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thengling

Towing a boat from US to Canada

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Hi all. Contemplating purchasing a cat cruiser in the USA and transporting it to Canada where I live.

Does anyone have experiences to share, do's and don'ts, advice etc. Likely towing it behind my own SUV.

Thoughts, or links to existing discussions/forums on this topic?

Thx

 

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I did this a couple of years ago. I used this site for guidance http://boating.ncf.ca/buy-usa.html and also talked with Canada Customs to confirm. It was quite painless and went off without a hitch except for the registering of the trailer with ICBC. The VIN stamp on the trailer only had 5 digits instead of the expected 8 or 9. I went to a different insurance company and they cross referenced and the important info was in the last 5 digits, so all was good.

 

Mike

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they will care more about the trailer than the boat. it's a vehicle and must be registered.

If no trailer title(or even if you have one), reregister the thing as a homemade trailer... You get new Vin, plates everything and it costs almost nothing.... It works in CO at least and avoids all the BS back tracking and $$ required to try and piece some other owners shitty paper trail. Up until a few years ago, I hadn't gotten plates for my trailer for a couple years. (didn't travel) so i go to DMV to get plates and they want $300 to register the damn thing for back years w no reg. Told em it was home built and got new vin, title etc for 25 bucks. :)

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good luck trying to bring a "home built" trailer over the border with no receipts for materials used to manufacture it.

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Use a customs broker. If you listen to the idiots at Canada customs you may find yourself in an expensive pickle. If I had followed their instructions when I imported a 43' it would have cost me almost as much as trucking it from SF Bay.

 

If you do go with Can. customs instructions, get a name and get it in writing so you might have some recourse when they fuck you up at the border.

 

The brokers are cheap - a couple of boat dimes and they make sure everything runs smoothly.

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I helped a friend drive a US-bought boat back across the border a few years ago. He went to the small border crossing beforehand and had a talk with the agent on duty. Do that during work hours on a weekday, and return during work hours on a weekday, and the guy you talked to will probably be working. That makes it easier. You say you're on the western shore of Lake Agassiz, which puts you near Calgary, albeit several hundred million years ago. Nothing but small border posts south of you.

 

The big issues arise once you cross the border. You say it's a cat... how wide is it? The width might require a special license (or, if you are really unlucky, pilot cars.) And, what does it weigh? In BC at least, you need a higher grade license to drive a rig over a certain weight. Another friend got caught on that one, hauling a backhoe that he bought south of the border. Had to call someone up with the right license to come down and haul it back for him.

 

Hope it all works out okay for you.

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Wow, great answers already. And yes, mcmurdo, you're close, though Lake Agassiz had receded somewhat already by the time its shores reached my abode (a bit reluctant now to reveal the location, as that could give away my age).

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Just to be clear... the licensing issues don't arise at the border, but at the weigh scales conveniently located just north of damn near every border crossing.

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Just to be clear... the licensing issues don't arise at the border, but at the weigh scales conveniently located just north of damn near every border crossing.

except that the trailer needs proper title to even come across the border.

 

so it's a border issue.

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