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How to choose the right yacht

Choosing the Right Yacht For Your Needs

On the Market for Your First Yacht? Here are 10 Things to Ask Yourself

There are a lot of different types of yachts out there. Here’s how to narrow down the selection and find the right yacht for you.

While it’s tempting to go off things like looks and speed alone, there’s plenty more that goes into deciding on your first yacht. Check out our quick guide for first-time yacht buyers, designed to help you choose the best yacht for your needs.

Deciding on what type of yacht to buy starts with the answers to a few quick questions, such as:sailing yachts vs motor yachts

1. Would you prefer a sailing yacht or a motor yacht?

Yachts are divided into two main categories: sailing yachts and motor yachts. A sailing yacht offers a quieter ride and a more economical method of powering your vessel (the wind!) while a motor yacht is faster, more intuitive to operate for many, and typically has more accommodation and entertaining space on board.

Determining if you want to buy a sailing yacht or a motor yacht helps you eliminate half the yachts on the market!

2. How will you be spending the majority of your time on your yacht?

Today’s yachts are built for many different purposes, such as fishing, watersports, cruising, entertaining, year-round living, or a combination of all of the above. If you’ll mainly be using your yacht for fishing, for example, look for a boat with a large self-draining cockpit, several storage bins for your tackle, and even rod holders.

Sporting yachts will have large swim platforms and lots of storage for equipment, while yachts built for long-range cruising and entertaining might have crew quarters or an extra bedroom. Yachts intended for year-round living will have extras like laundry machines, a dishwasher, and a larger power supply and water-holding capacity.

3. How far and how fast would you like to go?selecting a yacht - van isle marina

The answer to this question dictates things like how much fuel and water-holding capacity you’ll need on board, as well as how powerful your motors ought to be. There are yachts intended specifically for long-range cruising that are quieter and have better fuel consumption, for example.

If you’ll be at sea for long durations of time, consider a model that provides plenty of protection from the elements beyond that just offered on the accommodation level, so you can still entertain and enjoy the views.

4. What is your budget?

When budgeting for a yacht, you must account for things like moorage fees, fuel fees, insurance fees, repair and maintenance fees, and add-ons like safety equipment, tenders, and anchors – these costs might factor into how much you should realistically be spending on your boat.

In general, the bigger the budget, the bigger and newer the yacht, but a larger budget doesn’t always equal a larger boat. For example, you might opt for something newer with more luxury features but sacrifice a bit in the size of the yacht. So, determine your budget first, then your priorities. If funds are limited, decide:

  1. new and luxurious, but smaller; or
  2. older and simpler, but larger?

5. Are you comfortable with an older model, or prefer brand-new?

The answer to this question goes hand in hand with the question regarding your budget. The pros and cons of buying a new vs. used yacht are the same as buying any used vehicle. If you decide to buy used, be sure to read our guide to Buying a Pre-Owned Yacht to understand what’s involved in the process.

6. How experienced are you operating a boat?

If you are a new boater and ease of operation is high on your list of wants and needs, look for a yacht model that touts features such as single-interface touchscreen technology and EJS joystick manoeuvrability that make navigation and docking a breeze. Likewise, you may want to skip some of the added features like side thrusters until you get a handle on the basics.

If you’ll be giving up the captain’s chair to other people from time to time, it becomes more important to look for a yacht that is simple and intuitive to operate.

7. Who will be spending the most time on your yacht?choosing the right yacht - family activities

Think about who you will be bringing on board your yacht. If you’ll be entertaining guests frequently, room for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves should be high on the priority list. Find this level of luxury on yachts with more than one entertainment zone. Open and enclosed flybridge models provide added entertaining space, as do the mezzanine areas of several luxury yacht models on the market right now.

If seniors and children will be on board, you’ll want enhanced safety features all around – things like lots of lighting, plenty of handrails, and wide side decks can help guests feel safe. Wheelchair accessibility is another thing to keep in mind.

8. Will you be spending a lot of overnights on your yacht?

Most yachts have at minimum a queen-sized berth that sleeps 2 comfortably. If you plan on yachting with friends and family overnight, you’ll want something with enough sleeping quarters for everyone – but this doesn’t always equate to a guest room. Sometimes a convertible day bed can meet everyone’s needs.

Yachts in the 45 to 65 foot range have up to four bedrooms and three bathrooms, with enough convertible lounges and daybeds to comfortably sleep 8-16 people.

9. How big of a boat do you realistically need?

Remember that the bigger the boat, the bigger the fuel consumption in many cases. Also in some cases, bigger boats are tougher to navigate, especially if you’ll be moored at a busy marina. And if you’ll be storing on dry land, you’ll need to consider storage options large enough for your yacht. If you’re new to boating, you might consider a small yacht first, then upgrade to a larger yacht.

10. Will you be wanting to re-sell your yacht down the road?Sporting Yacht with swim platform

Ask your yacht broker for advice on the re-sale value of the models that have caught your eye. Some makes and models are in high demand but short supply due to limited numbers in production – meaning they will hold their value well into the future. If you plan on selling in a few years, consider re-sale value before buying.

