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Buying a US Boat


AKRISONER
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Ive been doing a lot of reading about this. Im seeing a boat from a New York Owner on thursday. Weve agreed that with a deposit that he will hold the boat for me until I can physically enter the united states. The info seems somewhat unclear mostly because there are companies that will apparently "cater" your boat over the border and manage the applicable paper work. Some of the things that they try to scare you into believing about bringing a boat over basically makes the truth even more confusing.

So im asking anyone here who has actually purchased a used/new boat in the united states and brought it back to Canada, what exactly did you do. Please indicate if your boat was from a dealer or used in a private sale. I feel like there are differences there too.

My take right now, bill of sale with Boat, Motor, Trailer all listed with Vin Numbers. Proof of ownership of all. Go over border, notify border agents that you are carrying x amount of cash with you to purchase a boat. Get the boat, drive back over border and declare that you have purchased a boat, pay the associated duty at the border. Go to service ontario, register the trailer, and go online and register the boat and motor with the federal government. Heard some stuff about trailer inspection at canadian tire...But i think that was an old cash grab that doesnt exist anymore?

What else am I missing.

Edited by AKRISONER
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2 hours ago, misfish said:

OH OH

Someone is going bigger me thinks.

this is what happens when you go for a ride in Dave's brand new skeeter zxr lol

1 hour ago, Terry said:

You could fly there and rent a truck to tow it home

it may come to this if things dont work out. I have an agreement with the seller to hold it for me for a bit, but hes got a brand new boat that needs the space!

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Don't forget to check trailer for any manufacturer recalls. I had to have that paperwork to register trailer in Canada. Also I went to mto in states(don't remember proper name) and got temp plate for trailer. My boat was from Pennsylvania. Good luck.

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I bought a hovercraft at auction in Wisconsin and I had the sales receipt with SN's and I just had to cough up the GST and I was on my way.

Should be no different for a boat.

This was picking it up at the seller's place. The Beaver Dam Wisconsin fire dept. 😁

31369520_2467822509910740_52631256423562

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39 minutes ago, Cosmos said:

Don't forget to check trailer for any manufacturer recalls. I had to have that paperwork to register trailer in Canada. Also I went to mto in states(don't remember proper name) and got temp plate for trailer. My boat was from Pennsylvania. Good luck.

see this is an interesting comment...could you explain what that process looked like...like did you phyiscally go to their transport ministry office to get a temp sticker?

 

34 minutes ago, DRIFTER_016 said:

I bought a hovercraft at auction in Wisconsin and I had the sales receipt with SN's and I just had to cough up the GST and I was on my way.

Should be no different for a boat.

This was picking it up at the seller's place. The Beaver Dam Wisconsin fire dept. 😁

31369520_2467822509910740_52631256423562

drifter, what did you do for plates when going to pick up the trailer. This is what Im still torn on how i go about specifically this. I have plates on my current trailer, i was thinking of simply using them as a temporary solution until I can get the trailer home and then properly register it? Aside from that how else would I be able to get trailer plates without physically having the actual ownership docs until the day of ownership? 

Am i wrong in assuming that I could maybe go to the MTO in Ontario and buy plates for a trailer as long as I have the appropriate serial number and bill of sale?

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It was 2014 when i bought a boat from US.

I had to contact trailer manufacturer directly- in my case it was LOAD RITE. Luckily enough guy was able to send me an email saying for trailer with my serial there is no recalls.

When i got to the boarder - officer was more interested in trailer than a boat or motor.  I paid my taxes on the boarder and went home. Trailer is a subject for RIV program - i had to pay a fee - $125 or so (at Canadian tire upon inspection) and take it to local Canadian tire for inspection. Guys just took my money - no one bothered to come outside to look.

I would say very simple process - just go through list of necessary documents and have print out of emails just in case Boarder officers will ask too many questions.

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5 hours ago, AKRISONER said:

this is what happens when you go for a ride in Dave's brand new skeeter zxr lol

Well, I scrutineer for a season,then fished as an AM. Rode the current up the Niagara river to Erie with David :w00t:. That Is when I decided to buy my first bass boat. LOL

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4 hours ago, Cosmos said:

 Also I went to mto in states(don't remember proper name) and got temp plate for trailer. 

If this step is needed we call it the DMV department of motor vehicles. There is a back log of appointments and few of the DMV are open without an appointment. Call the state you plan on purchasing the trailer well before you need to visit them if at all. It was 5 months to retitle a motorcycle to a new owner just a month ago. 

Art

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Private sale (Michigan)

Separate receipts for trailer, boat, motor.

Called insurance before we picked it up to made sure the trailer was added to the policy, used our current trailer plates for the ride home.

Is NY a non title state?  Michigan is, so we got a signed document from the bank stating all liens were paid off.

Paid the tax at the border, got the trailer safety when we got back, simple process.   

 

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6 hours ago, AKRISONER said:

see this is an interesting comment...could you explain what that process looked like...like did you phyiscally go to their transport ministry office to get a temp sticker?

