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preparing for long boat trips

Prepping for Long Boat Trips

Tips & Tricks for Setting Sail for Weeks or Months at a Time

 

In times like these, when the world is encouraging you to stay safe, there is no reason staying safe cannot mean setting sail and living on your boat for awhile. After all, we see an extended boating trip as the perfect answer to self-isolation and physical distancing.

longer yacht trips - enjoying the lifestyle

So, whether you have been thinking about taking a longer boating trip for awhile now, or the idea has just come to you, here’s how to prepare for extended trips on your boat or yacht. We will cover things like:

  • planning your route,
  • getting the boat ready,
  • provisioning and packing supplies, and
  • making sure your home on land is looked after

Below are the most common types of preparations involved when planning for your extended boating trip.

 

Planning Your Route

The best part of planning a boating trip happens right at the start, with the planning of the trip itself. This includes coming up with a loose itinerary, picking the majority of the stops you would like to make, highlighting any new spots you would like to visit, and noting any friends or family who you want to meet up with along the way, either on water or on land.

The specifics of your trip will depend on a few things, such as:long yacht trip - leaving canada

  • If you’ll be crossing international waters, you’ll need passports for everyone on board, as well as an updated insurance policy that covers you in the countries you are planning on visiting.
  • If you’ll be travelling with your family or travelling with pets, you’ll have extra considerations to make for each situation.
  • If the weather or climate is unpredictable where you’re headed, you’ll need clothing and possibly extra equipment for the unexpected.
  • If you’ll be docking up at a marina for overnight stays rather than anchoring offshore, you’ll need to budget for this.
  • If you’ll be packing most of your own groceries, follow our guide to stocking the best foods for your yacht.

While planning your route, it can be handy to consult those who have been there before you, and those boaters are happy to share their experiences. Meet other boaters at your local marina and through yachting and cruising groups and forums on social media. Follow your favourite boating websites, and pick up physical copies of boating magazines, cruising guides, and annotated charts. You should stay on the lookout for localized information on:

  • Top-rated routes, tracks, and safe passages
  • Notable depth and shoaling challenges
  • Placements of navigational markers
  • Tides and currents
  • Locations and opening times of locks and gates
  • Nearby marinas and potential anchorages

Always have a Plan B when planning your itinerary (the B stands for Backup). Unpredictable weather or issues with the boat might mean you have to change course from time to time. Talk to any experienced boater and they will all tell you the same thing: don’t travel on a set schedule. Pressing ahead through dicey weather conditions just to get somewhere “on time” is just not worth the risk, so don’t be rigid with your scheduling.

Lastly, remember to download the latest charts and update any related software that relates to the regions you will be cruising to before leaving the dock.

 

Prepping the Boat

Once you have a vague idea of where you’ll be going and for how long, it’s time to turn your attention to your boat. Depending on the age of your vessel, how often it gets out, and how it is stored, a mechanical or maintenance check might provide peace of mind.

Prepping the boat typically means inspecting the entire vessel for any potential mechanical problems or safety issues, as well as topping up your tanks. More specifically, preparing your boat involves:

  • Topping up all fluid levels
  • Checking all hoses and lines for leaks or crackslong boat trips - sailing around the world
  • Inspecting your hull for cracks or other damage
  • Checking all navigational equipment
  • Making sure your VHF radio is in good working order
  • Fuelling up the boat
  • Fuelling up and inspecting the tender for any issues
  • Filling up the water tanks
  • Cleaning the strainers
  • Checking the AC filter
  • Checking your generator and battery power
  • Ensuring your spare parts are on board
  • Ensuring you have both your travel and dock lines

Also check up on your required safety equipment, such as life jackets, to make sure they’re all accounted for and in good working order. Things like fire extinguishers and flares expire, for example, and first aid kits have been known to get depleted from time to time, so it’s important to check these things before any length of boating trip.

You might also consider cruising with additional safety equipment like a life raft, a satellite phone, and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Transport Canada has more information on preparing your boat for long boating trips in its Safe Boating Guide.

 

Provisioning and Packing

The next category of long boat trip planning has to do with packing all the right supplies. This involves a certain amount of provisioning and creative packing solutions.

prepping for long boat trips - stocking your galley

Packing just the right amount of food, clothing, and entertainment options takes a bit of trial and error. There is a bit of an art to packing just enough, packing only what you’ll use, and packing only what you have room for.

You’ll pick up tips and tricks along the way, but for now the three biggest tips we have for you are to:

  • Pack everything in soft-sided luggage rather than hard-cased luggage, as soft luggage is much easier to store in tight spaces.
  • Get rid of as much packaging as you can before setting sail, especially if you’re packing new toys for the kids, new tubes of toothpaste, and flat packs of pops and juice – leave the cardboard behind!
  • Check on your provisions from last season, and toss anything that might be past its due date.

If you’re stocking your boat for the first time, check out our guide to stocking your galley with the best foods, cleaning supplies, and more. Also check out our list of important items to bring on your boat, which should assist greatly during this step.

 

Securing the Homefront

Just like any standard vacation, an extended period away from your home on land requires some preparation. Be sure to make these arrangements ahead of time:

  • Arrange from a neighbour or family member to regularly check on your house, water your plants, and collect your mail.
  • Book any necessary medical appointments to fill prescriptions and see your dentist.
  • Clean up the yard and stow away anything that could tempt a thief.
  • Winterize your home if you’re planning a winter get-away.

 

Once you have these items checked off your to-do list, all there is left to do is hope for the best weather possible as you set sail for your big adventure.

For more boating tips from Van Isle Marina, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

A Short History of the Crab Cake

 

First called crab patties or crab croquettes in the 19th century, crab cakes were another take on minced meat patties. Thanks to a plentiful supply, some North American pubs actually gave fresh crab away to patrons, prior to the Second World War. The crab cake was created out of necessity as a cheap hearty meal. Original recipes called for a mixture of bread crumbs or cornmeal, seasonings, eggs, and crab meat.

No longer a budget selection, unless you catch your own, crab is a premium menu choice, and crab cakes are commonly served in high end seafood restaurants. However, making your own crab cakes is surprisingly simple.

 

Basic Crab Cakes- A Simple and Adaptable Dish

The beauty of crab cakes is that the base recipe for this popular dish remains pretty much the same as all those years ago, making it a fun dish to experiment with.

You can just as easily create a rich, indulgent cake or a lighter dish, depending on what toppings you choose. Tartar sauce or a bearnaise sauce creates a rich, indulgent meal, while crab cakes topped with freshly chopped fruit salsa or microgreens makes a much lighter dish.

Crab cakes are also great any time of day. Have you ever tried Eggs Benedict atop a crisp, succulent crab cake? Replace the english muffin with a crispy, tender cake of fresh Dungeness or Red Rock crab, and you’ve just taken two classic dishes to a whole new level.

While crab cakes are best without too many fillers, they do well with small scallops, shrimp or even minced fish, if you’re a little short on fresh crab.

We scoured the web for a tried and true crab cakes recipe, so you can make them anytime, anywhere – no pub or restaurant required. Try making the easy recipe below, and play around with a variety of seasonings, sauces, sides, and toppings.