Additional Tips for Choosing the Right Yacht

In some ways, buying a yacht is just like buying anything else – you’re going to feel better making such a large investment if you know you are making an informed, educated decision – so do your homework:

Read Boating Magazines and Blogs – These resources are gold mines of tips and tricks for yacht enthusiasts looking to make their first purchase.

Go to Boat Shows – Boat shows are your best chance to see hundreds of boats up close and personal. There is bound to be a few boats calling your name at each boat show you attend.

Ask Around – If you’re touring a marina and happen upon a boat owner tending to their vessel at the dock, strike up a conversation and learn more about their yacht and what they like about it. Most boaters will be happy to share.

Read Reviews – Whether they’re online or in those yachting magazines, read what other people are saying about their yachts.

Consult a Broker   Consult a yacht broker through your local marina who can connect you with owners of pre-owned yachts, review current stock with you, or present you with options that are not even on the market yet!

Take a look at Van Isle Marina’s boat and yachts for sale to start your search today! To learn more about any listed vessel, please contact us at 250.656.1138 or info@vanislemarina.com. Our experienced yacht brokers can help you choose the right yacht to fit your yachting lifestyle.

Different Types of Fishing Lures

An Introduction to the Best Lures for Catching Fish in BC

If you’re thinking about finally doing some fishing aboard your boat for the first time, check out our guide to the different types of lures there are to choose from, and how they work. The lures on this list are suitable for many different types of fish in BC, including salmon, trout, and groundfish.

Below is the Van Isle Marina team’s introduction of the top fishing lures we recommend trying out the next time you take your sport yacht or fishing boat out on the ocean or lake. All of the items described below are available in several different sizes, colours, and brands, so you’ll need to:

  • Choose your size based on the size of your target species.
  • Choose your colour based on the water’s depth and clarity; and
  • Choose your brand based on your budget and personal preference.

Using the lures listed below to your advantage will require some practice and experimentation, which we believe is all part of the fun of learning a new hobby.

Type of Lure: SpinnersTypes of Fishing Lures - Spinner Lure

A spinner, or spinnerbait as it is sometimes called, is essentially a shiny and reflective metal blade that spins freely when it is reeled or trolled through the water. Spinners come in different sizes and styles and sometimes feature more than one metal blade.

How Spinners Work: The motion of a spinner moving in the water resembles a small swimming fish, which your target species hopefully mistakes as its next meal, thereby biting your line. Salmon and trout can sense spinners partly via their reflective appearance, and partly by their vibrations, which are especially effective in murky waters, where salmon tend to hang out often.

Types of Fishing Lures - Spoon LureType of Lure: Spoons

Fishing lures known as spoons are metal lures that are a little less round and a little longer than an average teaspoon. Spoons come in a wide range of sizes and colours, and usually come with a hook already, making them relatively straightforward to use.

How Spoons Work: Spoons work like spinners – they resemble small baitfish when wobbling in the water. Your spoon size should match or come close to the size of the fish your target fish species would be on the hunt for, based on the season or time of year.

Type of Lure: PlugsTypes of Fishing Lures - Plug Lure

A plug is a solid piece of rigid plastic that is painted to look like a fish, usually a herring. They are sometimes reflective as well. Some plugs, called wobbling plugs, are made of two pieces hinged together. Such plugs are designed to wobble in the water, adding a bit of movement to an otherwise static lure.

How Plugs Work: Plugs are painted and designed to look like fish, a.k.a. a food source that lures larger fish in. Wobbling plugs, with their two pieces instead of one, cause a flutter in the water as they’re being reeled in, creating a much-needed vibration to lure in salmon in murky water.

Types of Fishing Lures - Hoochie LureType of Lure: Hoochies

Meant to resemble small squid, hoochies are those brightly coloured, squishy plastic lures with strands of plastic tassels and painted on eyes. They come in a wide variety of colours, sizes, and styles – usually without any hooks or flashers, allowing you to customize your rig by supplementing your own additional lures and live bait.

How Hoochies Work: Hoochies are bright, which attract fish to the end of your line, but their lack of reflective properties and the fact that they are motionless make them not as effective when they are used alone.

Type of Lure: FlashersTypes of Fishing Lures - Flasher Lure

A flasher is a long, thin, shiny rectangular piece of metal, or piece of plastic with an added metallic adhesive tape or sticker on it. Flashers range in size and colour, with the largest ones being about a foot long. They are usually recommended at depths below 50 feet.

How Flashers Work: In the right weather conditions, to your target species, a flasher looks like another larger fish who is ferociously attacking its prey. This signifies to nearby salmon or trout that there is  food present, causing them to swim closer to the flasher to check out what’s going on. Ideally this leads to your target species biting your bait!

Flashers are only required when you are using lures that don’t move on their own in the water, such as hoochies. They aren’t required if you are already using spinners, wobbling plugs, or spoons.

Types of Fishing Lures - Jig LureType of Lure: Jigs

Jigs are a multi-part lure consisting of a lead weight sinker and a hook covered with a soft rubber or silicone material. A third component is sometimes added on that resembles a fish head with tassels or flies. With all these parts to consider, there is an endless number of jigs out there to try.

