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Old 10-24-2010
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Canadian Registration and Licensing

I am in the process of closing a deal on a used boat in British Columbia.

The boat has no license number painted on the bows. I understand that this suggests that this means she is federally registered but not licensed, but don't understand the implications to me as her new owner.

Any comments or help is much appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2010
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If it is a registered vessel you have to change the ownership and name if you wish. Talk to your local registrar of shipping.
Canada Shipping Act, 2001 - Pleasure Craft - Transport Canada
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Old 10-24-2010
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You will have to transfer registration if it is in fact registered - or licensed, for that matter.. what size boat? In many cases with smaller boats(<30 feet) often owners won't bother to apply the license number.. so check that out first.

If truly registered, among the boat's documents should be a 'blue book' which is the registration paperwork. It used to be inexpensive to transfer (less than $20), but I'm not sure of the current situation... doubtless the fees have gone up. Also a registered boat needs it's registration number and tonnage permanently affixed somewhere below - not necessarily visibly so - could be under a bunk or settee, but just as often it will be on a bulkhead or on a decorative plaque. To my mind the biggest advantage of registration is not needing to apply a "K" (now "BC") number on the hull.

That license (ie the BC #) is free - but when you get it that's when the taxman finds you. It is required for unregistered vessels over 30 feet LOA with over 10 hp.

Hopefully Jackdale will weigh in here - he probably has the current details and differences at hand..

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Old 10-24-2010
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Thanks all for your quick replies.
I figure I'll just end up learning about it at the government office when I go in to register. Just hoping to not get any surprises.

I've tried searching Canadian government web sites without much luck, but will check the link you suggested (thanks).

Pretty good blow the last couple days - Gale force in the Strait of Georgia - so not much sailing for me now anyways.

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Old 10-24-2010
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In Canada a Registered boat means there are 64 shares issued for the vessel. But, and it's a big but, one of those shares is kept by the Queen of England who happens to be the head of State of Canada. This could mean if a foreign nation's border guard wanted to board to inspect said vessel the skipper has the right to refuse boarding until the Queen has been notified. Which could take weeks, and the foreign border guards could just surround the vessel and not let the skipper or the crew off the boat for that time.
This could also mean, in time of war (how often has that happened? Read about the Falklands war.) the Queen could press said vessel into service.
A registered vessel can be used as collateral for a loan.
Strange but true.
Of course the other way is to licence the boat which is done Province by Province.
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