 

Best Crab Cake Recipe

Classic Crab CakesBest Crab Cakes Recipe

Serve these with aioli, fresh greens, fruit salsa, tartar sauce, and more.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or tarragon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 440 g fresh crab meat, chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk 1/3 cup of mayonnaise with egg, parsley, Dijon and Tabasco.
  • Gently stir in crab just until combined. Scoop out 1 heaping tbsp crab mixture, roll in panko, and form into 1-in.-thick cake. Repeat with rest of mixture.
  • Place cakes on baking sheet 1/2 in. apart. Lightly spray or brush tops with oil.
  • Bake in centre of preheated oven for 10 to 12 min. Turn cakes over and continue baking until light golden, about 5 more min.
  • Let stand on baking sheet for 5 min before removing to a large platter.
  • To make the aioli, whisk together the remaining mayonnaise, lemon juice, and smoked paprika. Serve with lemon wedges alongside the crab cakes.

Get the full crab cake recipe from Chatelaine Magazine

 

Crab Cakes: Pairings and Toppings

Try pairing crab cakes with a white wine, like a pinot gris, the “white wine king of British Columbia.” This helpful guide from BC Wine Trends will help narrow down your selections if you’re looking for a new favourite. There’s also an excellent white sangria recipe which would bring a fresh tropical vibe to crab cakes topped with fruit salsa.

 

Tropical Salsa Recipe
IngredientsTropical Salsa on top of Crab Cakes

  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) finely diced papaya
  • 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) finely diced ripe star fruit
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) seeded and diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) grated lime rind
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and spoon over top

Get the full recipe from LCBO.com

 

Tartar Sauce Recipe
Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 6 drops Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and you’re done!
  • For best flavour, chill before serving.

Get the full recipe from Simply Taste

 

Tips for the Best Ever Crab Cakes

  • Pan fry for a crispy outer crust. Melt 1tbsp of butter or oil on medium heat, and add cakes just when the butter sizzles. Cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add a sprinkle of mustard powder. Rather than adding heat, this brings out the flavour of the crab even more.
  • Chill in the fridge for about an hour to let the crab cakes set.
  • Crab Cakes can be made ahead of time and frozen. Just shape the patties, freeze on a lined baking tray, and transfer frozen cakes to a freezer bag or container.

Still have leftover crab? Lucky you! Take a look at some other great fresh crab recipes.

 

Before you go crabbing or fishing, be sure to check the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for any updated information on closures, or restrictions. To learn more about what BC’s coastal waters have to offer, take a look at our guide on BC shellfish.

 

Tired of crabbing on shore with a net and hip waders? Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC has an extensive supply of new and pre-owned boats for sale – from motorboats to superyachts – to take you from low tide to the high seas. Take a look at our current selection of boats for sale or contact us to speak to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

yacht renovations - how to

Renovating an Older Yacht

Thinking About Renovating a Yacht as a Hobby Project?
Here’s What to Expect

 

There are many different scenarios that might see you one day staring down a decades-old boat on land from bow to stern, wondering, “Where do I even start?” Perhaps you’ve recently bought a pre-owned boat and are looking to make it your own. Or maybe your existing boat needs a few repairs and modern enhancements. It might even be that you have just inherited a boat that’s been in storage for so long and needs a little work before she is seaworthy again.

Whatever the case may be, restoring an older yacht can be a fun, rewarding endeavour. Just keep the following steps in mind to know what to expect when it comes to restoring an older boat or tackling your upcoming yacht restoration project.

renovating yachts - tools required

Step 1. Take an Inventory of Your Tools and Workspace

Before you begin, take a look at your tools and workspace. Do you have what it takes to pull this off (an electric buffer, demolition tools, etc.)? Do your friends and family have tools to lend you? If not, having to acquire these tools will factor into your restoration budget.

Step 2. Wash the Entire Vesselrenovating yacht - clean the boat

Thoroughly clean your boat from top to bottom, and from stem to stern to get a sense of what exactly you are working with. This includes removing all the water, leaves, and other organic matter from the boat.

Pro Tip: If you’ve purchased your pre-owned boat from a broker, this step has likely been done already.

Step 3. Take a Visual Inspection of What Needs Fixing and Replacing

Start identifying everything that is visually broken, damaged, or otherwise falling apart, and make a list! This could include things like:

  • Crazed and cracked fibreglass
  • Torn, ripped, or mouldy upholstery
  • Rotting or decaying wood components
  • A shabby-looking cabin or galley
  • A dull, chalky looking hull
  • Peeling no-slip paint on the deck
  • A cracked or foggy windshield
  • Rusty components

Depending on time and budget, you might have to pick and choose what DIY projects you realistically want to take on. For example, if your hull has just lost its shine but is in otherwise good condition, you are likely able to buff it back to life yourself. However, if your upholstery needs work too, this is a more challenging DIY project and a professional re-upholstery company will be worth every penny.

Step 4. Inspect the Vessel’s Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Components

Examine the mechanical components of the boat and continue adding to your list of repairs. Check all the electrical components, including all the vessel’s lights, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems, appliances, sinks, toilets, and shower. Ensure you’ve removed any old fuel from the fuel tank and any lingering oil from the engine and gear case. Replace any old belts and hoses on the engine.

Pro Tip: A marine technician can complete this step for you and provide a more comprehensive report on the vessel’s power systems. In many cases this is done prior to the purchase of a used boat, giving you a better idea of what the project will entail.

Step 5. Pay Special Attention to the Hull

Another area to pay special attention to is not just the cosmetics of the hull, but the through-hull fittings. Make sure they are rust-free and are still properly sealed. While you’re in the area, check the conditions of the seacocks and the cleats. If any appear to be rusted, broken, or missing altogether, these items are all relatively cheap to replace.

Step 6. Make a Wishlist of Features, Amenities, and Upgrades

If time and budget are on your side, make another list of all the add-ons you’d love to have on this boat. Keep things in scope by first thinking ahead to your intended uses for the boat. If this boat will mainly be used for fishing excursions, brainstorm all the fishing amenities you’d like to see such as rod holders, rod storage, and a livewell.

If you’ll be living in the boat part-time on the water, consider upgrading or adding to the appliances in the galley. You can also look at things like adding a laundry closet, carving out more storage space if you’re doing a deep reno, and adding newer navigational equipment.

Not sure what add-ons are even possible? Check out the floor plans of today’s modern luxury motor yachts on the market that are within the same size as what you’re working with, and you’ll get a sense of all the potential layouts, amenities, and modern touches you might want to add to this boat. Think about things like USB phone chargers, LED TVs, and sound systems that will make owning a boat that much more enjoyable.renovating yachts - strip the paint and varnish

Step 7. Get Started on the Project

With your lists in hand, it’s time to get started with your restoration project! At this point you can re-evaluate the items you want to tackle yourself, or start to call in the experts. A lot of help can be found on YouTube, on boating forums, and by talking to other boat owners who have already been where you are. Look at boating magazines and different boats for sale on the internet for visual inspiration of what’s possible.

Finding the Right Boat to Restore

Finding a boat to restore is similar to buying a boat you plan on enjoying right away. You need to consider things like what you plan to use the boat for, where you plan on storing the boat when it’s not in use, and what size and age of boat your budget will realistically afford you. All of these things are considerations for any boat purchase.

For a restoration project, storage considerations and budget should be looked at a lot more closely, as does your skill level. Be realistic about how long the boat project will take you, and where your skill level is at if the restoration is going to be a true DIY. If you think 3 months, and it ends up being 3 years due to life’s circumstances interfering with things, then that’s a lot of additional storage time you have to consider if you’re paying to store the vessel somewhere. And depending on the make and model, there could be too much depreciation if you’re planning to resell.

If budget, time, and skill level are factors, start small. The smaller the boat, the quicker the retrofit in most cases. And, if you’re just starting out, definitely avoid boats with no salvageable equipment. If the boat is just a shell, replacing gear, seating, and fibreglass components is going to far exceed the end value of the boat. Also avoid boats with major structural defects. The repair job on these types of boats is likely to be beyond cosmetic and require more equipment than the average DIYer has at home in the garage.