How Jigs Work: Because of the lead weight, jigs are designed to move vertically in the water, rather than horizontally like other lures on this list. The lead sinker allows your line to get to the fish at the bottom of the seabed – making them perfect for catching groundfish.

Using Scents & DyesTypes of Fishing Lures - Scent Bait

Adding scents and dyes to artificial lures is becoming more common practice. You can buy both items at the tack shop. They come in either gels, oils, or pastes, and in scents like anchovy and herring.

How Scents and Dyes Work: In the absence of live bait, scents are added to live lures to stimulate a fish’s appetite. More importantly, they mask any human smells left behind by an angler’s hardworking hands as they load up their lines.

Also available at the tack shop are dyes. Adding dyes to your live bait gives your line the aromas and flavours of the live bait, and an added boost of colour, helping fish see as well as smell your line.

Fishing with Live Bait

Live bait includes everything from insects, worms, anchovies, herring, fish row, minnows, leeches, shrimp, and more. Larger fish like lingcod and halibut also love octopus and mackerel. Live bait is most effective when it looks as life-like as possible in the water.

How Live Bait Works: Live bait puts off a scent that naturally draws fish to your line. They can be used alone or with a larger rig set-up that includes more than one artificial lure. With all your bases covered like this, you’re bound to catch something!

Read More: Lures or Live Bait? Understanding the Pros and Cons of Each

Learning your fishing lures takes some practice due to the overwhelming amount of selection and combinations out there. It might take some trial and error before you find a rig you’re successful with and comfortable using. The staff at tack shops are a good place to start for more information on fishing lures, in addition to talking to other anglers you know about what works for them, subscribing to magazines, reading blogs, and watching tips on TV.

At Van Isle Marina, we love talking about fishing, including what lures work best, and about all the fishing hotspots near here. Come see our team with all your fishing and boating related questions. We are located in Sidney, BC, near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Find out how to get here.

And now that you know all about fishing lures, have you considered picking a new boat to fish from? Learn more about buying a boat through our brokers. We can recommend several that are perfect for your new hobby!

The History of Yachting

From Sails to Motors: The History of Yachting

How Yachting went from a Necessity to a Lifestyle

As a boating enthusiast like us here at Van Isle Marina, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about boats, looking at boats, and being on boats at every opportunity you can seize. But have you ever wondered how today’s luxury vessels came to be?

What was there before the motorboat grew to become a luxury yacht, which further grew to become a superyacht? If you’re as curious as we were about how, when, and where the yachting lifestyle evolved, read on for our brief guide to the history of yachting.

Not sure what makes a yacht a yacht in the first place? Review our Yacht Sizes, Styles, Types & Categories post as a refresher. In short, a yacht is mainly considered to be any type of sea vessel used strictly for recreational or pleasure purposes like cruising, entertaining, water sports, or fishing. There is a wide variety of sea vessels that are classified as yachts, with the term largely representing any vessel used recreationally that is large enough to have some form of sleeping quarters for overnight trips, as well as a kitchen and bathroom.

Today’s modern luxury yachts have come along way. Let’s take a look at where it all started.

Origin of Yachting

So, where did the term yachting come from? Originally called jachtschips (hunting boats), yachts were invented by the Dutch Navy in the 14th century to catch pirates and thieves quickly in shallower waters where larger ships couldn’t be sailed.

It wasn’t long until wealthy merchants and ship owners began using these smaller and speedier boats to sail out to celebrate their returning merchant ships. Sailing yachts also became popular with royalty, and it quickly became chic to use them for pleasure cruises and inevitably, for racing. English yachting is said to have officially begun when King Charles ll sailed the Mary to Britain following his return from exile in the Netherlands.

History of Yachting - the Mary

A 20 metre (66 foot) craft, the Mary inspired Charles and his brother James, the Duke of York, to construct more yachts and begin racing. They raced for sport for the first time in 1662 on the River Thames on a 100-pound wager.

Yachting Gains Traction

After a while, yachting slowly became fashionable among the wealthy, with the first social Yacht Club (the Water Club) in Cork, Ireland, being established in 1720. It was first used as a coast guard style organization. In the Water Club, races were actually chases, where the fleet of vessels “raced” to catch a nonexistent enemy—a nod to the yachts’ original crime-fighting purpose.

Meanwhile, the first yachts used in the North American colonies were typically Pilot Schooners – fast sailing vessels with tall masts and History of Yachting - Pilot Schoonerlong, slender hulls. They were capable of reaching speeds up to 20 knots, as opposed to the 5-6 knots reached by other crafts.

These Pilot Schooners were designed to guide the cargo-carrying Clippers to safe harbour, and in order for the crew to make a living guiding cargo ships to shore, they had to be the fastest.

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) began in 1844 and the first racing schooner, the 30.78 metre America sailed across the Atlantic. She was turned down from the races in England, but joined in a race around the Isle of Wight with 14 yachts from the Royal Yacht Squadron, winning the Hundred Guinea Cup, known today as America’s Cup. Using this new design, the NYYC won the cup every year, from 1870-1983.

