Join Date: Jan 2007
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Although this is only my 2nd season sailing, I do have relevant experience with boats of this size, trailers, and shipping to Canada. Last year I purchased a 23' fin keeled boat locally, with a sturdy homemade trailer, which towed excellent, saved me on crane / lauch costs, and storage fees.
This year, wanting more space / bigger boat, I purchased a 30' fin-keeled boat near Cape Cod, and had it shipped approx 500-600 miles for about $1800 USD, by using a boat hauler from Maine. As the purchase price / receipt was about $8,000 US, I paid around $1200 tax at the border.
- I called customs twice and was told both times that it was not necessary to use a customs broker to "get all the documents in order" One agent basically laughed on the phone and said "What documents are they charging to get in order?? Just show up with the boat and a sales receipt (of reasonable value), pay the tax, and be on your way" I really believe that this broker fear mongering is just them drumming up business for themselves - it is differnent for commercial transactions, but for personal - Do it yourself!
I am enjoying the larger boat, however it does come with the related higher cradle/ crane/ storage issues, that you can avoid if you have a boat in the 22-26' range - Get one with a trailer!! You will have more flexibility and save money in the longrun.
You mentioned buying an inexpensive boat - unfortunately, it costs the same to ship a $5000 24' boat as it does to shipp a $50,000 24' boat. The same goes for building / buying a custom trailer - try to get one with a trailer included. I would have a hard time paying $8000 for a trailer to haul a $3000 boat.