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Old 09-03-2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

Hi all,
First post.
We're a couple of Canadian citizens seriously looking at up-sizing from our 32 Nordic to something a little bigger and have found a couple potentials in Seattle. If we were to purchase a Taiwan built trawler and bring her back into Victoria, we'd be looking at 13% in sales/gst taxes and approx. 9% in duty (ie $40k.-50k. in tax) My question is, have any Canadians here, bought a US vessel and left her US registered but moored in Canada. What are the border entry ramifications going both ways? insurance pitfalls? how long can she be moored in Canada before having to return to the states? do we need an American address? is this at all feasable??
Thanks in advance*for the insights and happy motoring.
Tom
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

You might talk to some of the Canadian boat owners who keep their boats in the Point Roberts (US) marina. In particular, look for the owner of an immaculate Tollycraft named Dem Bones. His name is Don Carter. While these folks are doing the opposite of what you are asking about--- they are Canadian but keep their boats in the US--- I wouldn't be surprised if they know the ins and outs of both sides of the issue. I do know that they cannot take their boats into Canadian waters or they will be subject to immediatly having to pay registration or taxes or something--- it's a lot of money. So they confine their boating to US waters.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

I have no first hand knowledge on this but there are a large number of boats in our local marinas that bear US home port names. These boats seem to be almost permanently moored here but then again I don't count them every day so they may slip across to US waters for a short time periodically. There are enough of them that they must have some sort of official standing to be moored in Canadian waters.
If you are in Vancouver or Victoria I would start by taking a walk around the Bayshore Marina or Van-Isle here in Sidney and see if you could hook up with an owner.
Good luck
John Tones "Penta"
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

We sublet a slip the first two winters we owned our boat from a fellow who took his boat to a marina on Vancouver Island for six months each winter. To avoid paying Washington taxes and registration his boat had to be out of the state for at least six months of the year. I do not know if there is a similar out-of-province requirement for BC boats whose owners wish to avoid paying BC taxes, registration, etc.

-- Edited by Marin on Friday 4th of September 2009 12:23:23 AM
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:31 AM   #5
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

At our place in Fl there are frequently a number of cruising CN that leave their boat for the summer months. Some boats are US , some are CN registered.

They do some form with customs and have no problem keeping the CN boat in the US seemingly forever.

They must flee back to CN to stay "insured" in their health care .

Cost is about $50 US per week for slip space and juice to keep a battery charger on.

Its far cheaper in time , fuel and wear & tear to drive home leaving the boat ready to go for the next winters escape.

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Old 09-09-2009, 08:44 AM   #6
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

You can run, but you can't hide.
A Canadian bringing a newly acquired possession home will be subject to the duties and taxes levied for that particular item upon entry to Canada.
For boats there is a time limited exception, if you come in for a refit. It doesn't have to be much, I think some have done as little as restock the fridge. Last I checked, it was 90 days, but could be extended.
If you are considering buying a boat in Seattle, check the prices here in Vancouver too. I think you will see a difference that makes it cheaper to buy in Seattle and pay the man to bring it home. $Can is over $.92US right now, so timing is good.
I kept a boat in Point Roberts for 2 years and found the border crossing to be a hassle. That was before 911, so things have only gotten worse. If you want to use your boat every weekend that could be a factor.
There are lots of US registered boats in Canadian marinas. That doesn't mean Canadians are able to avoid duties and taxes. Check with the owners and you will find a US citizen involved. We can do the reverse and keep a Canadian registered boat in the States. PR Marina exists for that market.
Good luck in your search!
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

As a Canadien citizen, if you buy a boat in Washington and leave it, you owe a 10% sales tax. If you intend to move it out, you have 6 months to do it without paying tax. As soon as you move it into Canada you will be charged Canada taxes. If you move it to Oregon you will owe no sales tax but must pay an Oregon licensing fee.

As a US citizen I purchased a US documented vessel in Seattle and moved it to BC. No sales tax or licensing fee. On a routine basis I have to exit Canada and clear US customs to keep the game going. No problem as I fuel up once per year in US and save about $1500 on diesel.

My brother brought his boat from Florida to Washington and stayed too long. They dinged him for the 10% - on 95' spiffy yacht. Ouch!!
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

Thanks guys for all the responses, I appreciate it.
On looking further into the tax matter, it looks like sooner or later I'd have to shell out between 15-25% of the purchase price as taxes and duty. (just so long as our politicians*get a good pension.... sheeesh)
That said, I'm not willing to go that route as 25% of a $300k. purchase equals $75k. which would last me a long time in moorage, maintenance and insurance costs. I'm going to look at boats on the north side of the Cdn. border and stay away from non American built boats in the States.
Thanks again for the comments.
ps- anyone have any knowledge / comment on the Transpacific 40' Eagle? There are 2 listed for sale here on the Cdn. west coast and is the type of boat we're interested in.

-- Edited by Nordic32 on Wednesday 9th of September 2009 05:03:06 PM
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:04 PM   #9
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RE: Being a Cdn. but thinking of leaving a boat registered in the States.

I watch boat prices between BC and Washington. You may well see a 25% savings in the US. Today, the boat economy may be softer in the US so make a few lowball offers and you may be startled. I know a couple of BC brokers who routinely buy in the US and come out ahead for their clients. Plus a far bigger inventory to choose from.
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