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Thread: Help from anyone that has bought a boat in the states and towed it up

  1. #1
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Default Help from anyone that has bought a boat in the states and towed it up

    I am going to buy a boat in california and tow it up I was hoping that someone on here could tell me if they had any problems bringing a boat through Canada without it being registered to you. Will a bill of sale be fine to get it through. Also the boat is oversized so if anyone has towed an oversize load up do you have to get a permit through each state and canada or is one permit good enough. Any thing else or help would be appreciated thanks

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  2. #2
    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Most of the lower states require over width permits, that can be picked up at the first scales/port, but I have run into a couple, if it is recreational and under 10' wide they do not require permits. You are going to have to figure out your route and then do a search of each states DOT. When I hauled my boat up a few years ago I crossed into Alberta at Sweet Grass Mt. Customs only asked me the normal questions and nothing about the boat that was 10' wide. I asked them about what permits I needed and they advised they did not know. I asked where their DOT was and was directed to a building a few 100 yards away. Pulled over to the parking lot and parked out front. Went in and asked about what I needed the man looked a little puzzled and asked what I was driving. I pointed to the truck and boat. He asked if I owned the boat "yes", was I commercial "no". He said I did not need any thing, so away I went. I had over width signs on so I took them off and headed north. I passed a few RCMP and they never looked twice. I have been told, but have no facts that BC is a whole different story, with very strict rules. Good luck with your trip and I hope it goes as good as mine did, with no problems.
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  3. #3
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    I pulled a 24 foot boat up from Washington ten years ago. I was 8.5 wide so I did not need the extra permits. I would strongly recommend you use the extra wide "trucker straps" to put over the boat and trailer both in the back and front of the boat to ensure the boat does not bounce and move on the trailer. My wife followed the boat up in her car and mentioned the boat seemed to be bouncing quite a bit even though there were tie downs on the back of the boat connecting it to the trailer. In Fort Nelson we discovered one of the boat rollers was beginning to split and break apart. We could not find a new roller anywhere in Fort Nelson to fit the trailer. We ended up at a tire shop where we jack to boat up and cut an old tire to put between the failing roller and boat. Then used the heavy duty truckers straps to make sure the boat was secured firmly to the trailer. It worked great and after putting the straps on my wife said the boat did not bounce nearly as much as before.

    Five years ago I pulled a 28 foot Bayliner boat from Haines Alaska to Valdez. Because the boat was 10 foot wide I needed to get the additional permits, over-wide signs and lights for my truck. I did have to get permits for both Alaska and the Yukon. I did not have any problems because I made sure I had all my paperwork in place before the trip. Best of luck it is a long trip on not very good roads.

  4. #4
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    I've towed two boats to Alaska, a 22 and a 26 footer, with no problems, neither was oversize so cannot help on that. First was an older boat but second was new. If yours is not new, better heed the advice from Rod123 above and really check that trailer out....especially since some used boats are not on the original trailer and the trailer may not fit well, as well as may be worn...

    We went up through N Idaho to Banff and Jasper to Grand Prarie then to Dawson Creek and on up the AK highway. I had the first boat already registered in Idaho, the second I managed to get Alaska registration on it before I towed it up. There was no check or concern about the boat going into Canada or Alaska. That is an easy tow route, it is all paved now, was pretty rough in some sections of the Yukon and AK in 2002 but not in 2008 for the second tow; well, when you get close to Alaska from Haines Junction to Beaver Creek, there are some pretty frost-heaved sections and all along the road there is the occasional construction zone...just need to slow down for those sections. PM me if you want to talk about the route, places to camp/hotels, eat etc. along the way. It's a great road trip, try not to plan where you will be in a big hurry and you will really enjoy it! Lots of wildlife and great people...incredible scenery...

  5. #5
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    I tow boats up from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and have not had a problem. Not any over size loads but big enough to be a wind drag. Only question I get at the border is if the boats belong to me, which they do, and that I was not selling them in Canada, which I was not. If you have a bill of sale I do not think they will look twice. Don't know on the over size part but others have mentioned that. I strap my loads donw with 3-4 heavy straps over the load and check them often. 2 straps are not the way to go. Keep your bearings greased and start out with new tires. I eat out of a cooler and sleep in the truck so I don't have any info on that. Would like to take my time someday but for now it's a job. DuckdonJulyboatpickup.JPG

  6. #6
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    Pulled several boats up over the years. Last one was a 9 foot wide Thunderjet last April. I did not get asked one question at the border about the boat. Crossed the border at Sumas Washington and remember it was a very tight squeeze pulling the boat through the check point.

    Didnt realize it at the time, but at one point we were being followed by the Mounties and our trailer lights were totally out due to a ground wire that disconnected. He never even pulled us over.

    We had a bill of sale, proof of insurance, and our pass ports and the only thing they asked for were the pass ports.

  7. #7
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    I pulled my 27 footer with 9'3" beam up from NJ a couple of years ago. Anything over 8'6" requires a wide load permit, lights, signage,etc. throughout most of the states and provinces of Canada, anything over 10' requires a pilot car. The wide load permits are fairly easy to get online for most states and Canada and there are firms that specialize in getting them for you. Be aware though that you can't deviate from the route you permit, not even a bit. Now, for the interesting part. My boat's maximum beam is way forward and at the transom less than 8'6" so I went on without my signs and light and didn't have a problem, not even one question. I didn't even have trailer plates since it was a new trailer, no questions at the border either, other than "is that my boat."

    Ditto other comments about tie-downs and watch for the frost heaves if early in the year. I brought mine up in early May and Kluane Lake to the border was worst, max 20-24 mph with huge heaves. Check bearings regularly too and wheel lug nuts. Mine loosened up every few hundred miles until I really yarded on the tire wrench.

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