Noob purchasing and commandeering a sail boat - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 167 Old 12-04-2011
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Try to learn as much as possible about inspecting a sailboat before you have a professional go over it. Try to be there when he does.

I have friends who recently bought a 42' sailboat in the Great lakes that was inspected by an accredited surveyor and also by an engine mechanic. They have spent thousands of dollars and almost had loss of life because of things the surveyors missed. The owner found out the halyards were rotten....when he was 50 feet up in a bosuns' chair, and the halyard began to unravel! The motor mounts were loose, and the transmission was ruined because of that, in just a few hours of running, after being told by the surveyors it was in good order.

If the boat is at a marina; ask other boat owners nearby about the boat and Its' owners if possible. Have some of the purchase price put in escro for a "warranty period" if there are things about the boat you are concerned with.

Good Luck!

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post #12 of 167 Old 12-04-2011
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We recently went through the same process. We purchased an American boat in Wisconsin, and sailed it back to our home port in Thunder Bay, ON. We did not have to pay any US state sales tax (although I'm not sure if Wisconsin even has a sales tax).

You do not have check with US authorities to export the boat. You do not have to clear out of the US when heading to Canada.

When we got into Canadian waters we called the central border service entry number and informed them we were importing a boat. We were given instructions, and met the friendly CBS agents at the dock. A quick inspection, a few questions, and the payment of GST & PST (now just HST) had us on our way. If the boat is not North American built, then you will get slapped with an additional import tariff of (I believe) 9.5%.

Have all your normal entry paperwork ready, plus a proper bill of sale. Process was painless, (aside from paying the additional 13%), and easy.

We used a SAMS surveyor in Wisconsin. I'm sure you can fine one near your boat.

You can probably find some willing sailors at local yacht clubs/marinas. Contact the commodore, or better yet, spend an afternoon at a yacht club yard. Ask around. Find out who are the good guys/gals.
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post #13 of 167 Old 12-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Thank you for your help.

I went ahead and put in the offer for the boat and I've contacted a few SAMS surveyors to do my survey of the boat.

I'm trying to find a marina in the Burlington/Hamilton coast area that allows liveaboards for all year in water docking.

Searching for a marina has been very difficult... I found La Salle Park Marina in Burlington, but i'm not sure if they do liveaboards and I can't get ahold of them. (I also don't think can help me because they say maximum beam of 12 feet, and I'm at 12'8'' and 40 feet LOA)

Any smaller marinas out there with whom I can actually get some information and who will actually be able to support my size of boat?

Thanks in advance.
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post #14 of 167 Old 12-16-2011
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Gee, it seems like you not done all your homework first. You need to be sure that you somewhere to keep the boat before you actually own it. Too late for that I guess. One problem on Lake Ontario is that yacht clubs and marinas were typically built decades ago when boats were smaller (and less beamy) so that docks for bigger boats can be an issue even when there are lots of dock available form smaller boats. There are liveaboards at Port Credit Marina but I don't know about availability. It would be a good idea to get yourself on the list for 2012/3 now though.

You 'may' have to do one administrative thing in the US before registering the boat in Canada. It involves state/provincial registration vs federal in both countries. We bought a boat in Rhode Island that was federally registered (I think they call it 'documented') in the US and wanted to federally register in Canada (not license in Ontario). To do this we had to provide a form from the US Coast Guard saying that the boat had had it is US documentation cancelled. This involved a company to do the paperwork and cost us about $200. I don't think we would have needed this if the boat had state registration in the US or if we wanted an Ontario license.

As to a surveyor, I would choose one yourself from the certified lists suggested (or the recommendation of one of the posters here who is a surveyor here. I would not go with one recommended by the selling broker since he is acting for the seller and not you.

One final note, it sounds like you did not have a buyer's broker which would have been a good idea and is paid for by the seller (commission is split between the brokers). This means that the selling broker is getting the entire commission, so I would not be afraid to ask him for help (other than the surveyor) with regard to completing the sale/ getting the boat launched/rigged etc.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #15 of 167 Old 12-16-2011 Thread Starter
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killarney_sailor, I'm not sure what you mean about me not doing my homework since I haven't purchased the boat yet, or paid for the survey yet.

I'm still in touch with some surveyors and I'm shopping around. But I have this part covered.

The part I'm not sure about is finding a marina with space for my size of boat in Lake Ontario. I wasn't aware that I would have any trouble finding a dock for a 40 footer. (I figured the main problem would be finding a marina that allows all-year docking for liveaboard).

This could be a real problem for me...

I was already in-touch with Port Credit. This isn't my first choice, but it's the only marina that I am sure can take me.

However, the lady I spoke to didn't mention anything about a waiting list I could get on---and she also said I couldn't even apply until mid January 2012 since I'm looking for May 1st docking.

