Sailing from Canada to the Southern Seas

Sailing from Canada to the Southern Seas

The lure of warm air, turquoise waters and adventure is hard to ignore for many boaters in Ontario, especially as temperatures start to drop. At Harbour Insurance, we understand this, which is why both our Southern Navigation and Large Boat insurance coverage are tailored to make these kinds of trips as easy and as risk-free as possible.

Boat Insurance coverage for sailing the Florida & the Caribbean

Harbour Insurance offers comprehensive coverage for Canadians pulling up anchor and heading south. Our Southern Navigation coverage includes: Eight coverage zones stretching from the Atlantic Eastern Seaboard all the way to the Southern Caribbean Sea Competitive premiums Offers up to $5MM in protection and indemnity liability Foreign registration accepted (must be Canadian owner) Our Southern Navigation coverage applies to vessels of every size and value, covering both power boats and sailboat up to 50+ feet in length and vessel values from $40,000 to over $2,000,000+

Planning your trip

Most eastern boaters heading south consult the "bible" - ICW, Waterway Guide, Atlantic ICW2015 which covers the Intracoastal Waterway - when they start planning their trip. Pat’s Boating in Canada outlines the three main routes eastern Canadians can take to go south to New York:

  1. From the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, via the Champlain canal and Lake Champlain to the Hudson River to New York City.
  2. The Erie Canal connects Lake Erie at Buffalo, NY and Lake Ontario at Rochester, NY then connects to the New York State barge canal (known as the Oswego Canal) which connects Lake Ontario at Oswego, NY. It joins the Erie Canal near Syracuse and ends at the Hudson River which takes you to New York City.
  3. Lake Ontario out the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean is the longest and most challenging route. From the Great Lakes, you must share the St. Lawrence Seaway and its locks at Iroquois and Cornwall with large ships. Once past the last lock you proceed to Montreal and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on to the Maritimes.

Once at New York, the routes come together and continue along the ocean coast to Manasquan Inlet, Cape May, Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal, which ends up at Chesapeake Bay. This is where boaters enter the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) at Norfolk, at the southern end of Chesapeake. The ICW will take you to Florida, the Keys, Bahamas or Cuba.

Consider an experienced partner

A trip of this magnitude can be made easier by either hiring a captain, including someone who has made the trip before in your crew or joining a convoy, where you follow along with a group of boats, one of which has a captain.

Understand your legal obligations as a traveller

Canadians are permitted to be in the US for a maximum of 182 days per year, which works out to roughly six months. You are required to carry proof of citizenship as well as identity, so your passport should be up to date with room to spare. You should check with the embassies of any other countries that you plan to visit about any further requirements. You should also carefully review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s pleasure boating reporting requirements – they require that you report your arrival immediately, but offer a variety of ways to do so.

Protection = Peace of mind

Sailing south of 40º can be the trip of a lifetime, and one that you may choose to do many times. We can take the risk and worry out of it with our Large Boat and Southern Navigation coverage – talk to our boating insurance experts today to start planning your sunny adventure!

Call your Harbour Agent today at 1-877-731-1224 to start planning an exciting trip south of 40º. Or apply today for large boat and southern navigation insurance.

Resources:
FAQ's about boat insurance
Approved Surveyors List
Pat's Boating In Canada

Harbour Insurance specializes in boat insurance Ready-to-Go™.  We insure sailboats, large yachts, family runabouts, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, classic and antique boats, to cruising and southern navigation routes. Get the best insurance coverage for your boat and lifestyle with Harbour.

Get in touch

  • Harbour Insurance Services
    Suite 2500 - 120 Adelaide Street
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M5H 1T1

    Business hours:
    Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm EST

  • 1 (877) 731-1224 or 1-705-528-1276
  •  harbour@harbourinsurance.ca