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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!!

Frst of all it's nice to see a forum with so many helpful and knowledgable people posting. I have been reading in here for the past week and have learned a lot. For the past 6 months I have been thinking about purchasing a 27' Cat or similiar and have seriously started looking in the past 2 weeks. There seems to be a shortage of good Catalina 27's for sale in Victoria, bC area and I have considered going to the US.
My questions is... where do I find good links for boats for sale in Washington state? I dont seem to have much luck finding 27' boats under $15000, most brokers have lots at $100k and up :)

Any advice or links would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin
 

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If you use Yachtworld.com or Boats.com and set your filters for area and price you'll get a good idea of what's around. (and others like craigslist's regional boards too)

Once you find 'the' boat, importing is a simple process that mostly involves writing a cheque. Under NAFTA there is no duty on North American built boats, but there will be PST and GST in BC. I've been involved in several such deals in the past 4 years or so, it's straightforward.

Don't try to short the government, say what you paid and pay the taxes.. they do check (easy to do with the web) and if they think you're lying it'll go hard.

So be up front and it will likely all be done over the phone.

A quick yachtworld search picked up 11 boats in BC and the PNW:

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that you will have to pay GST and PST when you bring your boat through customs. You can avoid those taxes if you find a private sale here in Canada.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that you will have to pay GST and PST when you bring your boat through customs. You can avoid those taxes if you find a private sale here in Canada.
Actually you can only avoid the taxes (PST, anyway) if you do not transfer the licence (ie the "K number") This is possible (at least I think it still is) if the boat is under 30 feet and under 10 hp, as such vessels need not be licenced (again, unless that's recently changed) A good many under-30' boats with one lung diesels will fit that category.

Typically the strong dollar today, coupled with lower prices in the US will mean that it can work out to the same or a better deal, despite paying "extra" tax.

We would have much preferred to buy locally, but the reality was that the selection in BC (4 yrs ago - mid-30 footers) was slim, and what was here was either in poor condition, overpriced, or both.
 

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Typical brokerage commission on old 27' 15,000 boat that needs lots of work and time showing it; $1500.

Typical brokerage commission on 100,000 boat: $10,000.

So, they have six times more profit for the same labor when the show the more expensive boat. Even more so considering you want 'under' $15k.

It may pay to take a few days, go down to Seattle or another place with lots of boats, and walk the docks and yards looking for "For sale by owner".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
FANTASTIC INFORMATION!!

Thanks for all of the replies, very helpful indeed.

Yachtworld seems to have a nice search engine and I hit about 10 boats in my area. It's hard to tell if the price will be much cheaper by going to the US, from what I have seen on yachtworld the prices are pretty close. Way more selection down south though!
For first time buyers is it better to go a little less expensive, to make sure the family enjoys it first, and then upgrade a year or two later? Or is one better off buying better right off the bat? Are boats hard to sell?

Kevin
 

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If the boat is not maufactured in North America, the boat would be subject to 9.5% duty.
 

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I think it is a good idea to head south to buy a boat, it helps the US economy by injecting new money and can save you money. It also help the Canadian market adjust.

But there are extra costs, taxes, possibly duties, and do not forget the extra cost of traveling like transportation and accomodation.

If you can find a boat in Canada maybe try to point out to the seller that the dollar has increased by about 30% and the market for many boats is down, not up.

I did find a boat I liked on Vancouver Island but I knew the seller could not get their head around the idea that taking less money in 2008 was actually getting more money than they spent in 2003. That boat was overpriced by more than 40% and in much poorer condition than similar boats down south.

I've stopped shopping for a boat in Canada, the market has not yet adjusted and it just takes too much time and effort to explain why my offers seemed so low. I have a deal in the works for a boat down south and it has been much easier to come to an agreed price. Basically offer, counter offer, deal, the way it should be.
 

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Achi, it's going to take some time for the market in Canada to adjust. As long as similair boats in the Canadian market are similairily priced and people buy them at that price it's not going to happen. Your claim that they are getting more money is incorrect. They bought and are selling in Canadian dollars and so are loosing Canadian dollars when you devalue. They have more buying power in US $ but they live and spend money in Canada, in Canadian dollars.
 

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........Your claim that they are getting more money is incorrect. They bought and are selling in Canadian dollars and so are loosing Canadian dollars when you devalue. They have more buying power in US $ but they live and spend money in Canada, in Canadian dollars.
That is more true for some than others. I live in a very international Canada (mostly American), few of my household goods were made here and the value of my labour has been, for the most part, exported. When the $CDN dropped my standard of living dropped and I needed more Canadian dollars to purchase most items even here in Canada.

If the item is one that cannot be moved, imported, or exported then as you suggest there does not have to be any change in cost.

On items like sailboats the dollar's value does change the price. $100,000cdn for a sailboat with the dollar worth $0.60 is not the same as $100,000cdn with the dollar worth $1.10. If that person sells his $100,000 ($0.60) boat for $80,000($1.10) he is "ahead of the game".

This is because the sailboat market is very open compared to others. We saw this when the dollar was low, many people came up from the States and bought our boats, driving the Canadian cost of the boats up considerably (the value stayed the same or actually dropped). Good for those of us selling not so good for those of us trying to buy. At that time many sold for more Canadian dollars than they had been purchased for. People did not like it when I pointed out they had not really made the apparent profit, particularly if they then bought another boat or something like gold.

Unless, like you point out, Canadians decide that certain items have more value here and people all agree to only purchase within the closed system. Cars are a really good example. Canadians, for whatever reason, have decided that an identical car on this side of the border is worth more. In that case cars are bought and sold within a local market and the dollar/value effect is quite limited.

Eventually I would expect Canadian boats to drop in price a lot and I see many boats closer to the border seem to have already. Maybe like you suggest they won't drop much or already have, either way I can't wait, now is the time.
 

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Archi, he is only ahead in US dollars, in Canada where he lives, works, spends and earns a living he lost $20,000 Canadian. If he takes his $80,000 and goes to the US with the dollar at par he's ahead $20,000. I have noticed some boats on the market are now pretty much the same on both sides of the border others are not. So the market is adjusting but slowly.
 

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This is a very helpful thread. I am also from BC Canada and the selection of used boats is much less that in the US (Puget Sound). The fluctuating dollar has made things a bit more difficult lately, but I have noticed slightly lower prices in US with much great variety or selection. My view is if I can import a boat for same final cost as what I can pay here it may be worth it if I get something that meets my needs (a better boat that what i can purchase locally for same final cost might be worth the extra hasstle.
 

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We didn't go looking for a boat in the US, it just happened that the 1 we bought was US registered. Met at customs, paid our money and were done within the hour.
1 item we did not account for was USCG approved anything is not CCG approved. Flares, life rings, PFD's, fire extinguishers.... Another $1500 we hadn't planned on. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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