Likewise, if you’re looking to fix the boat up to eventually resell it, check the market before settling on something. A boating expert or yacht broker will be able to help you sort out the resale value of the boat you’re looking at restoring. It might not be worth the time or money if there is no resale or no sentimental value at the end of the day.

Just like when you’re looking at renovating a house, you already have a sense of where your comforts lie and what your limitations are. Depending on the nature of your restoration project, things might be more complicated than what we have provided above, but we hope this post has inspired you to get started on your next project. However it turns out, you’ll likely feel proud of the outcome and enjoy life on a boat you’ve customized just to your liking.

Opting to restore an older yacht can be the perfect option for someone who has the time and wants to own their first boat but is limited by budget. If you’re searching for a boat to restore, let our brokers help you find what you’re looking for. While most of the boats we have for sale at our sales dock are newer, we do come across the perfect project boat from time to time, or can help you locate one from elsewhere.

At Van Isle Marina, our brokers are ready to help you navigate the purchase of your next boat or yacht. Learn more about our sales process, or contact us with any questions you might have. We look forward to helping you end up in the boat of your dreams!

Family Boating Activities

Family Boating Activities

How to Keep Everyone Entertained on the Yacht

On today’s modern luxury yachts, there is no shortage of fun things to do with the family. We know you know the typical activities that keep everyone occupied, like swimming, fishing, floaties, and mealtimes. But what about the rest of the time? Especially if you’re planning on a longer boating trip?

To accompany our article on Boating with Family, here are some great entertainment suggestions to add to your list of family boating activity ideas. These suggestions work just as well for day trips as they do for longer journeys, and they are perfect for creating memories for years to come.

family boating activities - Water Skiing

Water Toys

If your kids are old enough and your boat is big enough to store the equipment needed, try out things like water skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, and tubing. Some of this equipment is available for rent, so you can try each watersport without fully committing to one. Snorkeling is also something suitable for all ages and can be a fun learning opportunity.

Kayaks and Stand-up Paddleboards

Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also available to rent from various seaside communities if you don’t already have your own. This can be a great way to get some exercise, challenge yourself in new ways, and navigate tighter channels while your boat is docked or anchored for awhile.

family boating activities - raft up with others

Raft-up with Others

If you’re comfortable enough and you spot another boater with youngsters on board, why not get to know your fellow travellers by inviting them to raft up with you? This entails tethering both boats together, either for a playdate, happy hour, or both. If things go well, you can always arrange to raft up again in the future. And if there are more than your two boats, why not raft up to multiple boats to form a full flotilla?

Head to the Beach

If everyone’s in the mood to get off the boat for awhile, head to shore to spend a few hours at the beach to enjoy a picnic, build sandcastles, fly a kite, explore the tide pools, go crabbing, collect seashells, play some badminton, or throw a ball around. Depending on where you end up, there might even be some great hiking trails nearby.

Visit Marinasfamily boating activities - Visiting Van Isle Marina

Visiting various marinas is also a fun way to get to know other boaters and learn more about your local area. If possible, pick a marina to visit that has a restaurant and an outdoor play area for the kids. The restaurant visit is often enough to land you free dock time at the marina, and the kids will love having a new playground to check out. Of course this is also a great opportunity to walk the docks and see a bunch of different boats.

Golfing

Yes, you read correctly! When you’ve tried just about every other activity while out at sea, why not plan for some good old-fashioned golf on the next boating trip? You could bring your own putting green and keep it as traditional as possible, or practice your long drive by rigging something out in the water. Simply toss out a floating inner tube and practice whacking biodegradable golf balls towards your target and voila! Golf at sea.

History Lessons

Depending on your location, you might stumble across some waterfront locations with heritage status. Around the Pacific Northwest, there are several fishing towns and historical landmarks to check out, some of which that have an aquarium or museum nearby. Here’s your chance to turn your boating trip into a teaching moment – possibly for more than just your kids!

Scavenger Hunt

Hand out lists of nautical objects you’re likely to see during your trip to everyone on board and offer up a prize to the first person who spots all the items. Some ideas for your list include kayaks, sailboats, seabirds, tugboats, BC Ferries, a person fishing, floating driftwood, whales, sea lions, a houseboat – you get the idea!

Treasure Hunt

Depending on the ages of those on board and the size of your vessel, you can create a small treasure hunt that takes place on your boat. It’s a little bit like the childhood game, Find the Object, only the object might be something of value that the winner gets to keep. Or, if you’ll be heading to the shore, you can even try geocaching, which has been rightly coined as the world’s largest treasure hunt.

family boating activities - Pirate Party

Plan a Pirate Day

With a little bit of planning ahead, you can plan a pirate party for the kids. This would tie in nicely with the treasure hunt idea already mentioned. It would also be a great theme for a child’s birthday party. All you’ll need is a pirate’s flag to raise, costumes and accessories, and a little knowledge of speaking “pirate-ese”.

family boating activities - Fireworks

Find Some Fireworks

Throughout the summertime around the Pacific Northwest, there are a few major events that kick off or conclude with a grand display of fireworks. Viewing these types of light shows from your boat is truly a remarkable, memorable experience.

Shoot Some Hoops

Find a portable basketball hoop for your cockpit, or one that you can temporarily hook or suction onto the side of your boat temporarily to see who can score the most baskets from the water.

Install a Slidefamily boating activities - waterslide

An inflatable slide provides some easy onboard entertainment for guests of all ages, providing there is easy access for everyone to re-enter the boat after each slide. Young children will require constant adult supervision and lifejackets.

family boating activities - water trampoline

Water Trampoline

Not your average floatie, a water trampoline will turn you into the coolest boat owner around. Completely inflatable and portable, water trampolines are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles and take just 20 minutes to set up. Young children will require constant adult supervision and lifejackets.

Deck Dance Party

Get everyone dancing on your deck, including the little ones, who tend to be the best dancers on board! Teach youngsters the old classics from your hey day, and then have them show you the trending dance moves of their generation.

Build a Fort

If you have enough equipment, have the kids build a little fort on the deck using oars, floaties, lifejackets, towels, and more. They’ll stay occupied and afterwards they will have a little shelter from the elements.

Camp on the Deck

On a particularly hot, clear summer night, why not plan to sleep under the stars on your deck instead of in the cabin? Or at least encourage the kids to do so. They can sleep in the fortress they made earlier that day, or perhaps under the Bimini top if there’s room. Encourage kids to bring snacks, flashlights, and books and games with them.

Rainy Day Entertainment

When night falls, or when it’s rainy, get cozy in your cabin with nautical-themed colouring books, story books, and crafts. Discover Boating has some great boat-themed colouring pages to get your started. Also plan ahead for pirate and mermaid-themed movies, smartphone apps, card games, and board games.

Remote Control Boatfamily boating activities - remote control boat

For the younger ones aboard your boat, you can’t go wrong by bringing a small remote-control boat for them to play with. This can be great if they are too cold or too tired to be in the water swimming. Even the grown-ups on board can have a lot of fun with this one.

Day to Day Operations

Lastly, try to involve children in all boating activities, including tying knots, preparing meals in the galley, steering the boat, and tidying up the cockpit. While you want to do whatever you can to make this boating vacation fun for your children, it’s important to involve your children in the day to day operations on the boat so they get the true experience. You’ll find out quickly what sorts of things interest them, whether that’s learning how to read tide charts, or knowing the ins and outs of the VHF radio.

