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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Hello All,

Can someone please advise or direct us to where we can obtain the correct information of buying a sailboat from the US.
Here is the situation: The boat is in Rochester NY...we live in Port Dalhousie Ontario, Canada, the boat could be sailed directly here.
Thanks for your help.
Ron
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

I'm not a pro on Canadian customs, but my understanding is this is done all the time. Particularly crossing the Great Lakes. Assuming you are a Canadian citizen, I believe you just show up with your new boat and immediately check in with your Customs, which you would do anyway, tell them you are importing the boat you are on and pay your taxes. I'm told those taxes are breathtaking. We have two Canadian neighbors at our marina that will never bring their boats home, for that reason.

Be sure you know you have clear title to the boat and have proof of what you paid for it. In the US, title (ownership document) may be issued by the State or it could be documented with the USCG. Don't be confused by registration, which is entirely different and only signifies ones permission to keep a boat within a State's waters for an extended period.


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post #3 of 10 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Minne's pretty much got it. You'll need documentation - bill of sale, copy of seller's original title, passport info for all on board upon arrival.

Go to the designated check-in dock and here in BC you call them by phone. You'll be interviewed asking for description, what you paid, and who's on board. Then you may be inspected by officers.. You'll have to wait, and no one is to step ashore before they get there. But odds are better than 50/50 that you'll simply be told to report to their offices within 3 days to pay taxes (and 9.5% duty if the boat was built outside NAFTA)

So if you're shopping Beneteau or Jeanneaus keep that in mind, many older models are French built.. And a lot of boats are built in the Far East.

Usually you can get your provincial license documentation at the same location.. It's free. If you choose to register then you're paying for name search and other fees.

In any event it's quite painless, and with the dollars recent parity a much better deal.

Ron

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Last edited by Faster; 03-29-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Ok. Curiosity will probably kill me, but what are the import taxes? I see it starts with the 9%. How much more?

My neighbors have a Hallberg Rassy, which they brought to the US from Europe. It flies the Canadian flag, but they tell me they will never actually import her there. One drives to RI from Montreal (~6hrs), the other from London (~9hrs). They both say that flying commercial takes longer, after clearing security, baggage and customs.


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post #5 of 10 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Don't forget HST - How much more we can Steal from the Tax payers - Harmonized Sales Tax for our US neighbors
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Minne-
Bear in mind that if they keep those boats in Newport? IIRC the nearest airport is an hour away by car, so if you fly in, now you add 1-1/2 hours to get a car and drive it down and leave it at the dock...or there's a bus. Must be a shuttle van these days but years ago when the town fathers were taking bids to replace the bridge? They rejected a proposal for four lanes, saying they prefered to keep it small and congested to discourage the hoi-poloi from coming in too easily. Flying in from Canada, adding Customs to the loop...they must really love sailing, or the local beer, so spend that much time in transit. (G)
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

HS, yes Providence airport is 30 to 45 mins away, depending. I'm not even sure you can get there on a direct flight from either Montreal or London, so that would add even more time.

One boat is owned by two families and they seem to timeshare. One comes for a couple of weeks straight and then the other. Their boat, by the way, is a shambles. They didn't even cover it over the winter. Long distance romance, I guess. But, I think they just use it as a foreign vacation cottage.

The other is a very nice Hallberg, kept in nice condition. They come from London and spend several long weekends and a few straight weeks throughout the summer.

As far as the Newport bridge, you should see the work they've done to add speed lanes to the toll plaza. The town father's have fully embraced collecting that money as fast as humanly possible.


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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

Speed lanes in the toll plaza? Hmmm...And once they speed through, they get to wait bumper to bumper sooner?

I was quite happy to take Amtrak and then the meandering local bus last time I went to Newport "one way". Speed lanes to nowhere...I'll bet they can charge extra for that!
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

HST is 13% and duty is 9% if the boat was not built in Canada or US. I would estimate that 75%+ of the Canadian-flagged boats cruising in distant areas have never been to Canada. We are facing the question of whether to import Ainia in a couple of years. We would have HST only, but would be looking at $15k.

Minne, do your friends with the HR have US resident visas? If not they could only get a one year cruising permit after which they would have to exit the country for fourteen days, Bermuda would be the obvious destination. This assumes that CBP people are all reading from the same page. When we first went to live in Jersey City we only had an annual permit because the people at the Customs office at the Newark container port, our nearest office, did not know that we were eligible for ao open ended cruising permit. We registered the boat in Rhode Island, the Liberia of the United States, to get around this. After we entered the US again in Connecticut after a Bermuda trip, a knowledgeable and helpful CBP guy in Plymouth, MA chased us down because so many terrorists enter the country on yachts. He said we could not be Canadian and Rhode Island registered at the same time, but he did give us the open-ended cruising permit. We were out $300+ for the RI registry.

Heading back to Lake Ontario for this summer. Ainia is back in North America for the first time since 2010. Currently in Long Island Sound.
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Re: Purchasing a Sailboat from the US?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Speed lanes in the toll plaza? Hmmm...And once they speed through, they get to wait bumper to bumper sooner?

I was quite happy to take Amtrak and then the meandering local bus last time I went to Newport "one way". Speed lanes to nowhere...I'll bet they can charge extra for that!
Hilariously correct. Come over the bridge and try to get downtown and you will be bumper to bumper. If you're heading up toward Middletown or Portsmith, you'll pass by.

And, yes, they charge more all the time. Tolls are now $4 each way for out-of-state cars. Said to be going to $5. Residents pay 83 cents.

RI state budget is a disaster. A state representative was lambasting her colleague for failing to pass any fiscal restraint, while a few weeks ago they passed a resolution making calamari the official state appetizer. I would laugh if it weren't so sad.


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