Yachts Get Bigger and Faster

After 1850, when steam-powered and internal combustion engines began to replace sails as the main power source, larger yachts and paddle wheel boats were developed as pleasure craft for long-distance cruising. By the second half of the 20th century, the majority of yachts relied on internal combustion engines (motor yachts), having moved away from using sails as auxiliary power.

Governance of the Yachting Industry

In 1907, yacht racing had caught on to the point where a governing body was required to create a universal set of rules and regulations for the sport since each country and region had their own set of rules—leading to much confusion. And so the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU) was created in Paris. It was later renamed to the International Sailing Federation in 1996. Around this time, international racing really took off, splitting yachting into the two main factions we see today—racing and cruising.

Yachting Today

Today, the yacht has continued to develop with advances in technology and materials depending on the intended use – from long-range cruising, to fishing and watersports, to being used as a home away from home. Although wooden boat purists will still insist on a wooden hull, the vast majority of today’s hulls are created from much lighter materials like fibreglass, and designs vary according to the make and model of the vessel.

History of Yachting - todays yachts

Among other advances are the multihull design (catamaran/trimaran) and special features such as computer controlled winches on sailing yachts, an auxiliary engine to power the alternator, wind, water, and solar powered generators, GPS systems, radar, electricity, tender storage, joystick steering, and much more.

On top of these features, today’s luxury yachts have endless amounts of finishing touches that we are sure would have impressed the original yachtsmen, including leather interiors, teak decking, laundry machines, kitchen appliances, and the list goes on.

Whether you’re interested in a classic motor yacht, flybridge, a larger luxury rig, or something in between for your yachting lifestyle, come visit us at Van Isle Marina where we offer a wide range of new and used models as well as a fully secure maintenance and storage facility.

Best Diving Locations Near Vancouver Island

Best Diving Locations Near Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island – One of the Best Cold Water Diving Destinations in the World

Spend enough time above the waters around Vancouver Island and it will only be a matter of time until you get curious and want to get a closer look and what’s below the surface. When this happens, and you go for your first scuba diving experience in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll quickly come to realize the region is filled with all sorts of underwater scenery – from reefs, walls, shipwrecks, and plenty of marine life.

Here is our list of some of the best diving locations off the coast of Vancouver Island. Don’t forget your dry suits and headlamps – waters around here are cold and dark, but worth it!

Let’s dive in!

Artificial Reefs around Vancouver Island

Xihuw Boeing 737

Not actually a shipwreck, but a “plane wreck”, the intentionally stripped and sunken Xihuw Boeing 737 can be found in Stuart Channel near Chemainus on Vancouver Island’s central east coast. It’s been down there since 2006 and still very much recognizable.

G.B Church Freighter

artificial reefs around vancouver island

The G.B. Church is a 175-foot freighter that was sunk in August 1991. She can be found near Princess Margaret Marine Park/Portland Island north of Sidney on Vancouver Island. She’s actually not too far from us here at Van Isle Marina.

HMCS Saskatchewan

The HMCS Saskatchewan is a 366-foot World War ll naval vessel turned artificial reef and sunk near Nanaimo in 1997. The top of the mast is about 45 feet below the surface and the bulk of the vessel is between 80 and 100 feet.

HMCS Cape Breton

The HMCS Cape Breton is another World War II naval vessel sunk purposefully near Nanaimo. This 401-foot vessel was sunk in 2001, settling almost perfectly upright at about the same depth as the Saskatchewan. Find both of these HMCS vessels off the coast of Snake Island.

RivTow Lion

Before it was turned into an artificial reef, the Rivtow Lion was a 147-foot rescue tug built in 1940. She became an artificial reef off the coast of New Castle Island near Nanaimo in 2005. Because of the RivTow Lion’s location in sheltered calm waters and her modest size, she is considered a suitable dive site for beginners.

HMCS Chaudière

Journey out a bit farther away from Vancouver Island to the Sunshine Coast and you’ll find the HMCS Chaudière. Another artificial reef that was purposely sunk in 1992, the 366-foot Destroyer Escort lies on its side starting at about 50 feet below the surface in Kunechin Sound in the Sechelt Inlet. You’ll know you’re at the right artificial reef when you see the mounted guns with long barrels protruding from the vessel!

HMCS Annapolis

Still a bit further off Vancouver Island, located 25 minutes from Horseshoe Bay in Hacklett Bay in Howe Sound, the HMCS Annapolis was sunk in 2015. At 371 feet, this artificial reef is massive with plenty of unique explorable features, like a helicopter hanger. It’s only 25 minutes from Horseshoe Bay and worthy of the trip from Vancouver Island.

Shipwrecks around Vancouver Island

SS Capilano

Recognized as a provincial heritage site, the SS Capilano sank 100 feet deep by the Grant Reefs, between Savary and Harwood Islands in the Strait of Georgia. Built in 1891, the SS Capilano was an early coastal passenger and freight steamer before sinking in 1915. The wreck was discovered in 1973 relatively intact and remains one of the best wreck dives on the BC coast, appreciated for its historical value.