 

Boating with your family can build fantastic memories for everyone involved. Don’t forget to take pictures and videos along the way! And for more boating tips from Van Isle Marina, be sure to check out the rest of our blog, including an overview of boating with pets – because they’re family too!

Pursuit OFFSHORE COLLECTION

An Overview of Pursuit Offshore Boats

Meet the Models that Make Up Pursuit’s Purpose-Built Offshore Collection

 

Van Isle Marina is proud to be the exclusive western Canada dealer for Pursuit Boats. Currently at our sales dock, we have two Pursuit models, the OS325 and the OS355, ready for viewing.

Pursuit Boats - OS355 interiorConsidering a Pursuit Boat for your next adventure? You can’t go wrong with any selection from the company’s award-winning Offshore Collection. Pursuit offers three great offshore models to choose from, whether you’re looking for deep water cruising or fishing, a week-long getaway on the water, or day trips with the family.

Choose from the impressive, stylish, and reliable OS325OS355, or OS385 – any one of which will feel like a luxury yacht with its high-end finishes, creative layouts, numerous amenities, and gorgeous design. Keep reading to learn more about each of the models in Pursuit’s award-winning Offshore Collection.

Key Features of Every Offshore Model

Hull

Like every Pursuit boat, each Offshore model features a hand-laminated hull and moulded hull side frameless tempered glass windows, with your choice of hull, helm, boot stripe, and interior colour packages. The boarding ladder is moulded into the hull for a seamless look. Each boat comes with an anchoring system, bow thruster, and dedicated transducer location.

 

Helm Station

With every Offshore model you’ll also enjoy the year-round climate-controlled comfort of your enclosed, hardtop helm station and custom windshield system with optically clear laminated windshield glass, tempered side glass, and electrically actuated center vent window.

 

Fishing Features

Each Offshore model is also perfectly suitable for fishing, with several rod holders, fish boxes, live wells, tackle box storage space, and cabin rod storage space. Exact fishing features are specific to each model.

 

UpholsteryPursuit Boats - OS325 interior

The upholstered seating of every Pursuit model comes with Dri-Fast foam and mesh backing that allows seating and cushions to drain completely.

 

Cabin

Enjoy your cabin’s JL Audio System, LED TV, LED lighting throughout, and stainless-steel hardware. Each Pursuit Offshore boat also features the amazing space-saving, electrically actuated, custom-designed V-berth seating area with fixed cushions and a pop-up dinette that converts into a double or queen size berth.

 

Galley

Pursuit Boats - OS385 interior

Each impressively sized galley in the Offshore collection comes with Corian countertops, a moulded sink, smart storage space, maple cabinets, a stainless-steel refrigerator and microwave, and a glass cooktop. The OS385 comes with a freezer, larger fridge, and additional, L-shaped counter space.

 

Head

The head on board each Offshore model is equally as luxurious with its glass bowl sink with Corian countertop, vanity mirror, and pullout shower wand. The OS355 and OS385 both have a full-length mirror, and the OS385 has the addition of a moulded fibreglass shower seat, acrylic shower door, and more storage.

 

Entertainment CentrePursuit Boats - OS385 cockpit

In the cockpit of each model there is a perfectly placed entertainment centre that allows you to keep the party going outside with an additional sink, cutting board/prep space, dedicated storage, 120V outlet, and an optional grill top for more cooking options. The OS355 and OS385 have a bonus fridge added to this area.

 

Safety

The designers and developers of Pursuit Boats have added plenty of key safety features onboard as well, including fire extinguishers, CO monitors, grab rails, and anti-slip cockpit flooring, just to name a few. The OS385 also has a fire suppression system for added peace of mind.

 

Pursuit OS325Pursuit Boats - OS325

At 34 feet in length with a beam of 10 ft 10 in, the Pursuit OS325 may be the smallest model of the Offshore Collection, sleeping two overnight guests, but she is every bit as stylish and comes with many of the finely engineered features of her bigger sisters, including rich hardwood and stainless steel finishing touches. Comes with a 19” LED TV and 24-gallon recirculating livewell for your daily catch.

The OS325 is powered via twin Yamaha F300 engines that allow for comfortable cruising speeds of around 30 mph. The fuel tank capacity of 370 gallons, while the water tank capacity is 30 gallons.

This model is available now at our sales dock. Come take a look!

Pursuit OS355Pursuit Boats - OS355

The Pursuit OS355 is the mid-size model in the Offshore Collection, at 38 feet in length with a 12 ft beam, and is powered via standard triple Yamaha F300s to give you an extra boost in cruising speeds. Or, like the model available now at our sales dock, you can swap those engines out for twin Yamaha XTO Offshore 425 hp 5.6 L V8 four stroke engines. The fuel tank capacity is 388 gallons, while the water tank capacity is 50 gallons.

The Pursuit OS355 has slightly more seating and storage than the OS325, and a more sizeable galley. The LED TV and live well are also larger, at 24” and 28-gallon respectively. The OS355 sleeps up to 4 guests.

Learn more about the OS355, available now at our sales dock.

 

Pursuit OS 385 OffshorePursuit Boats - OS385

The Pursuit OS385 is the largest of the three models in the Pursuit Offshore fleet. Just shy of 40 feet in length with four single berths, this boat is powered via high-performance, dependable, triple Yamaha F350s – complete with a joystick control bow thruster – for top cruising speeds of 54 mph. It has a fuel tank capacity of 370 gallons, while the water tank capacity is 65 gallons.

Enjoy all the comforts of home, luxury interior appointments, 360-degree water views, and an abundance of storage space. You’ll love your air-conditioned cabin with thicker berth mattress and a 32” LED TV. This model also comes with an impressive 50-gallon recirculating live well for the serious fisherman on board. The more expansive cockpit and roomier interior below with mid-berth settee, are thanks to her 13-foot beam. Choose from two available floor plans for below the deck.

 

The Pursuit Protection Plan

All Pursuit Boats come with the Pursuit Protection Plan, which give owners peace of mind with a:

  • 5-year hull/deck structural warranty
  • 5-year blister-free warranty
  • 2-year limited warranty

Pursuit Boats are purpose built, and that’s exactly what you get when you’re considering a model from the company’s Offshore Collection. Every Pursuit Boat is designed and manufactured in the United States. Along with the abovementioned Offshore models, Pursuit also has impressive Dual Console, Centre Console, and Sport collections, which are all available in the Pacific Northwest through Van Isle Marina. We have the OS325 and OS355 at our sales dock right now, so come visit us to see them for yourself to try each one on for size.

 

We are proud to be the region’s exclusive dealer of Pursuit Boats and look forward to introducing you to them in person soon. Contact us at 250-656-1138 or info@vanislemarina.com to learn more.

8 Great One-Dish Dinners

8 Great One-Dish Dinners

Simplify Your Dinners on the Yacht with These One-Dish Meal Ideas

Food is such an important part of any type of boat trip and depending on how long you’ll be out at sea, this typically means some type of meal preparation and on-board cooking is involved. Although many of today’s modern luxury vessels come equipped with galleys that often rival home kitchens, cooking onboard your yacht or boat can come with a unique set of challenges, mainly:

  • having to be selective about the cookware you bring with you
  • avoiding cooking with heat or sharp objects when the boat is at full cruising speed
  • possibly not having an oven or microwave on board
  • having a smaller sized sink to clean up large pots and pans

For this reason, many boaters appreciate having a list of crowd-pleasing one-dish recipes they can turn to during boating season, whether they will be out on the water for hours, days, or months at a time.

