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Boating in Canada-gctid808019

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    Boating in Canada-gctid808019

    We've just moved our Discovery 246 to la Conner and are looking forward to boating in the San Juans and Canada. The problem is I've never boated in Canada. I've tried researching past threads but some are several years old so I am looking to my new friends here to help direct me. Can anyone recommend a comprehensive guide to going to and from Canada? What is a Nexus and do I need one? Is having a MMSI number needed or valuable? What's the best towing service that works in both countries? What about booze? Seems customs is pretty interested in this.

    I would appreciate any help so I don't embarrass myself or run afoul with anyone.

    Than ks, Todd

    #2
    Your best source of info is here:

    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pb-pp-eng.html

    I am Canadian, but my boat is in Point Roberts, WA... so the rules apply to me too if I am going back into Canadian water. Bottom line is, unless you are simply transiting through Canadian waters on your way to wherever you are going (can happen in around the San Juans and Gulf Islands due to the way the border runs) or if you are NOT making landfall (ie. fishing, sightseeing from your boat etc, NO anchoring allowed) you HAVE to report to a customs location, which are scattered around. About the Nexus card specifically... if you have one it makes your life somewhat easier as there are far more options for reporting with a Nexus card than if you do not... and you can call ahead up to 4 hours to inform them of your arrival.

    Anyway, without going into all the details, the best thing is to read through the various bits and pieces on that website.

    Hope this helps.
    Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
    Tsawwassen, BC
    1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
    Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
    "Island Passport"
    Home Marina: Tillicum Bay Marina, Sechelt Inlet, BC

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      #3
      "Graydude" post=808019 wrote:
      We've just moved our Discovery 246 to la Conner and are looking forward to boating in the San Juans and Canada. The problem is I've never boated in Canada. I've tried researching past threads but some are several years old so I am looking to my new friends here to help direct me. Can anyone recommend a comprehensive guide to going to and from Canada? What is a Nexus and do I need one? Is having a MMSI number needed or valuable? What's the best towing service that works in both countries? What about booze? Seems customs is pretty interested in this.
      Lots to learn, Todd, and welcome to BOC. The Canadian link [strike]Tim[/strike] Tyson posted is great. That's much of what you need to know about getting into Canada. But it would have helped a lot if you told us what you plan to do there, and how long each time you intend to stay.

      Nexus is good, but so is an I-68. You need to https://nexus-card.com/apply-for-a-n... a Nexus card, which takes from 1-10 weeks to process the application, and another 3-6 months to get one. This includes having to go to a designated office for an interview. Total cost is US$175.99, which is $125.99 for the card, and another $50 for the background check. It is good for 5 years.

      https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-...on is an I-68. You get it at any US border crossing, and it costs US$16 and is good for a year. You simply take your information like your passport and other photo ID, answer a few questions, sign a paper, pay the money, and walk out the door with one.

      When returning to the US, if you haven't made landfall Canada, you can and must call CBP and report your reentry. They will ask for your Nexus or I-68 number, and if they want, can order you to a check-in location for a full inspection.

      MMSI is for DSC - https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageNam...from the USCG, not the ones from BoatUS or SeaTow. Canada can only receive MMSI information that has been registered with the USCG.

      No clue on the towing.

      As to booze, I'm not an expert, but I do know that the Canadian restrictions are severe. If you are heading into Canada, use the Duty Free shops at the border. I've seen Canadian officials empty 6 bottles of wine overboard when a couple from Germany entered Canada at Oak Bay, because they were over their 2 bottle per person limit. ...But that's all I know about it.
      "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
      MMSI: 367637220
      HAM: KE7TTR
      TDI tech diver
      BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
      Kevin

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        #4
        Thanks guys. Excellent info. We do not plan extended crusing at least at first. Probably a visit to Vancouver or Victoria and other local marinas. We will have to walk beford we run!