Robert Kerr

The Robert Kerr wreck is another heritage site worthy of exploration just north of Thetis Island. This converted Barque sank in 1911 after hitting a reef. It’s impressively still more or less intact and still identifiable despite being underwater for more than 105 years. This is considered a shallow dive at 60 feet.

SS Themis

If you make it up to Port Hardy on north Vancouver Island, you’ll be near the SS Themis, a 270-foot Norwegian cargo ship that sank in 1906 near Crocker Rock in Queen Charlotte Strait. There is not much left of this wreck, but a few identifiable pieces still remain, plus you’ll see some of the largest lingcod you’ve ever seen lingering about!

Shore Dives around Vancouver Island

If exploring deep depths to explore sunken ships and airplanes – intentionally or otherwise – is a little daunting for you, consider starting off with a simple shore dive. Shore dives are suitable for all levels of divers, including those just gaining an interest in the sport. Simply gear up on shore and walk right into your next scuba diving experience!

Diving at Clark Rock in Nanaimo BC

Or, for even more fun and convenience, save yourself the walk with your bulky equipment and access any of the shore dive sites by boat and drop anchor as close or far to shore as you like!

Recommended shore dives around Vancouver Island include:

  • Odgen Point Breakwater, near Victoria
  • Elliot Beach, near Chemainus
  • China Creek, near Port Alberni
  • Keel Cove, near Nanaimo

In the Nanoose Area, just north of Nanaimo, also check out any of these beautiful shore dive locations: Cottam Point, Dolphin Beach, Madrona Point, Oak Leaf Tyee Cove, The Jib, and Wall Beach.

Boat Dives around Vancouver Island

Of course, when you have a boat, nothing beats the thrill and ease of going for a cold-water dive right off the swimming platform of your boat or yacht. If you’re looking for the best boat dives around the Island – that don’t involve the narrow passages and deep, dark pockets of a sunken ship or airplane –  consider the following boat dive locations, recommended for all levels of divers.

Boat Diving around Vancouver Island

Beginner Dives

For beginner boat dives, start with:

  • Clark Rock, near Nanaimo
  • Neck Point Park, near Nanaimo
  • Yeo Islands, near Nanoose
  • Norris Rocks, near Hornby Island
  • Broughton Archipelago, in the Queen Charlotte Strait
  • Blackfish Sound, near Hansen Island and Swanson Island
  • Zeballos Inlet and Kyuquot Sound, near Nootka Island
  • Tahsis Narrows and the Gardens, near Nootka

Advanced DivesGabriola Passage Diving Around Vancouver Island

For more advanced boat dives, check out:

  • Quatsino Narrows, near Port Alice
  • Browning Pass, near Port Hardy and the SS Themis
  • Breakwater Island, near Nanaimo
  • Dodd Narrow, near Nanaimo
  • Gabriola Passage, near Nanaimo
  • Snake Wall Island, near Nanaimo and the HMCS Saskatchewan and Cape Breton
  • Alcala Point, near Ladysmith
  • Sansum Point, near Duncan
  • Octopus Point, near Duncan
  • Race Rocks, near Victoria

Always research your intended dive site before heading out, and make sure all beginners are comfortable with the depth and currents!

If you’re looking for a new boat or yacht to take your diving experiences to the next level, the team here at Van Isle Marina is happy to help. We have a wide range of pre-owned yachts and boats for sale, in addition to suitable sports models from Riviera and Pursuit that would provide plenty of space for all your diving equipment. Take a look at our current selection online, or visit us in person at 2320 Harbour Road near the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Riviera 505 SUV at Van Isle Marina

2020 Riviera 505 SUV

The Riviera 505 SUV is set to Premiere in February 2020

Within the yachting community, Riviera is having quite a moment these days. Earlier this year, the luxury yacht builder announced dates for its upcoming 64 Sport Motor Yacht debut as well as launched its new Platinum Edition Sport Yacht line. They are also gearing up for the launch of their next luxury motor yacht – the Riviera 505 SUV, which will be making its debut at the Miami Yacht Show in February 2020.

Riviera 505 SUV - Port

The Riviera 505 SUV will be available to boaters in the Pacific Northwest starting in spring 2020 through the team here at Van Isle Marina – Western Canada’s exclusive authorized dealers of Riviera motor yachts. Our yacht brokers are ready to welcome all interested yacht enthusiasts to send us their inquiries regarding this new model. For now, we hope you enjoy a sneak peak inside this exciting addition to Riviera’s SUV Collection:

The New Riviera 505 SUV

The new Riviera 505 SUV is a three bedroom/two bathroom luxury yacht that has the same pedigree of a single-level alfresco entertainer, but with the addition of the mezzanine area that offers a relaxing space with protection from the elements when needed.

Riviera 505 SUV - master bedroom

The 505 comes in just shy of 56 feet in total length. In addition to the massive mezzanine level, the 505 comes with a generously sized cockpit, impressive saloon and galley, accessible foredeck, luxurious accommodation deck, and technologically advanced helm station. All these features are wrapped up in a package that comes complete with a brand-new hull design and luxurious, handcrafted finishing touches throughout.

