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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm a newbie here, I've been reading these forums for a few years now but this is my first post. I've been looking through the forums here and have seen a few posts that touch on this subject, but don't really answer the questions that I have. So here goes...

I'm currently in the process of trying to buy a boat that I absolutely love. It has no more and no less than everything I feel I need in a small cruising/live-aboard boat and it just seems perfect for me (and I have very picky taste). I've been in communication with the owner and we both want to go ahead with the sale, but we've run into a bit of a dispute concerning paperwork. The boat is Canadian registered and I am American, so I would want to register it with the coast guard. The coast guard website says that the documents I need to send in with the documentation application are the bill of sale(notarized by a US certified notary), a copy of the Canadian registry, and proof of removal from the Canadian registry. I called in and spoke with a coast guard representative and they confirmed all of this. However, the owner says that he has done multiple sales to US citizens and that all he's ever needed to produce is a Bill of Sale. He says he's been asking around to all of the local brokers and anyone else he can find who has made a similar sale in the past couple of years, and he says that everyone he's talked to except for one person has only needed the Bill of Sale and they didn't need it notarized.

I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there with personal experience with a similar situation. I'm going to go talk to some of the brokers and other people he mentioned to hear about their version of the process, but I would really appreciate some 3rd party insight as well.

I have talked with the owner through email, over the phone, and a few times in person, and he seems like a nice honest guy. If he wanted to, he could put the boat back on the market and easily make twice as much as the price we've agreed upon. I really, really want this boat, but I feel like I'm the only one with a large amount of risk in this situation and I don't want to end up with a boat in my name that I can't register. I plan on having the boat in Mexico right away, so documentation is pretty essential.

I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you.

M
 

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Captn D
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I've registered two US boats in Canada. Both the US and Canadian registrars are big on notorised bills of sale and they have a peferred format for the bill of sale.

If the vessel is registered in Canada, you will need to remove the vessel from
the Canadian Registry before the US Coast Guard will register. A notorised bill of sale in the Canadian format will make the process easy.

You can confirm ownership of a Canadian registered boat at:
Vessel Registration Query System

US Coast Guard Bill of Sale:
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/forms/cg1340.pdf

Canadian format for a bill of sale:
http://tc.gc.ca/wwwdocs/Forms/84-0015E_1208-06_E.pdf
 

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Be aware that the USCG documentation process can take almost 3 months to complete, and if there are any problems with the paperwork your application goes to the bottom of the pile for processing. Don't ask me how I know this, mine ended up being almost a year.
 

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Dirt Free
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I am a Transport Canada Appointed Tonnage Surveyor and work with this stuff all the time. Your OP is exactly correct, the Canadian owner is wrong.
 
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It's also important that you have a very thorough title search done in the process. Selling at half value raises yellow flag.
 

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Dirt Free
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It's also important that you have a very thorough title search done in the process. Selling at half value raises yellow flag.
Title search is unecessary on Canadian Registered Vessels. Transport Canada Ships Registry has all that data and it can be cleared with one phone call...
although the number appears to be secret :) contact me if you need it.
 

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Title search is unecessary on Canadian Registered Vessels. Transport Canada Ships Registry has all that data and it can be cleared with one phone call...
although the number appears to be secret :) contact me if you need it.
Much better than the US, where title (and liens) could be filed federally or in any one of the 50 states.

Still, the seller suggesting the buyer just come back with a BOS and, therefore, skip the deregistration raises the same concern. Even if just one phone call, it should be placed.
 

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Dirt Free
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Agreed ! .... the OP should stick to his guns. He needs that letter of de-listing from Transport Canada before it can be USCG documented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much for all the responses! The owner and I just had a meeting and we're still trying to hash things out, but I have another question. After signing a bill of sale, would it be possible for me to unregister the boat from canada myself, or can only the person whose name is on the registry do that? Either way, it seems like it should be a pretty simple process. I guess I'm off to do more research :p

Once again, thanks for all the input. I really appreciate it.

m
 

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Kzed
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Our Island Packet had been licenced in Canada, we had no problems selling it to an American. We used a U.S. Vessel Titling company, and provided them with two notorized bills of sale, a document saying they could act on our behalf to check and clear title, plus a copy of our current Canadian pleasure craft licence.