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          #5
          With your boat in LaConner you are just a few hours from the Gulf Island. If you are going to cross the line, you are best, at a minimum, to have your passport with you. Unless you have flat water running past the southern tips of San Juan and Lopez Islands, you will probably be taking the same basic route as the ferry to Sidney. I prefer to do Customs at VanIsle Marina then going where I'm going. I even do that if I'm going to Port Sindey because the customs dock there is a pain because of limited maneuvering space and popularity. There are good stores within walking distance, so many of my friends go over without fresh food and alcohol and provision there. There is also a bus that goes to the causeway in Victoria and Butchart Gardens. The cruising in the Gulf Islands is awesome. Great restaurants at the marinas in Genoa Bay and Maple Bay, murals in Chemanus, Saturday market in Ganges and the well known bus to the Hummingbird Pub in Montegue Harbor. Crossing to Vancouver can be an adventure and I strongly suggest doing it with another boater. The mouth of the Frasier can be rough so I prefer to cross from Porlier Pass giving me a better angle at False Creek.

          Coming back, if you don't stop in the San Juan's at Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor that can get backed up, Anacortes also has customs.

          Feel free to pm me with your questions.
          P/C Pete
          Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
          1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
          Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
          MMSI 367770440

          Comment


            #6
            My two cents: Don't worry about stuff. Know where customs is, check in, tell the truth and visit the places everyone else visits the first time they go. Ganges (Canada's Friday Harbor) Montegue Harbor, Victoria, Sydney, Bedwell (Canada's Roche Harbor) Otter Bay.

            they are all close to each other (clump Victoria, Todd Inlet, Sydney, clump all the others) Hummingbird is a right of passage. Do that. Booze: They don't care about open bottles much. They are interested in full sealed bottles. Use the words 'bar stock' for open bottles, but be honest about full bottles. If they don't think you are being sneaky, they are pretty good to deal with. Don't take a hand gun. Passports or enhanced driver's license. No difference to them. Coming home, don't bring food. They are picky coming back about fruits, veggies, meat, seeds, feathers and tobacco. US is way harder than Canada. Be open and honest and it isn't that bad. Friday Harbor or Roche, they are all kind of dicks. Just go and have fun. It is a nice extension to the San Juan's
            Tally and Vicki
            "Wickus" Meridian 341
            MMSI 338014939

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              #7
              Non-smokers here so not sure on those limits.

              Booze - 1 case of beer per person or 40oz of spirits or 2 bottles of wine.

              No produce (some is allowed but easier just to skip it).

              Meat must be in original packaging with country of origin. Types and allowable countries will change year to year.

              Cash over $10K must be declared.

              Animals need some paperwork - no pets so I am not sure on details there.

              Long guns can go but you need to do some prep work on that and pay a fee that goes along with that.

              When you go to check in have passports, boat registration with you, everyone else stays on the boat, be efficient and prepared and you will fly through the process.

              Coming back is usually more of a PITA but not too bad. I really don't like it because it means my vacation is about over so my attitude is not as forgiving about government workers doing what they are supposed to do. The jockeying for position at Roche is painful if it is a bit busy.
              1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
              1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
              Nobody gets out alive.

              Comment


                #8
                Lots of good advice here. For both countries the crew can help tie you up to the customs dock, but then must remain on board. The captain takes all the paperwork and passports and talks to customs.

                We have always just used passports and have never seen the need for the passes.

                We have never had much of an issue clearing into BC. Be advised if you have an old guide that Victoria has a new bigger dock adjacent to the Coast Harborside docks in the middle Harbor. In BC you just talk to customs on a dedicated phone on the dock. They may tell you to throw certain fruits or veggies away. Just answer all the questions honestly. They will give you a clearance number, write it down and tape to the dockside window, they do walk docks and check, very friendly.

                As others have said our yanks aren't as polite and may try to trip you up, for the past few years they have been coming on the boat to question the crew. Two years ago they asked me about my sisters job, then they went on board and asked her the same questions, one year they made a stink because not everyone had kept receipts for the various trinkets they had purchased in BC. Just be honest and be prepared to turn over your limes. We like to clear at Roche, because it's a great place to spend your last day of vacation.

                Btw, my understanding is that no one can be drinking on the boat in BC unless your anchored or ties to a dock.
                Partner in a 1999 4788

                Seattle, WA

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