The beauty of the suggested recipes below is that they only require 1 skillet, pot, or frypan, and your galley’s stovetop – there is no oven or multiple saucepans required. This not only keeps preparing the meal a cinch but keeps clean up easy as well.

Note: If your yacht’s pantry is not yet stocked with the basics, check out our guide to the best foods to bring on extended boating trips.

Easy One Pot Lasagna

Enjoy lasagna at sea without an oven with this tasty Easy One Pot Lasagna recipe. The noodles cook right in the pot. Even better, there is no layering required. It comes out tasting just like the popular oven baked version.

You’ll Need:

Best One Dish Meals - Lasagna

  • Olive oil
  • Italian sausages
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Dried oregano and basil
  • Garlic
  • Farfalle pasta
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Ricotta
  • Salt & pepper

Get the full recipe from Damn Delicious

Chicken Stroganoff

A nice spin on the rich and hearty classic, beef stroganoff, this chicken version can be whipped up in 30 minutes, with the egg noodles tossed right in the same pot as everything else. It’s so easy and tasty – your biggest challenge is going to be putting aside enough white wine for the sauce!

You’ll Need:

Best One Dish Meals - Chicken Stroganoff skillet

  • Chicken stock
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken breasts
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow onion
  • Paprika, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes
  • Garlic
  • Dry white wine
  • Egg noodles
  • Sour cream
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe from The Chunky Chef.

 

Moroccan Lentils & Quinoa

Take a break from rice and meat proteins and give this meat-less, flavourful dish a try. It’s still packed full of protein and super filling and satisfying, which is a perfect way to conclude a day of boating activities.

You’ll Need:

  • OnionBest One Dish Meals - one pot moroccan lentils quinoa
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic, Ginger
  • Cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, Turmeric
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Brown and red lentils
  • Red quinoa or variety of choice
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Fresh spinach
  • Coconut milk

Get the full recipe from Simply Quinoa.

Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

For a low-carb, healthy dinner, turn to balsamic chicken and veggies. This recipe calls for tomatoes, carrots, and asparagus, but feel free to substitute whatever veggies you have on hand at the time. The addition of the salad dressing is a handy shortcut way of cooking if you don’t have individual spice jars for a variety of popular spices. It also takes care of the oil requirement typical of most one-pot stovetop dishes. Brilliant!

Best One Dish Meals - one pan balsamic chicken and veggies

You’ll Need:

  • Chicken
  • Italian salad dressing
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes

Get the full recipe from Cooking Classy

Corn and Ham Risotto

Risotto is so hard to resist and such a great go-to ingredient for a one-dish meal. It’s a versatile staple to which you can add almost anything and have it become a full balanced meal. Break away from your typical chicken and mushroom risotto add-ons and give corn and ham a try instead. The leftovers would also make a good breakfast!

Best One Dish Meals - Corn and Ham Risotto

You’ll Need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Arborio rice
  • Dry white wine
  • Chicken Stock
  • Fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels
  • Shredded smoked ham
  • White cheddar cheese
  • Fresh chives
  • Salt & Pepper

Get the full recipe from Country Living

Beef Stir Fry

We love this simple, no-fuss beef stir fry recipe from Moms Dish. With very few ingredients required, you might find that you turn to this one again and again, maybe even while substituting chicken from time to time. The addition of the dry stir-fry seasoning means not having to pack bulky jars of Asian cooking sauces with you on board.

You’ll Need:

Best One Dish Meals - One Skillet Beef Stir Fry

  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Green beans
  • Green onions
  • Stir-fry Seasoning Mix (one pack)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sirloin steak cut into thin strips

Get the full recipe from Moms Dish

Chicken and Rice Enchilada Casserole

Even though it’s called a casserole, this dish requires no baking and no casserole dish. It’s an easy way to whip up a Mexican flavoured dinner that’s both hearty and healthy. If you have the time, opt for dried black beans instead of canned.

  • Long grain riceBest One Dish Meals - Enchilada Casserole
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Chunky salsa
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Pre-cooked, shredded chicken
  • Corn
  • Black beans
  • Mexican blend or cheddar-jack shredded cheese
  • Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish, extra salsa, or guacamole

Get the full recipe from Chew Out Loud.

Spanish Fish Stew

Use any type of white fish in this amazingly delicious Spanish Fish Stew. It’s a nice spicy and flavourful way to devour more seafood while sticking with one-pot.

You’ll Need:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions, Garlic, Carrots, CeleryBest One Dish Meals - Spanish Fish Stew
  • Thyme, Paprika, Cayenne pepper, Fennel Seeds
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Russet potatoes
  • Cod fillets, fresh or frozen
  • Shrimp
  • Bay leaf
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Fresh parsley

Get the full recipe from The Food Blog

There are countless one-dish dinner recipes out there – we only serve up this list as a bit of inspiration as you broaden your search for even more.


Read More:
See our ideas for Easy and Delicious Make Ahead Meals.

 

Looking to upgrade your boat or yacht to something with a bigger galley? Contact the yacht brokers at Van Isle Marina at 250-656-1138 or info@vanislemarina.com to learn more about our boat-buying process and tour the boats we have for sale.

Halibut & Salmon Fishing

Where & When to Go Fishing In BC for Saltwater Fish

The Best Places to Find Salmon and Halibut in British Columbia

The West Coast of BC is home to some of the world’s most amazing fishing. People come from all over the globe specifically for our pacific salmon and huge halibut. Fishing around here is culturally and commercially significant as well, and can be done year-round in our region, with July to September being the busiest time of year for fishermen.

No matter where you plan on travelling in BC, you won’t have to travel too far in search of a place to go saltwater fishing, as there are thousands of places to explore. To help you narrow it down, we’ve provided a high level list of places to check out around Vancouver Island. These destinations were chosen either for their proximity to the Island’s must-see cities and coastal communities, or their remoteness, which offers an unparalleled opportunity to see the West Coast.

Pair many of these fishing excursions with our list of top recommended Vancouver Island attractions and you should be all set for an unforgettable trip.

Note: fishing regulations throughout BC may vary so please confirm all closures with Fisheries and Oceans Canada before heading out. Also note that certain areas such as Tofino, Gulf Island, etc may have local closures due to COVID-19 so plan ahead!

Fishing Destinations Around Vancouver Island

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Winter Harbour

Winter Harbour and Quatsino Sound – Located close to the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, head here for open ocean and the chance to catch salmon or halibut in the summer and fall. Dedicate a few days to this trip, and take advantage of the protected inlets and bays before venturing out further.

Port Hardy – 75 kilometres from Winter Harbour is the small rustic fishing village of Port Hardy. Here is your chance for a great day out on the boat to explore the wild, remote north coast of the Island while catching salmon or halibut in the spring, summer, and fall. You’ll be joined by commercial fishermen, however, so stay alert!

Scott Islands – The 5 Scott Islands can also be found on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Great for salmon and halibut fishing, but also a remarkable opportunity for birdwatching, with more than 2 million seabirds living in the region. The weather conditions can be a bit rougher, so this trip is best suited to experienced boaters.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Johnstone Strait

Johnstone Strait & Robson Bight – East of Port Hardy is the Johnstone Strait, between the Vancouver Island and mainland BC. There are plenty of islands in this region to explore, and the opportunity for some great salmon fishing (chinook, coho, and pink) in the summer. There are also resident orcas in this area, meaning you’ll be competing with them for the fish!

