic dinghi sailing licences, river licences, lake licences (I have a special patent for the Lake of Constance and here even exist two kind, for the upper part of the lake (which is close to Rhine fall) and the main lake. Terrible lots of stuff to learn), coastal licences, offshore licence and high seas licences. Even splitted into licenes for vessels with motor engine, and vessels with sails.

Officially we have a government certificated licence for "boats inshore under sails + engine" and "boats offshore/coastal under sails + engine".

But if such a skipper would have an accident, he would come front court and being penaltied. So better to go through all upper named certificates.

Generally I have nothing against qualification.... it gives one more safetyness.

But its a little bit "too much" to have nearby 10 licences in total to cover all areas (lakes, rivers, coastal, off shore / high seas) and boat types (motor vessel / sailing vessel). - Not to forget the two radio broadcasting licences for rivers/lakes + coastal areas.

I have all licences.... so I know what I am talking about. It takes you roughly 10 years to get them all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
If you do need to challenge the PCOC, it is very easy and inexpensive to beat, maybe $20 and 25 basic multiple choice questions.
wowh.... Man, my heart is jumping faster by bigger happyness. So easy ?

More and more I know about Canada, more and more I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I'm sure if you have a German license of some kind no body will bug you to get a Canadian license until you're well settled in. I wouldn't worry about it.
Yep.... found the link: Sail Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Nova Scotia Policing is done by the RCMP, but any government boat over about 25' is operated by the Coast Guard, who aren't the least bit interested in enforcement. Really, when it comes to sailboats, the RCMP isn't too interested in enforcement either. Canada Customs will be the first and probably only enforcement agency you'll have to deal with and they're only interested in customs related matters, not boat licensing.
Same here... regularly the water police likes to proof if the engine is not damaging the environment by oil leakage and the yacht has "holding tank" (black water). And the customs Duty likes to check "cigarette and drug smuglers" :-).

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
One consideration is nearly any marina or yacht club will require you to have proof of insurance or they won't let you Moore, you will likely require "live aboard" insurance if you plan on being on the boat between December and April, it costs about $500 extra
We dont have insurances in Germany regularly to cover "live aboard". Because the managers think, that its too dangerous so too many risks. - What a nonsense !

I see a boat for living more safely... as the owner will take more care, and he learns to handle the boat much better in manoeuvring compared to "2 weeks per years pseudo captains".

Insurances are very costly in Germany. They even split it into segments of sea areas: e.g. Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean and world wide cruising.

Its a very complicated formula, calculated by a mix of many parameters:

- brand (boat warft) = quality
- age of the boat
- type of the boat (dinghi, sailing boat, sailing yacht, monohull, multihull...)
- use of the boat (cruising, regatta)
- sail area
- boat material
- sea area
- residual (book) value of the boat
- sum insured (2, 3, 5 or 10 million Euros)
- co-payment (e.g. limited to small damages of 500 or 1000 Euros
- run time of insurance (e.g. 1 or 3 year contract)
- payment of insurance contribution (monthly, annually)

E.g. for a 20 year old Cruising Trimaran with a sail area of 60 m2 and a residual value of 100 Thousand Euros, the insurance premium for a 2 million sum insured is 827 Euros (inclusive 19% vat), annually to be payed.

You see.... all so complicated in Germany.

So 500 CAN Dollars seems cheaply. At least: Not too costly.
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Old 16-10-2015, 08:23   #15
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Statistics....

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
For searching real estate, by far your best option will be www.realtor.ca you can customize your search however you like.
Pritty neat this website.... excellently. Got some hits... :-)


Very interesting, that behind each sales proposal one can check the demographics, see attached thumbnails documenting the region around "Upper Kingsburg" (part of Kingsburg, NS).



Beautifully area (but outside of my own price range)


In snowy winter it looks nice there too...



In Germany I'd have to pay extra for such statistics applying them from the Federal State Bureau for Statistics.

Very service oriented website ! - Great...
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