 

drifter, what did you do for plates when going to pick up the trailer. This is what Im still torn on how i go about specifically this. I have plates on my current trailer, i was thinking of simply using them as a temporary solution until I can get the trailer home and then properly register it? Aside from that how else would I be able to get trailer plates without physically having the actual ownership docs until the day of ownership? 

Am i wrong in assuming that I could maybe go to the MTO in Ontario and buy plates for a trailer as long as I have the appropriate serial number and bill of sale?

Just threw my snowmobile trailer plate on it to get it home. No issues.

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13 hours ago, BillM said:

Private sale (Michigan)

Separate receipts for trailer, boat, motor.

Called insurance before we picked it up to made sure the trailer was added to the policy, used our current trailer plates for the ride home.

Is NY a non title state?  Michigan is, so we got a signed document from the bank stating all liens were paid off.

Paid the tax at the border, got the trailer safety when we got back, simple process.   

 

It is a title state but they have an online database where I can search the title easily. 
 

what I’m most concerned right now is the transfer of title in New York. I saw some article talking about possibly needing a notary in order to transfer title. I’m not sure how the province of this Ontario would have difficulty registering a trailer If I show up with a bill of sale, ownership documentation and the vin number? 
 

also, was this “trailer inspection deal” required to register any trailer? Or just those that have been brought from the United States? Cause when I bought my first boat I definitely never got the trailer inspected. I just went to the Mto office.

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5 hours ago, AKRISONER said:


 

I saw some article talking about possibly needing a notary in order to transfer title.

Notaries are usually found at any bank or car dealership. The cost, if at all is less than 10 bucks in most cases. 

Art

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6 hours ago, AKRISONER said:

It is a title state but they have an online database where I can search the title easily. 
 

what I’m most concerned right now is the transfer of title in New York. I saw some article talking about possibly needing a notary in order to transfer title. I’m not sure how the province of this Ontario would have difficulty registering a trailer If I show up with a bill of sale, ownership documentation and the vin number? 
 

also, was this “trailer inspection deal” required to register any trailer? Or just those that have been brought from the United States? Cause when I bought my first boat I definitely never got the trailer inspected. I just went to the Mto office.

Looks like you don't even need a safety, just the RIV form and proper documentation.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/register-trailer#section-4

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Quick little update, I bought the boat…now just working out the details of importing it. 
 

seller is going to probably bring it over the border to customs on the canada side for me and I will simply meet him there and report it for importation.
 

Took it for a test drive/compression test, all cylinders even just a blip under 120psi

Finally got to drive a boat with a hot foot. bass boats are fun 😁

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Things have changed drastically since i brought mine across from ND just drove it across claimed it and paid duty registered it right at border got my new numbers and a plate permit from Sask. Gov Ins. drove it home. this was in 1996.

 

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16 hours ago, bonessk01 said:

don't want to dampen the fire on this but my wife is a customs broker and she's thinking you may end up having to get a broker to do a single import cost likely  based on value.

Seems there’s been a few people I have chatted to that have recently brought boats over. If you have all of your paperwork set and go directly to customs and declare there hasn’t been an issue.

my only concern at this point is the transfer of title on the trailer coming from New York which is a title state. 
 

sometimes I wonder if all of this crap is bogus…when I bought my last boat (within canada) the lady at mto seemed confused by the fact that I was registering a boat trailer separate from the boat. I paid the registration fee got my plates and left with all of my documentation and I never looked back. I’m to this day not convinced I jumped through all of the hoops I was supposed to but I’ve got the transport canada registration and all of the applicable registration documents and insurance so even if I am wrong, I don’t think anyone could tell me that I am?

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Friend of mine buys US boats all the time. The most important thing to have is the Title (ownership), the bill of sale and ensure boat numbers match on the title. The border seems more concerned about the trailer and yes, you still have to take the trailer to Canadian tire to get certified within a certain period of time. This is done all the time and just make sure you have the proper paper work as mentioned, pay the appropriate tax and It will be a breeze. Registration in Canada should be simple too. Color pictures of the boat, copy of the title(previous owner), copy of your receipt (bill of sale), copy of your license. This can be done on line. One important thing to remember is to keep a copy in safe place, of the receipt showing you paid the taxes and duty on the boat. 3 years from now Revenue Canada will be asking you to prove you paid the taxes on the boat. If you don't have that reciept you may have to pay again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/3/2021 at 8:39 AM, AKRISONER said:

Quick little update, I bought the boat…now just working out the details of importing it. 
 

seller is going to probably bring it over the border to customs on the canada side for me and I will simply meet him there and report it for importation.
 

Just know that it is not possible to buy a US boat that is already in Canada. Meeting at customs should(?) be ok but certainly worth a call first.

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8 hours ago, grimsbylander said:

Just know that it is not possible to buy a US boat that is already in Canada. Meeting at customs should(?) be ok but certainly worth a call first.

Ended up going and getting it myself. They let me in with all of the appropriate paper work, certified cheque, double vax receipt, negative covid test etc. 

Edited by AKRISONER
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