Read More: Guide to Whale Watching in BC

Northern Gulf Islands – Salmon and shellfish are plentiful around the 200 Gulf Islands off the coast of mainland BC, in the Johnstone Strait and the Strait of Georgia. The areas south of Denman and Hornby Islands are popular spots for salmon fishing, while Flora Island and Lambert Channel are great areas for prawn traps.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Brooks Peninsula

Brooks Peninsula – Brooks Peninsula is a remote part of northwest Vancouver Island that takes awhile to get to but will lead you to salmon, halibut, bottom fish, and even tuna if you travel offshore enough. Allow a few days to make this journey. South of the peninsula is Kyuguot Village, another remote area of the island offering the same opportunities as Brooks Peninsula.

Desolation Sound – Just north of Desolation Sound near Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island is an excellent spot to catch some resident and migratory salmon throughout the year. Spend plenty of time in the beauty of the region’s large network of tidal channels and inlets.

Nanaimo – Get plenty of salmon fishing done year-round off the coast of Nanaimo and nearby Gabriola Island, Protection Island, and New Castle Island. Nanaimo is Vancouver Island’s second largest city, so while it is a bit quieter than Victoria, there is still lots to do there on land as well as at sea, and quite a few amenities for boaters as well. Be sure to stay clear of kayakers and the BC Ferries!

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Strait of Georgia

Strait of Georgia – The Straight of Georgia that flows between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC provides excellent pacific salmon fishing opportunities, around the Gulf Islands (already mentioned) and also nearby Parksville and Qualicum on Vancouver Island. You’ll have the biggest chance of making a catch between May and November, but with less lines in the water from December to April, you might just score a big one in the wintertime in this region.

Bamfield – Allow the small coastal town of Bamfield to be your starting off point for a multi-day fishing trip along the Island’s west coast. Just south of Tofino, Ucluelet, and Port Alberni,  Bamfield is a quieter location with less boating traffic. Salmon and halibut can both be found here, mainly in the summertime.

Port Alberni – On the west coast of Vancouver Island, just north of Bamfield and en route to Tofino and Ucluelet, you’ll reach Port Alberni, where chinook, coho, and chum salmon are in abundance, as they make there way back into the ocean from the Somass River. Port Alberni celebrates the Salmon Festival and Derby every September, so you know the fishing here has got to be good.

Best Salmon and Halibut Fishing in BC - Tofino BC

Tofino & Ucluelet – If you only have time for one fishing trip as you head to Vancouver Island, consider the Tofino-Ucluelet region on the West Coast of the Island for summertime salmon fishing. The backdrops are stunning, offering a range of island hopping, coastal exploration, and open ocean adventures. After a long day on the water, moor your boat as you explore the lands. The beaches of Long Beach will be bustling, as will the villages of Tofino and Ucluelet.

Victoria Harbour – Salmon fishing just outside of Victoria Harbour and in Ogden Point is a popular activity on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It can be done from summer right into winter. BC’s capital city comes alive with tourists in summertime, making this a lively destination for more than just fishing, with many boutique and larger hotels and restaurants nearby.

Oak Bay – At the southern tip of the Island near Victoria, you’ll find spectacular Oak Bay with an English-inspired village as a backdrop on one side, and a distant view of Mt. Baker on the other. Stay awhile at Oak Bay Marina before spending the afternoon salmon and halibut fishing in the mildest region of all of Canada. Prepare for a lot of other boaters at the height of the fishing season (July-September).

For more information on any of these suggested locations, and some suggestions for shore fishing as well, check out Anglr, an initiative of the Sport Fishing Institute of BC.

Tips & Resources

Before setting out on your self-guided fishing trip in BC, note that there are specific fishing licence requirements, catch limits, and regional safety tips and seasonal closures you’ll need to know about. All of this information is provided by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

And, if you’ll have your smartphone on board with you, we highly recommend loading it up with the Fishing BC app. This free sport fishing app for tidal waters features a GPS locator, pinch-and-zoom map, and information on up-to-date official regulations including information about species, boundary maps, conservation areas, closures, contamination alerts, and more.

Also included in the app are a catch log, the opportunity to take photos of your catch and share with your social network, and a species ID guide specific to what can be found in BC’s tidal waters.

Read More:

If you’re on the market for a new fishing boat, check out our selection of fishing boats for sale, including Pursuit Boats and Riviera Yachts. We invite you to learn more about our yacht sales process or come and see us in Sidney, BC.

Yachting with your Dog

Yachting with Your Dog

Want to Bring Your Pets with You on Your Boat?
Here’s What You Need to Know

Because dogs are such a big part of many of our clients’ lives, we thought it was time to cover the topic of yachting with pets, especially if you’ll be spending longer periods of time on your boat to practice social distancing and no longer want to kennel your best friends while you’re away.

boating with pets

So, whether you have welcomed a new pet into your life since owning a boat, or you have welcomed a new boat into your life and already have a dog (or two!), learning the ins and outs of boating with pets is essential before setting sail.

To accompany our article on Boating with Family, here are the Van Isle Marina team’s top tips for boating with animals, including a list of things to bring, and tricks for helping your dog adjust to life on the water.

Best Dog Breeds for Boating

First off, if you don’t yet have a dog and are looking to get one, compare dog breeds that are best for boating, versus dog breeds that don’t like water. Of course, every dog will be different, but a dog’s breed is often a good indicator of how much your future best friend will love going boating.

Boat Design Considerations for Pets

If you are building a new boat or are renovating an older one, consider adding accommodations for your four-legged family members from the get-go. These can include things like:

  • Real or artificial grass patches where your dog can do their businessdog on board
  • Custom-cut dog doors where needed, such as from the cabin to the cockpit
  • Light and door sensors positioned at your dog’s height
  • Extra guard rails or specialized guard rails where the space between the railings is protected by glass or grilles
  • Installation of extra-small staircase gates
  • Specialized boarding ramps if your dog is too large to carry on board
  • Dedicated dog wash stations for use after the beach
  • Protective covers for your upholstery
  • Added décor that pays homage to your pet(s)

Identification and Paperwork for your Pet

If you plan to leave the country with your pets on board your boat, you’ll need to think ahead for any required international travel documents and limitations. There will be paperwork involved, which vary from country to country, but at the very least you’ll need proof from a vet that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Your regular vet might not know all the pet travel restrictions to some of your more exotic locations, so be sure to do your own research well before departure.

Be sure to include your phone number on your pet’s ID tag that clips onto his or her collar. Some owners also go for the extra coverage of having a microchip imbedded beneath the dog’s skin, or else a waterproof GPS device also attached to the collar.boating with your dog - don't let the dog drive the boat

Acclimatizing Your Pets

Depending on your pet’s age and temperament, they might not love boating right off the bat. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your first boating trip with your pets extremely brief. If things are fine, keep going, but be prepared to keep things short as your dog gets more and more comfortable being on the docks and boats.

As you venture out further and further, you’ll also find out quickly if your pet is prone to seasickness. If this is the case, try and plan feeding time so they aren’t setting sail on a full stomach. This will reduce cleanup efforts on your part. Check with your vet for suitable seasickness medicine that is available for your dog’s breed and size.

Training your dog to be comfortable on the boat may involve teaching them how to swim or training them how to love the water they were once afraid of. There are many pet blogs that cover the topic of how to help your dog enjoy the water.

Dog Overboard Planyachting with your dog - make them wear dog lifejackets

There is a chance your dog could end up overboard. There’s no true way to plan for such an occurrence but making sure they can swim before you’ve even set foot on the boat will help ease everyone’s anxieties.

There are also life jackets specific to dogs, which are recommended when passing through strong currents or choppy water. Most lifejackets suited for dogs have a handle at the top so their owners can easily grip and lift them back up onto the boat. Don’t leave shore without life jackets for ALL those on board.

