I think it would make more sense to register it in Canada rather than California, since, if you decide to go to Mexico, you're might have a problem with a CA-state registered boat, and being Canadian. Just some food for thought. You probably wouldn't have to pay any import duties on the boat, if it doesn't enter Canadian waters, but would probably have to get an annual cruising permit for your boat.
I was trying to avoid 13% and duties (if not made in the USA-our duty is 9.5% on non US boat.
Revenue Canada states the following:
You do not need to provide customs clearance documents to license a boat that you purchased in the U.S. or outside of Canada, but you still need to remit duty and taxes on the purchase to the Canada Border Services Agency
I dont know if that applies to a boat that I am not bringing a boat into Canada, but after my last purchase and import, I think to get a reg number Im almost positive I would have to pay the above noted cost.
It made more sense if the boat was not returning to Canada (ie purchased and occasional kept in CA) to regsiter it there, save money on taxes/possible import fees, and probably purchase it for a lower price.
SD-why could a CA registered boat be a problem in Mexico?