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Thread: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pitfall

  1. #1
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    Default Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pitfall

    Hi all,


    Early last year, I sold my Caledonia Yawl because we bought a plastic boat with enough space for the whole family.
    Anyhow, a guy from Montreal bought it and made a down payment. Then the pandemic hit.
    At this time, the boat is still sitting in my garage. He could not come to get the boat due to travel restrictions. On his way back to Canada, he would have to quarantine for 14 days which he can't due to his job. Despite vaccination, there is no clear path forward, and still, nobody seems to know when the border to Canada will be open again without restrictions.


    Now we consider professional transport. Then there would be no problem; business is still possible.


    I do see some potential problems.
    Since the boat is an amateur build and there is not much documentation, no hull number, and the like. I have the PA registration, but that's about it.
    Does anybody know what paperwork is required to sell and transport such a boat to Canada?
    The trailer is old, and the buyer already bought a new trailer to come and pick up the boat. The plan was that I would have kept the old trailer and sell or scrap it in case nobody would want it.


    Professional transport would likely be on a flatbed trailer or the like. But the boat needs to get on there, for which we would need its current trailer. Not a problem. I thought we just ship it on the old trailer, and he can scrap the trailer in Canada. The boat registration ran out last year, but the trailer still has a current registration.


    On the surface, that all seems reasonable and straightforward to me, but I don't have a lot of experience with that stuff, so I wonder if there are potential hidden problems.
    It would not be good if the boat could not pass the Canadian border.


    I appreciate any input and advice.


    Thanks,
    Christoph

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    I haven't done this, or brought anything through Canada since Covid Rules.
    If you use a boat transporter, he should know, though I realize that home-built boats are not common.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Thanks for your reply!


    True and true, I also thought that a professional transporter should know, but then I realized there is no hull number and no "real" manufacturer, etc., and that might become complicated.
    The boat's value isn't that high, so the transport costs have to be carefully considered.
    I am afraid that the transporter will tell me that there is no problem, and the next thing is a phone call from the border that they won't let the boat in because paperwork xyz.. is missing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Arrange to meet him at a quiet border crossing , unhook push boat across you staying in USA, he stays in Canada, backs up to borderWhen coupling crosses he hooks up and tows it away..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    I would have a mover ship it like a big piece of furniture. Just wrap it up with lots of padding. When the new owner takes delivery, he can sort out the paperwork. (I had movers ship a 16' boat from Maine to Pennsylvania once, with other furniture. They had no problem with it.)

    I did sell a boat from Pennsylvania to Canada a few years ago. The owner drove down, hitched up and towed it back home. He took care of all the paperwork, and told me it was easy. But I do think it's the owner job to figure out the paperwork, not yours.
    -Dave

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    Arrange to meet him at a quiet border crossing , unhook push boat across you staying in USA, he stays in Canada, backs up to borderWhen coupling crosses he hooks up and tows it away..

    Really bad idea unless you want to have a nice chat with the border guards and possibly a federal magistrate
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    The buyer needs to call Canada Customs.
    They hate surprises.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Perhaps one could take the attitude that it's not a boat till it goes into the water and floats. Under this scenario, no registration is required. It's just an odd shaped box.

    More seriously, you need to talk to an actual international shipper and you may need to get the help of a US manufacturer with an international shipping license.

    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    The buyer needs to call Canada Customs.
    They hate surprises.
    R
    And the border guards have had their senses of humor surgically removed before they take the job
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the input. In my current situation, the amount of money I can get for the boat is not worth risking any legal trouble whatsoever. It sounds to me that it would be best if he can come and get the boat, which has been the plan from the beginning.


    Thanks,
    Christoph

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    It is my understanding that the trailer is the hardest part. There is no need for registration of the boat in Canada, so that shouldn't be a problem. The importer/purchaser may have to pay sales taxes on it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    the burden is always on the buyer

    ultimately it is the buyer who will have to deal w/ his/her local registration entity in order to be able to legally use/sail the boat on any waters other than those of the state/nation where it was originally registered for use

    when i have purchased boats in foreign(other than Texas) states i goto the local/closest Texas Parks & Wildlife office and expain the situation to the cerk

    the clerk in turn advises me as to what documents/procedures will need to be navigated for me to be able to legally register and use the boat once i get her home

    i get at least 3 copies(one for me to take to the TP&W, one for the seller if he/she wishes a copy and one just in case...) of every document needed w/ instructions for filling out

    i get the clerk's full name and a business contact number (office/extension) for contingencies

    the cerk in turn checks the normal registration requirements/documents common for the locality where the vessel is being purchased from and provides me any other information that may be pertinent

    i have had a cerk actually call a registration office in the seller's community and verify what may be needed more than once

    with this up front visit/information and document gathering i have been able to sail thru the title/registration process w/o fail or hiccups

    as for the border crossing it will be up to the buyer to goto Canadian Officials on his/her side of the fence to get the particulars for that part of the process

    BON CHANCE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  13. #13
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    Default

    With covid, coming and going is restricted. Unless one is deemed essential.

    Check out the Transport Canada website for details.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    If this is the boat I built, (Molly Hart) there is a hull number, supplied by the state of CT, stamped on the sheerstrake, aft.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    the burden is always on the buyer

    ultimately it is the buyer who will have to deal w/ his/her local registration entity in order to be able to legally use/sail the boat on any waters other than those of the state/nation where it was originally registered for use
    This is your answer. Once you complete the sale, it is not longer you property or your concern.

    I can understand wanting to help him out but again, not you boat, not your problem. He should work out the shipping and border crossing issues. Not you! If there is a problem at the border they need to call the buyers not you. You no longer own the boat.

    I have a CC up for auction right now and someone from the UK asked me about shipping it and getting it in a Container. My reply was simple. Once you buy it is is yours. You can ship it if you want but I am not gong assume any risk or pack if for you.
    Jeff
    Kudzu Craft Skin boats
    SoF boat kits, supplies and plans

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    I have a FaceBook friend who is a delivery captain and regularly transports boats between the US and Canada. He's on the West coast but he should be able to help with the paperwork. coastguardcaptain.com

    I don't actually know him.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    I bought my little Culler sloop on Cape Cod, and brought it back through the border to my home in Canada.

    The biggest issue was indeed the trailer, which needed to go through an inspection etc before it could be licensed in Canada. I had no issue with the boat, other than needing to pay import duty on both boat and trailer - which wasn'tinsignificant, but also wasn't monstrous. No issue that mine was not built by some brand name maker, all I needed was a valid bill of sale and whatever transfer of title is required in the seller's state.

    It likely would have been more problematic if my boat had an engine, which doubtless would need some further kind of inspection and sign-off.

    Canada Customs has good website info on this, but if he is going to use a pro shipper, they will know the ways through it all.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Boat sold to Canada - transport to Canada - rules, regulations, and potential pit

    Launch the boat on Lake Erie. Have a friend follow you to the middle of the lake. He has a fellow Canadian boater give him a lift to the same coordinates. He hops in his new boat, and your friend gives you a ride back.
    He can get his own trailer in Canada.
    Easy Peasy.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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