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Old 02-27-2016, 12:38 AM   #1
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Question Plastic or Cash?

For those who have cruised the remote areas of the Inside Passage, when you have visited, what type of payment is the preferred way to pay for moorage and goods?

This question came up today in a discussion with the Admiral. I would expect in the more populist areas all forms are accepted. But say I go out to a remote marina or supplies such as Eco Bay, how do you pay?
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:46 AM   #2
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I paid by credit card or check everywhere we went. Mostly CC. I think the only places I used cash were small food establishments.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:07 AM   #3
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Can't say for the inside passage...but seems to be a universal rue that the farther you go from civilization, the more cash only situations (or discount for cash) pop up.

Even along the AICW, there are places that discount for cash or only deal in it.

The biggest reason I heard so far was on member here I thought got stuck someplace and the only mechanic that would respond within a reasonable time demanded cash (at least for parts...can't remember).


I would think that in really remote places that having some cash for the chance of an emergency tow by who knows (cash only) might be critical.

I think you can plan on plastic all but a few times...but carrying a fuel load or two, several meals out, a few nights dockage, weekly pocket money, and a $500 emergency lump sum for repair/parts in cash for a multiple month trip is prudent.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:04 AM   #4
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20 years ago we always carried a fair amount of cash, both US and Canadian. There were some small town fuel docks that did not do plastic. Now I still carry a fair amount out of habit, but generally bring most of it back home at the end of the summer. We do wind up paying for moorage sometimes by check - most often when we arrive late and leave early, and the office is not open. A few small towns don't even have a manned harbor office - just a deposit box.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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I think you can plan on plastic all but a few times...but carrying a fuel load or two, several meals out, a few nights dockage, weekly pocket money, and a $500 emergency lump sum for repair/parts in cash for a multiple month trip is prudent.
That sounds like a good plan. Also note that most places I've encountered where there is better pricing for cash, like buying fuel, "cash" also means "check". I typically pay for fuel by check, even if there isn't a discount. For a big purchase like that, I'd rather put the extra $$ in the merchant's hand than Mastercard or Visa.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:05 AM   #6
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If you are using a credit card from a U.S. bank, traveling through BC it is much easier to use a credit card for payment in BC. Yes, there is a charge by the card company but the exchange rate will be correct.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:07 AM   #7
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Oh, be sure to let your card company know in advance of your travel plans or risk having the transaction denied.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:09 AM   #8
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Oh, be sure to let your card company know in advance of your travel plans or risk having the transaction denied.
Correct. When one of our cards was rejected for fuel in Klemtu the card company called and asked "what is an Indian Band?" Also be sure to have a card that has no foreign transaction fees.

We have a Canadian bank account for check writing in BC.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:15 AM   #9
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Plastic or Cash?

We used CC almost exclusively last summer. Even small marinas like Kwatsi, well off the grid take CC. Your biggest issue running north is water. You will often have to travel considerable distances to get it and last summer it was rationed. We carry 350 gallons and we are glad we have them. Shearwater boasts they have water but make it very difficult to get it. You have to move your boat to do so and the flow is negligible. Ocean Falls has unlimited water. Klemtu, Bella Bella were refusing boats last summer during the drought. Not sure of Hartley Bay. A water maker would be nice but we still cannot justify the cost and maintenance involved. Most of the water available in the Broughtons is untreated and quite humic.

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Old 02-27-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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Fortunately, water shouldn't be much of an issue this summer. Snow packs are above normal and all the rivers, stream, and reservoirs are maxed out. Hopefully the wells that were low or dry last summer will be restored over this winter.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:18 PM   #11
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If you use a CC your bank is going to give you the exact exchange rate. That's not always true at small places in small places. In those little, out of the way places you're at their mercy when it comes to the exchange rate.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:31 PM   #12
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Smaller , owner operated stops may frequently give the best deal with real Ca$h.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:36 PM   #13
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Sounds just like the Alaska Highway, which I have travelled a dozen times or more over the years.


We hold 250 USG of water so with some conservation, it looks like we might be OK. I was told to top off water when ever possible.


Honey no you can't wash your hair today! It hasn't been a week yet from the last time!!!
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #14
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If you are interested in exchanging US funds for Cdn, the best places are the small outfits that operate in the larger urban areas. Unfortunately they aren't in the places that are convenient for cruising boaters. US banks are probably the worst places to purchase Cdn funds, in my experience and you will take a bath of several % over the posted rates. Worth researching this before you leave the US. There may be good options stateside.


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Old 02-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #15
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Having a CC without foreign transaction fees is best.

We head out with about $500 cash, usually bring $350 back.

200 gallons fresh water gives us a duration of around 10 days with 4 persons, 20 days with 2 persons. Given a provisions duration of around 10-14 days (depending on fishing/crabbing/prawning success), we try to get to a provisioning port every 10 days or so.

With this schedule, we only end up taking municipal water, no brown stuff.

Last year during the water shortage when Port McNeill and Port Hardy could not supply, Sointula had lots.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:51 PM   #16
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Plastic or Cash?

Quote:
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Fortunately, water shouldn't be much of an issue this summer. Snow packs are above normal and all the rivers, stream, and reservoirs are maxed out. Hopefully the wells that were low or dry last summer will be restored over this winter.

The problem last year there was little rain for several months. The conditions were drier than average in 2014 as well. These coastal communities are on small islands with very little "in-ground" water storage and no reservoirs. They really depend on rainfall during the summer months for their water. The mainland communities of Ocean Falls, Kitimat and Prince Rupert are not affected. Not sure about Hartley Bay.


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Old 02-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #17
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Honey no you can't wash your hair today! It hasn't been a week yet from the last time!!!
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:54 PM   #18
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We have a Canadian bank account for check writing in BC.

Don't forget the US Treasury FinCEN filing if you are a US resident or citizen with a foreign bank account.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:24 PM   #19
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"Don't forget the US Treasury FinCEN filing if you are a US resident or citizen with a foreign bank account. "

Now that is just being silly. Google the requirement for a FINCEN filing and you get this:"
  1. the United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
  2. the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported."
While we encourage you to spend your $US in Canada, you should be able to do a vacation on your charge cards and $9999.99 or less in cash.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:50 PM   #20
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I've been doing foreign transactions via offshore bank accounts for 45 years. Thus far I've avoided incarceration and with Koliver a short boat ride away to offer me further guidance I feel even better. Now, about taking those Cuban cigars from Canada back into the US.
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