Canadians here. A little younger than you. We bought the boat in July 2019 and have been gone since October. Lots of years planning to do it and finally said it’s time.
Our suggestions and the path we took:
I have extensive experience running offshore fishing
boats in B.C. and running my own charter fishing company there. If you want to run charters in Canada
, the government
will want ever larger pieces of your pie. It’s endless if you try to be legal
- and often amazing what groups get involved. WCB is you have crew, good inspectors if you serve meals
to paying guests, federal and provincial tax agencies, radio
licensing, vessel registration
, vessel inspections if you are taking paying passengers. That is before your mandatory training
that you will require. There are a lot of courses.
From all of this, we learned that if you are doing charters in Canada
legally, you need to basically make it a full time job to recoup the costs. You can try to be a chisel charter, but you will get caught. An angry client. An innocent comment to law enforcement. All of these things can come back to you and the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Have seen it happen to many others.
For us, for the sailing adventure we did all our sailing school training
in San Diego
. Found it cheaper to fly there in January, take a one week course and fly home. Probably half the price
of a similar course in Canada.
From there we started getting serious about purchasing
, ultimately buying
in July. The biggest hurdle for us was insurance. Despite having thousands of hours on the water
, insurers were concerned about sail time. Just because I had grown up sailing that didn’t cut it. Insurance also took a loooong time to work. As in weeks and weeks as they all involved their underwriters with lots of back and forth. This nearly lost
me the boat as it took so long and was more expensive than anticipated. FYI - a sailboat in the Caribbean for recreational purposes is more expensive per year than commercial
charter insurance in Canada. Probably close to triple.
Had I known this, I would have started years before to document my sailing experience. And probably joined a club.
The boat we purchased will never come back to Canada. We do not want to pay provincial and federal taxes
on it as soon as it crosses the border. It is Canadian registered but the cost to bring it home is prohibitive.
If I were in your shoes - sign up at Glenmore Sailing Academy or Ghost Lake sailing. Start lessons and experience there. Start now.
Oh yah - and running charters in another country for an income stream - I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. To be legal
to do it will change by each country. And cost a bunch. And if you try to do it quietly as a regular income stream it can just take one slip up for boat impound etc. We have now been to five countries in our journey. Two of them have asked if we are running charters at check in. We have had three sets of friends come visit. Two of the three were quoted extensively about if they were on a charter, who we were to them etc.
Feel free to direct message if you have more questions