Like all four Riviera SUV models that preceded her, the 505 promises exceptional power-to-weight ratios, impressive fuel efficiency, and exhilarating bluewater performance and handling capabilities.

This mid-sized sports yacht is as perfect for fishing and blue-water cruising as it is for entertaining and all the different water sports you can think of! Let’s take a closer look at her impressive layout:


The total cockpit surface area of the 505 is about 10 square metres, making it perfect for fishing, various water sports, and entertaining. It’s also low to the water, making it easy to launch and retrieve all of your favourite water toys. The cockpit features a large BBQ and wet bar centre, a 130-L fridge/freezer compartment, a hydraulic swimming platform, and tons of storage solutions, including a large pump-out fish bin locker in the floor.


Riviera 505 SUV Mezzanine

A few steps up from the cockpit is the 505’s massive mezzanine with teak decking, an LED TV, and two fixed lounges, one of which converts to a day bed. A hardtop fully extends over the mezzanine, while twin sliding sun hatches let in filtered sunlight and a slight breeze from above. Th mezzanine on the 505 provides a covered entertainment area that is a great place to read, relax, and enjoy your morning coffee. It allows you to enjoy the yachting lifestyle on even the rainiest of days!

Galley & Saloon

The galley and saloon are connected to the mezzanine via a tinted, tempered glass door and awning window. In this area you’ll find a U-shaped galley that is fully equipped with an electric cooktop, microwave convection oven, dual drawer fridge/freezer, stainless steel sink, and optional dishwasher.

Riviera 505 SUV Saloon


Across from the galley on the starboard side is an L-shaped lounge and polished timber table. Just ahead is a helm station with twin pedestal seats and sliding sunroof, and a second lounge area that serves as the saloon’s main media centre is nearby.

Accommodation Deck

Take the steps down to the accommodation deck and the first things you’ll notice are the timber finishes, impressive amount of headroom, and elegant lighting throughout. You’ll be able to escape to your full-beam master suite where you will find large hull windows, a queen-sized island berth, walk-in robe, plush carpeting, 42-inch LED TV, chaise lounge, en-suite access, and a full-length mirror. Also down on the accommodation deck is a twin bunk cabin to starboard, and a plush VIP stateroom forward with en-suite access to the luxury day head. An optional laundry closet is also available.

Foredeck & Side Decks

The foredeck entertainment zone aboard the 505 is nice and large, with a walkway that runs laterally so occupants can avoid having to step over the double sun pad cushions when moving from port to starboard, cleaning the windscreen, or attaching window covers. Access to the foredeck is easy with generously wide side decks with raised bulwarks that connect all the way to the cockpit and incorporate several safety features.

Hull & Bowsprit Design

The hull of the Riviera 505 has been newly designed, with a gently sweeping sheerline, more prominent topside windows, and generous flare forward. These features balance nicely with generous glass surrounds.

The bowsprit is seamlessly incorporated into the hull design, making for a cleaner, more contemporary look. More specifically, the bowsprit has been replaced by a modern “through-the-bow” design. The effect is the anchoring station is more prominent. Ultimately, your 35kg highly polished stainless steel Ultra Anchor becomes a jewel adorning your bow.


The Riviera 505 SUV comes standard with twin 6-cylinder Volvo Penta D8-IPS 800 turbo diesels at 600hp (441kw) each. You can also choose to upgrade to 725hp (533kW) via twin D11-IPS 950s, depending on your needs. With either option, the 505 comes with joystick controls at the helm and cockpit, as well as two 16-in. Volvo Penta Glass Bridge screens.

The Riviera SUV Collection

With the addition of the 505 SUV premiering in 2020, the Riviera SUV Collection is now up to five models. The new 505 SUV fits nicely in-between the SUV 575, SUV 545, SUV 445,  and SUV 395 models. But it does so much more than provide boaters a mid-sized option in this collection – the 505 is a model all on its own, from the keel up – inspired by the existing models in the Collection but so clearly defined as its own distinct model at the same time.

You can learn more about the development and design of the Riviera 505 SUV in Edition 5 of the 2019 Riviera Experience.

Additional Riviera Collections

In addition to the SUV Collection, Riviera designs and manufactures models in their Open Flybridge Collection, Enclosed Flybridge Collection, Sports Yacht Collection, and Sports Motor Yacht Collection.

No matter what Riviera Collection has caught your eye and checks your boxes, every Riviera model out there is built to last and retains its value because Riviera is so consistent with their design, quality, and customer experience.

Our yacht brokers would be pleased to match you with the best Riviera yacht to suit your needs. Learn more about Riviera yachts through our website, or contact one of our Yacht Sales Brokers, at 250.656.1138. Or come see us in person in Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. We would love to show you our boats!

The Most Common Types of Shellfish in British Columbia Waters

Kinds of Shellfish in BC Waters

The Most Common Types of Shellfish in British Columbia Waters

With so many species of fish living in BC waters, there is something to fish for at practically anytime of year, including many types of shellfish. In our previous posts covering all the different kinds of fish in BC waters, we’ve touched on the highly sought-after pacific salmon, trout, and groundfish that draw anglers to the West Coast of Canada. To round out the series, we thought we’d end with another extremely popular type of fish our region is known for: shellfish.

