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Old 10-18-2020, 11:19 PM   #1
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Trying to work out if this is feasible

Hello from Australia.

Have been thinking about the crazy idea of doing the Great Loop on a trawler.

Will be lurking here, but would welcome any thoughts on the logistics of an Australian buying a boat in the US (or Canada?) and selling it at then end of the Loop:
- any registration issues for a foreigner?
- visas (I can get a US tourist visa but will need to make sure that I exit within every six months, even though I can then return; have not yet looked at Canada)
- can an Australian get insurance on a US/Canadian boat?

There are probably a lot of other 'issues' that will need to be addressed!
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:28 PM   #2
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Sorry, can't be of any help with the questions posed...welcome aboard from north coast British Columbia, Canada.

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Old 10-18-2020, 11:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to TF. No-one has raised this question before as far as I know, but by all means do a search and see.

Sounds do-able, but the logistics are enormous. Getting the length of visa to complete it all might be one stumbling block. The buying and selling of the vessel probably not so much..? Let us know what you find out. Others might well be keen, once covid has died down - and let's hope and believe it will.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:36 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard. I know that a US citizen can’t sell a documented boat to a foreign national. But you can undocument a boat so that makes buying a documented boat possible. As to visa and insurance, don’t know.
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:47 AM   #5
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I don't think buying and selling the boat would be an issue, although the location may determine where and at what time of the year you start. Several boat brokers specialize in Loop boats. Many people stop or pause their trip for some period of time. Certainly leaving the USA for Canada would qualify as leaving the country. Add to your list of things to check, boat insurance and whether your health insurance will cover you for an extended period in the USA.

Good Luck!

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:48 AM   #6
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I don't think buying and selling the boat would be an issue, although the location may determine where and at what time of the year you start. Several boat brokers specialize in Loop boats. Many people stop or pause their trip for some period of time. Certainly leaving the USA for Canada would qualify as leaving the country. Add to your list of things to check, boat insurance and whether your health insurance will cover you for an extended period in the USA.

Good Luck!

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:50 AM   #7
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The quick answer is yes to all as Canadians do the exact same thing. There may be different way to do it, be patient as one that has done it, explored doing it ir has info where to look will eventually help.

The better source for looping info is the America's Great Loop Cruising Association. For kesx than $100 you can join and their website gas all sorts of tools to help plan.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:53 AM   #8
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What happens if at the end of 6 months you are not in a position to sell? Maybe a serious breakdown along the way? Schedule pressure is not the fun way to travel the loop. Can you afford to store the boat until you can get back?
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:19 AM   #9
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We did it and had a boat in North America for a couple of years. It is neither as easy or hard as it seems. It is actually easier to buy a boat as a foreigner in the US than it is to buy a car but there are issues as described here by others. A fair number of Aussies and Kiwis do.

Managing your stay in the US is probably the biggest issue. As you said you can only do a maximum of 6 months at a time (3 months on an ESTA) and more importantly what will count as time outside the US to reset your six months isn’t that clear. That is what makes doing the Loop hard unless you do it in a couple of pieces or very quickly.

PM me if you have more detailed questions.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:43 AM   #10
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I worked on a boat here in NC USA a few years ago that was owned by a retired Aussie. I don't know where the boat was registered, or what his visa situation was as those topics never came up. He never complained about it.

They traveled widely up and down US and Canadian coasts, for like four years. I think they did the Great Loop too.

So it can be done. He was in good shape financially (I beleive) as the boat was probably in the $500k range, and the expense of fixing things seemed to be a non-issue. He was involved in mining in Oz in his career, so very familiar with mechanical stuff.

Last I heard he sold the boat and went back to Oz.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iansbrother View Post
Hello from Australia.

Have been thinking about the crazy idea of doing the Great Loop on a trawler.

Will be lurking here, but would welcome any thoughts on the logistics of an Australian buying a boat in the US (or Canada?) and selling it at then end of the Loop:
- any registration issues for a foreigner?
- visas (I can get a US tourist visa but will need to make sure that I exit within every six months, even though I can then return; have not yet looked at Canada)
- can an Australian get insurance on a US/Canadian boat?

Check out the "Loopy Kiwi" blog for info on a similar trip...

-Chris
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