SHipping to Canada - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-28-2007 Thread Starter
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SHipping to Canada

I have been lurking for a long time, finally joined as I am getting serious about buying a sailboat. I have tried searching on shipping into canada using the search function, but it does not give me any relevant results..

Anyway, given the huge disparity in sailboat prices between the US and Canada as well as the choice available in the US, it seems that I can get more for my money by buying from somewhere in New England (I live in Montreal, Quebec). Assuming a 24 foot boat, what is a ballpark price to ship into Canada? Let's say from Boston for example. I realize all kinds of variables, but I am just looking for a ballpark figure. I am trying to determine if it makes more sense to :

a) Have a boat shipped
b) Buy a boat with a trailer, drive down and pick up boat and trailer (Cost of $209 to get trailer into Canada at border)
c) Borrow/rent an appropriate trailer and drive down to pick boat up.

Any input appreciated.

Oh yeah, I am going to be buying somethin that needs work. Not that I am cheap, just broke! I have 2 kids and we already have a few expensive hobbies - skiing, golf, ski dooing, waterskiing. You can imagine my recreation costs already eat up a huge portion of my disposable income, and yes, I realize a sailboat costs to keep going, but by being frugal up front in all sports, I have no fear of it being a burden. I use my money to live, not to save.
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post #2 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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I would recommend option B. The trailer can be used for storing the boat during the off-season, and can help reduce your ownership costs by doing so. Storing it in your driveway is a lot cheaper than storing it in a marina on boat stands.

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post #3 of 29 Old 08-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Gary M sent me a message, but since I am new, I cannot reply until 10 posts. Anyway, he indicated that a 30 ' boat to Sarnia cost him $2500 to ship. Well, that answers my question; I'll have to drive down and pick a boat up; $2500 pays for a lot of repairs!.

I have two Jeeps, a liberty (a little small for towing) and a Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee should be able to haul something like a Catalina 22 for a couple of hundred miles...now to find the boat!
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post #4 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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On either option you're going to have to pay the GST and PST at the border before they let you cross. On a low price boat, it's not alot of money. They will also nail you with duty. You may want to consider getting a Custom broker to help you with this process, they use a GST loop hole to save you some cash.

$2500 for shipping is pretty fair when you consider the gas, the vehicle cost, your time and the hassle....unless you have time to spare. Make sure the sailboat has a craddle. I always contact Baldson Trucking for quotes, they are very fair. Here is the e-mail.

karen@balsdontrucking.ca
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post #5 of 29 Old 08-28-2007 Thread Starter
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I travel down to Boston and New Hamnpshire on business quite frequently, so the time factor doesn't concern me. Definitely going to have to research all of the paperwork required, but I have seen a few threads here about what is required for the importing process. If nothing else, simply buying the boat and getting it home will be a fun project on its own.
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post #6 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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There is no duty on boats built in Canada or the US. Just good old PST and GST.

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post #7 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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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.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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Northeaster - the perk of using a Broker is that he will issue you a GST number, so you are now in fact a company. Companies are GST exempt, so you save that tax. On an expensive boat, it's worth the Brokerage fee. There is however a small chance that the government flags your purchase and looks into it, and you end up having to pay GST, but I have yet heard of it happening.
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post #9 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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Seamonkey - I was not aware of that.Yes, I could see that being a bonus on an expensive boat. However on a $7000 boat, the GST, if the gov't actually found you, would be approx $500.
I am not sure of brokerage fees, but I would think they run a couple / few hundred, so on a cheaper boat, I'd take my chances. On an expensive boat, it would be worth asking a broker what they provide - how they save you cash - for their fee!
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post #10 of 29 Old 08-28-2007
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Northeaster - the broker I used in Toronto charged me $175 and provided me with a GST number. He told me I was taking a 50/50 change on paying the GST if my purchased was flagged. It never got flagged, so I was okay. Funny how this loop hole still exists. It's not like the government on being okay to lose money.
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