Likewise, when it comes to the right leash and collar, it’s best to replace the collar with a harness, which also provides a handle or other means of lifting a dog back on board. This could even be done with a boat hook if thing’s ever got to that point!

Bathroom Breaks

You’ll need to provide and then train your dog on their new place for doing their business. Housebroken pets will be reluctant to soil your boat and will have to get used to pee pads all over again.

Spend time and be patient as you coax them into using their new dedicated area, whether it is a patch of grass, carpet scraps, pee pads, or a litter box in the cockpit. Bring supplies to clean up messes as your pet adjusts, and pack plenty of treats for training.

Another alternative is to stay close enough to shore to accommodate your pet’s schedule. But this strategy will only take you so far.

Staying Cool and Hydrated

Be sure there are multiple bowls of fresh water around for your pet. Keeping your pets hydrated on board is so important, as it will prevent them from attempting to drink seawater, which could cause serious health problems.

Depending on the season, you’ll also want to ensure a cool, shaded area for your pets to hang out on board, as constant sunshine is not recommended. If bringing a kennel on board, keep it inside somewhere cool with good air circulation.

Sunscreen for your Dogdog in the sun on a yacht

You might be surprised to learn that there are entire lines of sunscreens available for your pets. At a minimum, these should be applied to your dog’s belly, as well as the insides of the hind legs. Look for a spray-on variety for easiest application, and a formula free of zinc oxide – an ingredient you don’t want your pets to be licking or ingesting.

Pet First Aid Kits

There are first aid kits designed especially for pets on the market that are small, affordable, and perfect for travelling. They include many of the same elements of a first aid kit for humans, including tweezers, gauze, gloves, and antiseptic wipes. If you’ll be doing some hiking on shore, look for a tick remover as well.

Grooming

If you’ll be going for an extended boating trip, consider making a trip to your dog’s groomer first. The shorter their hair, the easier it will be to clean your furry friend who just might be constantly wet and sandy from the beach. A good toenail clipping will also help prevent any scratches or scuffs on your upholstery or special deck surfaces and coatings.DIY dog wash station coming to Van Isle Marina

Boating with your pet can be such a great experience for everyone involved. We are extremely dog friendly here at Van Isle Marina, and love meeting your pets! So much so, in fact, that the marina will be adding a new service that’s specifically for our furry friends.  Sometime in May, we’ll be adding a DIY dog wash station so that you can clean your pets after coming back from enjoying time on your boat.  Our new fureverclean DIY dog wash station will provide an easy way for dog owners to quickly wash, dry and condition their pets.

For more boating tips from Van Isle Marina, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Boating with Family

Planning on a Family Vacation out on the Water?
Keep These 11 Tips in Mind

The weather is warming up out there, and we know many, many happy boaters who are eager to be heading out on the water with their families to mark the official start of boating season.

A family boating vacation is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine. It’s a chance to slow down, bond with your family, bond with your boat, and otherwise get back to nature.

It also just so happens that time on your yacht or motorboat is the best form of self-isolation that our Van Isle Marina staff can think of. Whether you’re practicing social distancing, or you’ve been planning this boating vacation for awhile now, here are 11 tips to help make your next trip out on the boat with your kids and teenagers a fun, memorable vacation.

1. Safety First

Practise Safety with kids on board

Depending on the ages of the children who will be on board, there are certain extra safety precautions you can take, such as adding a safety net to the deck to help everyone relax easier. Go over all the safety precautions with young children, especially to remind them of the rules of no running and throwing things.

Ensure handrails are all intact, walkways are well lit come nightfall, and the cockpit is anti-slip. And, we hope it goes without saying that a properly stocked first aid kit and properly fitted life jackets are definitely must-haves. Whenever possible, we recommend fitting and testing everyone’s life jackets in a swimming pool before packing them on the boat.

 

2. Pack the Essentials

pack essentials when boating with family

A great vacation requires packing the right supplies. On top of entertainment, which we will cover in a minute, you need to pack enough of the essentials. For everyone on board this means fresh drinking water, enough food and snacks for all to enjoy, sunscreen of various strengths, bug spray, swimsuits, and towels.

Ensure the kids are packed up with spare clothing, hats, sunglasses, proper footwear, and their favourite comfort toys – then do the same thing for yourself. Remember to stow it all in soft-sided luggage to make storage easier.

3. Hire a Crew Member

If your boat and budget can manage it, considering hiring a crew member to help you captain the boat. Bringing a crew member on board can help you relax and enjoy time with family by tending to the navigation of the boat, and maybe some cooking and cleaning as well.

When hiring an extra crew member, look for someone who is not just a skilled boater, but someone who knows the local area and can perhaps steer you towards new areas. You might learn more about your local area and tour some great new places, all while making memories with your family.

4. Relax Your Schedule

When travelling with more than two people, you may find that you’ll be better off relaxing your schedule a little bit. Throw your timetable and packed itinerary overboard!

family boating trips - Relax

Sailing is all about the journey, so don’t be in a rush to get from destination to destination. Be realistic, and if heading to the shore, give yourself enough time to explore the area and find activities that will please as many people in your group as possible.

You might set out for a destination, but never know what there is to see between point A and point B – maybe it’s a cool little island, a secret bay, or a pod of whales? You might even reach a destination that required a bit more time than you predicted it would. Of course there is always weather and the tides to navigate as well, leave yourself a lot of room to get from place to place.

All that being said, keep trips short when introducing young children to boating.

5. Entertainment

Cover your entertainment needs with water toys such as floaties, snorkeling gear, stand-up paddle boards, fishing rods

entertainment during family boating vacation

, and more. You’ll also want to ensure there are lots of indoor entertainment options as well. Think board games, card games, books, arts and crafts, music, and movies. Depending on everyone’s interest, stargazing at night, or birdwatching with binoculars in the day could al

so be fun things to try.

Have your kids pick their favourite activities to pack along, and consider keeping them reserved as special boating activities. You might also be packing along tablets and smartphones, but try and limit screen time for relaxing once the sun goes down. Be sure to invest in waterproof, floatable protective cases for your electronic devices so they don’t sink to the bottom if accidentally dropped.

6. Involve Your Kids

Involve your kids when boating

If they’re old enough and interested enough, try and involve your kids in all aspects of boating. Show them the equipment, have them steer the boat, teach them how to tie all the knots, identify all the day markers, and explain all the boating terminology you know. Even if it’s just from an observational standpoint while you’re docking, anchoring, or communicating on the VHF radio, involving your kids in the boating process will surely create fond memories for everyone.

7. Get Off the Boat

boating vacations - get off the boat

If time allows, try and get off the boat for a few hours here and there to enjoy some hiking, caving, bike riding, or local sightseeing. You might find the perfect beach for swimming, sandcastles, kayak rentals, ice cream cones, kite flying, a game of frisbee or badminton, or boutique shopping. Do a bit of research ahead of time to learn about any attractions on the coastal areas where you’ll be heading. From wildlife sanctuaries, to museums, to freshwater lakes, there is so much you can add to your boating vacation.

8. Create Kid-Friendly Hangout Areas

If boating with a teenager, it might help to give them a private space all to themselves. Likewise, a nervous young child might also appreciate having a safety zone such as a fort they create, all to themselves. And, if the boat is big enough, try to avoid kids having to share beds. Unless of course, they are siblings who happen to get along swimmingly all the time! A week or more of sharing a bed with their little brother or sister might not lead to any happy children on board.