Can anyone confirm if this lady has it wrong?

(I really do need to get on a waiting list if there is such a thing. Waiting till January might screw me over?)
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post #16 of 167 Old 12-16-2011
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Macdonald Marina,102 Harbour Front Dr. Hamilton, ON L8L 8E8 (905)523-5434 has a number of liveaboards. Royal Hamilton Yacht Club has taken in one liveaboard as test and may expand that next year if all goes well. Port Credit, don't do it over the phone. Go into the office and make friends with Wendy who can be very helpful if you're a nice guy. If you are an impatient idiot ..... well good luck

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post #17 of 167 Old 12-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks boatpoker, I appreciate that listing you gave me. I will keep trying to contact them.

It's very hard to contact the marinas. The only one that has answered my call is Port Credit.
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post #18 of 167 Old 12-20-2011
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Spend $25,000 0n a good, hardy, pre-owned, blue water cruiser, Pay a good delivery captain with a good reputation , and decent teaching skills, a decent wage, go to a good off shore sailing school, There will alway's be a reputable marine surveyor around any boat yard, just ask in the office, Don't buy from a yacht broker, they see you comming a mile away. They are more interested in selling you a WAY over priced boat. Look on, Buy from owner! I hate to see you spend 3 times what you should for a sailboat, don't buy a paint job and gadgets!! Buy a good thick hull, Good strong engine, rig and sail's. Don't trade sea worthyness for oppulance. Read, Read, Read about what people are crusing blue water in. The Old Cal's, the Columbias from the 70's. Look at Westsail's, Bristol's. Don't get a Hunter!! If your going to pay a hundred, make sure it's at least a Beneteau. Read anything by Bernard Mottisie', If your serious about "doing this with your life" don't blow a 100k right out of the Gate!! I've been living aboard and cruising for 20 years and probably Have'nt spent a 100 grand. You can spend 25k on the boat and sail around the world for 4 years on the other 75!! In Style. Too many times I've seen good people get burned on first time buy's. They spend there whole wad on the boat and have nothing left over to deal with it. I've helped countless people over the years find the right boat for their need's and helped them deliver it to where it need's to be. Most of the survey'ing is common sense. If it's loose, tighten it. If it won't tighten, it's stripped. If it's old and faded, it's probably rotten, If it's scaled and rusted, it's probably about ready to change. Boat's up north are alway's twice what they go for down here in Fla. People up north buy the boat, sail down here, realize they don't like the life, and sell it for a fraction of what they paid for it. We have a surplus of good boat's that need a little T.L.C. IT'S A BUYERS MARKET DOWN HERE. A good sailor could help you learn everything you need to know on the trip back to Canada. I just helped my buddy buy a 1966 Cal 36 for 18k and it's ready for a circum-navigation as is. He's not, but the boat is. Look for word's like Yanmar, Harken, Sta-lok, There has to be a salty dude up there that you can trust and has interest in steering you on the right course. Good sailors are passionate about the subject and there are a lot of them up there. Avoid the word YACHT. Your buying a boat. Tiger Wood's has a Yacht. I paid a good surveyor, like $1500.00 for a proffessional looking, thurough survey of a boat I'm selling down here in Key West. That's the seller's obligation for it helps sell the boat. Look in the Camden ME. Area, Very Salty people 'round there. and Close to home.

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 12-20-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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post #19 of 167 Old 12-20-2011
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Originally Posted by PsySailor View Post
I'm looking for someone who would do it for some good memories, a friendship, beer, and perhaps a small fee... My family is poor.....
This, and "I'm buying a $100k+ sailboat" do not go together......

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post #20 of 167 Old 12-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Capt.aaron, thanks for you advice, you sound like a hardy sailor who really knows what he is talking about.

I did think about doing it your way, but I shy'd away for a few reasons.

Number 1: I'm not sailing on salt water. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding something, but it sounds like you are assuming that I'm sailing on salt water.

Number 2: I'm looking for a comfortable boat as it will be my home. I want something that gives me maximum living space for the buck. Modern boats I've seen have much more space... Hence the reason I'm buying a 2004 Catalina.

Number 3: I'm looking for a boat that I will not have to repair ANYTHING SERIOUS for 5 years. (I will just do basic maintenance producedures.)

Number 4: I'm not looking for a cruiser, I'm looking for a shoal sailor. I want a smaller draft because I'll be on the great lakes and always coastal sailing.

Primarily, my reason for spending $130000 is to get a boat that will maintain it's value pretty well over 3 years. (I plan to sell it for at least $100000 in 3 years... It's a 2004) As well as the fact that I don't want any serious repairs on my hands for the entire time that I own it.

If you still think I'm making the wrong decision, please feel free to tell me why.
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