What are Shellfish?

The term shellfish is a colloquial term referring to an extremely broad category of aquatic (water-dwelling) invertebrates. The term covers two main types of aquatic invertebrates: shelled molluscs like oysters and clams, and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp. Shellfish are not actually fish – they are simply a certain type of animal that live in water. The term shellfish is used by fisheries and the medical and restaurant industries to group together edible marine invertebrates.

In British Columbia, the most common types of shellfish that anglers target include oysters, clams, prawns, crabs, scallops, shrimp, krill, geoducks, and red and green sea urchins. In BC, octopus, sea cucumbers, and squid are also managed as shellfish, as per the DFO.

Notice how there are no lobsters on this list? Lobsters are plentiful in the Atlantic Ocean, but not so much here in the Pacific.

Below is our breakdown of the most common types of shellfish found in British Columbia.

Oysterstypes of shellfish in BC - oysters

Oysters are saltwater bivalve molluscs that stay rooted in place for most of their lives. There are two main types of oysters found in BC – the Olympia Oyster and the Pacific Oyster. Olympia oysters are the smaller of the two and are the only native oyster on the BC coast. It is illegal to keep Olympia oysters due to their dwindling population.

Pacific oysters are the main type of oyster cultured in southern BC waters. They are thicker and larger than Olympia oysters, with a rougher appearance. They come in a number of coloured patterns including browns, greens, and greys with purple fluting. The harvesting of oysters can be done by gathering them up from their beds, either by hand, rake, or special tongs.


types of shellfish in BC - Clams

Clams are another type of bivalve mollusc that are smaller, smoother, and shinier than oysters. Unlike oysters, clams are not rooted to one spot for the duration of their lives. Like oysters, harvesting of clams is done by hand or short / long-handled forks or rakes, depending on the species. Common clam species in BC include: razor clams, butter clams, littleneck clams, Manila clams, and varnish clams. There are also geoduck clams, a somewhat more distinctive clam species with a large visible siphon (neck) and more rectangular shell shape.

Harvesting undersized clams is prohibited, and size limits vary per type of clam. On top of that, certain areas are closed to clam harvesting, due to biotoxins present in the water. Always be sure to check the area’s closure notices before consuming clams in these areas.

Musselstypes of shellfish in BC - Mussels

Mussels are bivalve molluscs similar to clams. Blue mussels are the most commonly found mussels in BC. They have bluish-black shells and a distinctive “D” or flattened teardrop shape. Their interior is a pearly violet or white colour. Mussels in BC live on calm shores in the intertidal zone, latching onto surfaces with their strong byssal threads.

Scallopstypes of shellfish in BC - Scallops

Scallops are yet another common type of marine bivalve mollusc that can be found in BC, particularly the Pink scallop and the Spiny scallop. Spiny scallops are reddish-brown and Pink scallops are pinkish-white. Other types of scallops are farmed throughout the BC coast due to their popularity with seafood lovers. When you think of a seashell – the first image that comes to mind is likely that of the fan-shaped scallop shell.

Crabstypes of shellfish in BC - dungeness crab

Crabs are crustaceans that live pretty much in every ocean around the world. In BC, the Dungeness crab is the most important species of crab sought after by commercial fishermen. They have oval bodies that range from yellow-brown to purplish in colour, four pairs of walking legs, and claws with light-coloured tips. Redrock crabs can also be found in BC. These are the crabs that have the brick red backs, white bellies, and Black-tipped claws.

Because crabs are targeted by so many groups, their harvesting is monitored and regulated heavily throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Shrimptypes of shellfish in BC - Shrimp

Shrimp are small, aquatic, decapod crustaceans, meaning they have exoskeletons and 10 legs. There are seven species of shrimp that commercial fishermen trawl for in BC, including Coonstripe or Dock shrimp, humpback or king shrimp, smooth pink or ocean pink shrimp, spiny pink shrimp, spot shrimp, sidestride or giant shrimp.

Prawnstypes of shellfish in BC - Prawns

Prawns are the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp in British Columbian waters, with some distinctive differences that set them apart from other shrimp. They are slightly larger than other shrimp and have three sets of claws as legs instead of two. In the kitchen, prawns and shrimp are prepared in similar ways and have similar textures and tastes.

Prawns have smooth glossy bodies and vary in colour from a dark red to an orange-red or pink with several white lines running horizontally across their head.

Abalonetypes of shellfish in BC - Abalone

Abalone are marine gastropod molluscs, a.k.a. sea snails, that come in a range of sizes. They have oval shells with irregular reddish or greenish upper surfaces. Their shells are sometimes marked with blue or white, while the iridescent white shell interior has a faint pink and green sheen. Abalone, once poached for their decorative shells and their meat, were considered to be a delicacy.

Due to overharvesting, harvesting abalone from the ocean is illegal. In BC, it’s the only species of shellfish that is completely banned from harvesting.

types of shellfish in BC - Sea Urchin

Sea Urchins

Sea urchins are not molluscs and they are not crustaceans, yet they fall under the shellfish category. They are managed as shellfish by the DFO, and people who suffer from shellfish allergies must also avoid sea urchins.