We later filled out a cancellation form and sent it to our Canadian Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre. That's it.

Note! Transport Canada has two ways of tracking pleasure craft:
1) The boat can be registered with the Canadian Register of Vessels. (An ownership document. Fees involved.)
2) The boat can have a Canadian Pleasure Craft Licence. (Not an ownership document, used to identify owners/operators, and to ensure compliance with the Small Vessel Regulations. No fees involved.)

A vessel with a pleasure craft licence will not show up in the Canadian Vessel Registration Query System (the link given by Halberdier).

You might want to look at titling companies in your location.
Hope this helps, cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"Our Island Packet had been licenced in Canada, we had no problems selling it to an American. We used a U.S. Vessel Titling company, and provided them with two notorized bills of sale, a document saying they could act on our behalf to check and clear title, plus a copy of our current Canadian pleasure craft licence.

We later filled out a cancellation form and sent it to our Canadian Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre. That's it."
Good info. So you cancelled the license yourself, but you didn't have to provide documentation of that to the American buyers?

This boat is definitely registered and not licensed, I was able to look it up with the link previously posted. How long did the cancellation process take you?
 

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Dirt Free
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Thanks so much for all the responses! The owner and I just had a meeting and we're still trying to hash things out, but I have another question. After signing a bill of sale, would it be possible for me to unregister the boat from canada myself, or can only the person whose name is on the registry do that? Either way, it seems like it should be a pretty simple process. I guess I'm off to do more research :p

Once again, thanks for all the input. I really appreciate it.

m
You take (or send) a notarized copy of the bill of sale along with a letter requesting de-registration to Transport Canada. Transport Canada has an official bill of sale form on their website that you can download.

Once you have confirmation of de-registering follow normal procedures for USCG documentation.
 

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Good info. So you cancelled the license yourself, but you didn't have to provide documentation of that to the American buyers?

This boat is definitely registered and not licensed, I was able to look it up with the link previously posted. How long did the cancellation process take you?
To the OP. Licensing in Canada is a completely different ball of wax and is irrelevant to your situation as you are dealing with a registered vessel.
 

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Kzed
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To MaJo
the licence is not an ownership document, and it showed that the vessel was NOT registered here in Canada. We can't do both, a vessel must be either registered or licenced in Canada.

Unfortunately, since the boat that interests you is registered, that is a more complicated process. As others have mentioned, it must be removed from the Canadian Register of Vessels. I'm pretty sure there is a fee involved.
 

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To MaJo
the licence is not an ownership document, and it showed that the vessel was NOT registered here in Canada. We can't do both, a vessel must be either registered or licenced in Canada.

Unfortunately, since the boat that interests you is registered, that is a more complicated process. As others have mentioned, it must be removed from the Canadian Register of Vessels. I'm pretty sure there is a fee involved.
It is an increbibly simple process here is a link to the TC bill of sale that you must use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You take (or send) a notarized copy of the bill of sale along with a letter requesting de-registration to Transport Canada. Transport Canada has an official bill of sale form on their website that you can download.

Once you have confirmation of de-registering follow normal procedures for USCG documentation.
Perfect, so that means I can do it myself once I have a notarized Bill of Sale. That would explain why the owner has never needed this in his previous sales.

Thanks again to everyone for all the great information, I really appreciate it. I don't have a lot of money and pretty much all I have is going into this boat, so I'm trying not to use brokers or anything like that. Its kind of a confusing process though and I want to get it right the first time through, so I really appreciate all the insight.
 

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Kzed
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Hey MaJo, I haven't De-registered a vessel so I can't say if it really is that simple. If you need some kind of certificate that the vessel has been de-registered, there surely will be a fee for that.
Best wishes, and let us know how things turn out.
 

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Is the letter of de-registration something I can email, or does it need to be snail mail?
The letter and the notarized bill of sale have to be hard copies so FedEx is good.The letter should explain that you are de-listing in Canada and re-listing with USCG.

Send them and a money order for $50.00 (Cdn) to

Transport Canada Marine Safety
Office of Boating Safety (AMSRO)
Tower C. Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N8

Attn : D. Cosentino
 
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