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sck5 01-22-2008 07:32 AM

buying a boat in Canada
I live in upstate NY a little over an hour from Lake Ontario and am in the very early stages of looking for a boat. It seems most of the listings I see are on the Canadian side so I am wondering how easy it is to buy a boat in Ontario and bring it back across the lake to NY. Does anyone have experience with this?

Thanks to anyone who knows more about this than I do


dgrenwich 01-22-2008 04:01 PM

I know your post is old, but I bought a boat in the US and brought it to Canada, so I'm not sure if the same applies, but under NAFTA, any boat manufactured in either country (even if built before NAFTA) is importable without a tariff, unlike, for instance a European boat. You will likely have to pay state taxes and submit forms/inspections as well as US Coast guard minimum safety gear which is slightly different from Canadian Coast Guard requirements.

sailingdog 01-22-2008 04:12 PM

Part of the problem is that with the dollar being as weak as it is, you're probably going to take a slight hit on the prices of boats in the 52nd state.

Johnrb 01-22-2008 06:27 PM


I can't comment on importing a boat into the U.S. (I live in Ontario) but importing into Canada from the U.S. isn't difficult, particularly for a boat built in a NAFTA country. If you buy through a broker you will be charged the 5% G.S.T. but if the boat is exported to the U.S. you can get a rebate. If you do go this route, ask the broker about the details and where to get the appropriate forms.

Provincial sales tax (8% in Ontario) will also apply but I don't know the procedure for either getting a rebate or avoiding this tax on a boat for export. Again, bring this up with the broker and check with both New York and Ontario regarding this issue. A privately bought boat isn't subject to G.S.T and the provincial government only gets you when you license your boat in Canada so you should be OK on the P.S.T. issue.

As S.Dog mentioned, the Canadian dollar isn't working in your favour although I wouldn't be surprised to see the value of local boats dropping somewhat to be competitive with boats in the U.S. Cross border shopping is a big issue here and where Canadian prices are higher than the U.S., expect to see heavy traffic across the Peace Bridge to Buffalo.

sck5 01-22-2008 07:27 PM

thanks! Those are the answers I was hoping to get. But even with an anemic US dollar some of the boats on the Canadian side look good - there are just a lot more to choose from. I was looking at CS 36's - quite a few on the market in Canada and not many at all over here - and they are pretty nice boats, esp. when you consider that we are in fresh water with a short season so they dont get beat up too much

tommyt 01-22-2008 08:31 PM

I would not worry too much about the US $ against the Can $. It was certainly nice when the C$ was .68 US, but things were just priced accordingly. The Canadians now can afford US boats because they are plentiful and the dollar works in their favor. Works for both countries because it opens the doors to more buyers.

Used to be that Canadian boats were priced higher because they needed to offset the currency. Now, they compete with US boats, so the prices will seek the markets level.

Current currency is about $1US to $1.03+Can. Equal playing field. Still more boats for sale than buyers.

warmbeer 01-22-2008 08:37 PM

Check with him but likely if you buy it through a broker he can show it as "shipped" to you in NY and not charge any taxes to you.


sailusvi 01-25-2008 08:52 AM


I just returned from the Toronto boat show (great show and well attended) After spending many hours talking to the Jeanneau people, Hunter, Tarten etc I found the pricing to be higher than what I could do in the states.

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