Cross border sailing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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Cross border sailing

Way back, we used to sail around lake Ontario and Thousand Islands and many time visited US clubs and towns. But we haven't done that now for 15+ years.

We have been invited to visit a private island for a few days in the Thousand Islands that is just on the US side of the border. If we sailed there from Kingston, Ontario, what would be the procedure for my wife & I to comply with current regulations?

Same question for when we return to Canada.
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post #2 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Cross border sailing

Clear out
Clear in
Clear out
Clear in



But I'm just hazarding a guess.

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post #3 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Cross border sailing

In British Columbia, you can not just sail to an American island wherever you like. You must report to a port where there is a customs office for clearance. You must repeat the procedure when returning to Canada...report to customs first.
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post #4 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Cross border sailing

It's been a few years since I've been there, but there were many places to check in on both sides of the border. They will be listed on the websites for Customs. Call a local Kingston or Brickville (not the national) number and ask what the procedures are. (The national number will get you the "OFFICIAL" response, which may be different than how things are usually handled in the area.
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Re: Cross border sailing

... and complete your SN profile so you can lose the US flag under your name

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Re: Cross border sailing

I'd say just clear in at Alexandria Bay, then head to your island. I would also do my shopping after clearing in in New York so you can get your booze for half the price

Same thing for returning to Kingston, call in (with your cell phone) when you get home. You need passports now.

Here's a website with instructions and relevant links.

Pat's Boating in Canada: Entering the U.S.A. by Boat

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post #7 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Cross border sailing

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-...-boat-overview

That is a horse head in the box. Not an alien!
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Re: Cross border sailing

I'm not advocating it and am sure the penalties are stiff for noncompliance, but I suspect the OP's scenario is one of the most violated immigration scenarios on the boarder. Particularly, when there is no landfall on the destination's mainland. I know some folks who spent 20 years of summers in the Thousand Islands and just sold their boat last year. Still, I would do it correctly, myself.

Sorry to hear about booze prices in Canada. Assume it's taxes.


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Re: Cross border sailing

Minnewaska, I am curious if your friend was an American being casual about clearing into Canada, or a Canadian being casual about clearing into the US? Those are two very different scenarios. I absolutely would not risk it for a Canadian. There is a USCG station in A. Bay, New York State Sheriffs boats, USCBP etc. If any one of those spot Canadian Registration numbers anchored in a US bay, the likelihood of them checking those numbers is high enough.

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post #10 of 32 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Cross border sailing

Id clear in/clear out, as others have said. Not worth the very real risk of running afoul with US Customs.

Back in the golden era, prior to 9/11, it was not uncommon for Americans to cross Lake Superior and not bother to clear into Canada. And I assume it happened in reverse as well. Given the relatively few official spots to clear in, its no surprise.

Sadly, those days are gone. I wouldt risk it, going either way.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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