Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 124 Times in 112 Posts
Rep Power: 12
You can buy the boat in the US and register it in Canada (federally) without having to pay Canadian taxes (HST or whatever it is where you live). The taxes are only payable when you physically import the vessel. The majority of Canadian long-distance cruisers have boats that have never been to Canada and likely never will. If you are Canadian registered you can only get a cruising permit for one year (unless you have a residency visa), then you have to take the boat out of the US for at least 15 days before you can get a new permit. Depending on where you are, this could be the Bahamas or Mexico for example.
In most US states you have to pay sales tax if you register within the state (RI is the obvious exception - it is sort of like the Liberia of US states; you don't have to live in the state to register there, just indicate where in the state you would use the boat (from time to time). It is my understanding that most states will still ding you for sales tax and possibly property tax if you are resident in the state for too long even if you are registered in a different state - don't think this would apply to foreign registry.
It is complicated.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.