For very young children, bring a small, portable playpen, which will come in extremely handy, especially one with a mosquito net and sunshade.

9. Tidy Up Every Day

Even a large yacht can start to feel small once a whole family starts to spread out over the course of a few hours. While at home you might leave toys out overnight, this might not be as realistic in smaller living spaces. Try and encourage kids to clean up their activities as soon as they’re done playing, or at the very least, at the end of the evening before bed. And of course, take care of wet bathing suits and towels so they are good and dry the next day.

10. Take Time For Yourself

Alone Time during family boating trips

Once the kids are asleep – which will likely be early, as a day full of swimming and fresh air is bound to tire them out – make sure you fit in some grown up time with your better half. For example, why not share a bottle of wine on the deck?

Family boating vacations need not be just for the kids! You’ll appreciate this time to unwind after a successful day on the water, and plan ahead for the next day.

11. Take Plenty of Photos and Videos

pack lifejackets on family boating trips

Taking photos and videos of your family vacation is always a good idea – boat or no boat! You’ll enjoy the memories and you get to frame your favourite ones for a year-round reminder of how great your vacation was. If you have young photographers on board, entrust them with a waterproof disposable camera they can take out on their floaties with them and snap away.

For more boating tips from Van Isle Marina, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

The Best Foods to Bring on Extended Yachting Trips

Best Foods for Extended Yachting Trips

Groceries for your Yacht

Are you about to stock your new yacht full of groceries for the first time? If so, check out our helpful guide to filling your fridge and pantry shelves before sailing off for weeks or months at a time.

The following tips are for boaters who plan to set sail for more than just a few days. The items listed below are a great place to start if you’ve never done something like this before.

Staples and Other Non-Perishables

Staples in this case refer to non-perishable items that can be used in many different ways. Some suggestions include:

  • Rice and oatsbest foods to bring on your yacht - pantry stapes
  • Beans and lentils
  • Pasta
  • White and brown sugars
  • Powdered milk for coffee, tea, or cereal
  • Cereals (if you have the space!)
  • Canned goods such as soups, veggies, and sauces

Pro Tip #1: Avoid packing bread with you and instead opt to buy it fresh whenever you can make it to a supermarket or local bakery. Bread doesn’t fair well in the humid environment of boating. Things like English muffins, tortillas, and bagels will likely work out a bit better than a loaf of sliced bread.

Pro Tip #2: For staples and snacks, shopping in the bulk section can be a huge money saver.

Pro Tip #3: Depending on where you’re headed, you might be able to score staples like beans and grains at your destination port for cheaper than you would buy them for at home.

Snacks

Snacks are essential for all different types of boating. Skippering a boat, swimming, and other watersports definitely work up an appetite, and hearty snacks can really save the day out there. So definitely bring all your favourite snacks on board.

Some snacks you might want to take aboard your boat:

best foods to bring on your boat - dried fruit

  • Nuts and dried fruits (trail mixes)
  • Granola bars and energy bars
  • Fruit snacks and fruit leathers
  • Pudding cups
  • Chips and popcorn
  • Chocolate (in some regions good chocolate can be hard to come by, so stash some of your favourite chocolate bars)

Pro Tip #4: For your storage solutions, remember to pack resealable plastic or glass containers, Ziplock bags, and chip bag clips to keep things sealed up and protected against the open sea air.

Spices & Condiments

Be selective about which condiments you bring on board. Fridge space is limited, as are some cupboards. However, the shelf life on many condiments is pretty good, so it can be worth it to spare some space for all your favourite flavour enhancers. Choose items you’re particular about cooking with, and any special items you don’t think you’ll be able to find in other countries.

Some basic condiments include:

best foods to bring on your boat - spices

  • Cooking oil
  • Vinegar
  • Grilling sauces
  • Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry powder
  • Peanut butter & jam
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oregano & basil
  • Powdered bouillon cubes (chicken or beef stock)

Pro Tip #5: Portion off small amounts of spices you already own into small Ziplock bags for compact storage and to avoid having to buy duplicate bottles of anything.

Fresh Food

It’s possible to pack fresh produce on board your boat. Choose things that will last you longer than a week or two, such as apples, oranges, citrus fruit, onions, and garlic. Avoid bananas, berries, and avocados. Truly fresh produce can be obtained from the ports of the regions you visit, depending on where you’re going.

Some cheeses keep for many weeks, making them a relatively safe choice if there is room in the fridge. Butter, eggs, and yogurt also keep for awhile and would make sense to bring if you enjoy those foods.

Pro Tip #6: The more fresh food you can vacuum-pack, the better!

Drinks

Yachting can be thirsty work, so in addition to your favourite coffees and teas, be sure to bring enough non-alcoholic drink choices on board to keep life interesting while you’re away. Again, it all comes down to personal preference, but things like pop, juice, hot chocolate mix, and non-dairy milk are all nice to have on board. For ease of packing, consider drink crystals, which can be easier to lug around than flats of juice.

Depending on your method of obtaining fresh drinking water on board, you might also choose to have a flat or two of bottled water around. Each person on board should have access to no less than 1.5 litres of fresh drinking water per day.

Pro Tip #7: If your yacht does not have a wet bar with an ice box or mini fridge in the cockpit, have a cooler on deck to keep drinks cool and accessible throughout the day. This also helps avoid having to open and close your galley’s fridge all day, which can draw a lot of power.

Cleaning Supplies

Grocery shopping in order to stock the pantry includes cleaning supplies like:

  • Dish soap, hand soap
  • Dishcloths, paper towels
  • Scrubbies for pots and pans
  • Garbage bags
  • Laundry soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Broom and mop

You can pick all these items up at the supermarket, so be sure to add them to your list.

Rationing

Grocery shopping for your boating trip differs a lot depending on who will be on board with you. If it’s just going to be you and another person, things are more straightforward, since you know what you like and what your partner likes and generally how much food you both will go through during your trip.

However, if you’ll be entertaining guests, or bringing small children on board, things get trickier. For instance, kids will be tough to gauge because they will likely have larger appetites while they are out on the boat and getting tons of exercise during various water sports. The best way to ration is to plan ahead, write down how many people on board multiplied by how many meals required, and then you have something to start with.

It can be helpful to include your guests in this planning phase, perhaps by delegating some meal responsibilities. Coordinate ingredient lists and don’t worry if it feels like you’re overthinking it – getting your food right is so important and will lead to everyone having a memorable trip.

Pro Tip #8: Research make-ahead meals that might be nice to bring if your yacht has a freezer. Some online resources have recipes for bag meals, which involve tossing everything you would toss into a slow cooker into a freezer bag until you are ready to go.

Dietary Restrictions

If possible, get a list of any dietary restrictions and special diets of people who will be boarding your boat with you. Run the menu by guests beforehand if possible. Asking everyone’s preferences before setting sail helps avoid awkwardness and people going hungry until the next port.

To fill in any gaps, visit various ports to stock up on the all the fresh fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, and breads each region is known for. You might also find that you can catch some of your meals if you remember to bring your fishing gear!

Final Tip: Many grocery stores offer delivery services nowadays, allowing you to arrange a drop-off of all your groceries for your boat right to your marina of choice!

For more things you must bring with you while boating (besides food!) check out our blog post on Sailing Essentials – What to Bring on Your Boat.

When it comes to packing the best foods for an extended boating trip, we hope the above list helps you determine what is most important to bring. Many of the yachts for sale at Van Isle Marina come with more than enough storage space for you to leave plenty of staples on board year-round. We also have storage lockers available to further assist with your boating supplies while you moor with us.