Sea urchins are spherical and are covered with hundreds of spikey, moveable spines that look like brush bristles. They grip the seabed with their five tube-like feet. There are hundred of species of urchins in oceans around the world, with the red sea urchins (with longer spines) and green sea urchins (with shorter spines) most common and sought after in BC due to their large lobes. Sea urchins are mainly harvested for their roe (a.k.a. gonads or uni), which has a buttery texture and distinct ocean flavour.

Krilltypes of shellfish in BC - Krill

Krill are tiny crustaceans found in oceans everywhere. Considered zooplankton, krill are an extremely important part of the food chain – they are what feed and nourish countless species of fish and marine mammals. Krill are harvested commercially mainly for fish food to be used in aquariums or in aquaculture and much less than the others for human food.

Sea Cucumberstypes of shellfish in BC - Sea Cucumber

Sea cucumbers are long and cylindrical, hence the name, with tube-like feet that allow them to walk on the ocean floor and tentacles that help them feed. There are about 30 species of sea cucumbers in BC, with the biggest being the giant red sea cucumber at about 2-feet long and weighing up to 1 kg.

Sea cucumbers consist of a firm outer skin and a thick inner muscle with five tendons. The tendons are considered the sea cucumber meat (edible, quite tasty, and used in a variety of dishes). Sea cucumbers are also harvested for their skin, which has health benefits as well as nutritional value.

Learn More

Unlike the salmon, trout, and groundfish of the region, shellfish come with strict warnings around their harvesting and consumption. Some shellfish, especially raw bivalve shellfish that are considered “filter feeders” can carry bacteria, viruses and toxins that can cause foodborne illness. Some shellfish are also often consumed raw, thereby increasing the risk factor. It’s always very important to harvest, store, handle, and prepare shellfish appropriately to avoid getting sick or worse.

For more information on shellfish harvesting, review the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Guides on:

The DFO’s shellfish harvesting guide covers things like identification charts, fishing gear recommendations, general tips, and packaging and storage information.  Always check for marine biotoxin and sanitary contamination closures in the area where you are intending on harvesting.

Looking for a new vessel for catching shellfish? Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC has a wide range of new and pre-owned  boats for sale, including fishing boats, motorboats, and yachts. Take a look at our current selection online or visit us in person. We are located at 2320 Harbour Road near the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Riviera Sport Yachts Platinum Edition

Riviera Platinum Edition Sport Yachts Now Available

Riviera’s 6000, 5400, and 4800 Sport Yacht models have all been elevated to Platinum Edition status.

Earlier this year, Riviera – Australia’s premium luxury motor yacht builder – unveiled its stunningly gorgeous Platinum Edition Sport Yachts. The range includes the newly upgraded 6000, 5400, and 4800 Sport Yacht models. Each yacht is a shining example of world-class style, sophistication, and elegance.

News of the Platinum Edition models was made in May 2019 when the owner of Riviera, Rodney Longhurst, along with Riviera’s International Sales Director, Chris McCafferty, and Dealer Relationship Manager, Peter Welch, all waterskied behind a 6000 Sport Yacht bearing the new, distinct Platinum Edition colours – silver grey, black, and white, in Sydney Australia.

The 6000, 5400, and 4800 Sport Yachts, which were already breathtakingly luxurious, are now even more so with the Platinum Edition upgrades that include a new silver grey, black and white colour scheme, more creative uses of floor and storage space, and more state-of-the-art finishing touches and upholstery.

Riviera Platinum Edition Sport Yachts – What’s New?

So much has changed with the debut of the Platinum Edition Sport Yachts from Riviera. As the company’s owner explains in a recent press release: “With the Platinum Edition Sport Yachts, you will see the unmistakable addition of hardtops and targa arches presented in Riviera Platinum Silver, along with a silver/grey upholstered sunbed on the foredeck. Electronic arrays, air vents and boot tops are rendered in a stealth-like black finish.”

Additional Platinum Edition upgrades include high-gloss walnut timber cabinetry and trim, pure wool carpet in the staterooms, more lounges upholstered in soft-touch fabrics, Recaro sports helm seats with Alcantara inserts and contrasting diamond hand-stitching, Sunbrella fabric headliners and wall linings, and new Corian-finished bathroom flooring.

In addition to the above mentioned upgrades, each Riviera Sport yacht model received its own set of upgrades.

Let’s take a closer look at each model’s upgrades:

Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition

Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Series II Platinum Edition at Van Isle Marina

Perhaps the sport yacht model with the most upgrades is the Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht – with so many upgrades the model has now been renamed to the ‘Series II’ Platinum Edition. The Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht is perfect for cruising couples and young families with its two beautiful staterooms, two designer bathrooms, and hull length of 45 feet. In addition to the features mentioned above, upgrades made to the platinum edition of the 4800 Sport Yacht include:

  • Improved, more functional layouts
  • New look and feel for the helm (styled in silver grey and black)
  • New cockpit wet bar including benchtop, refrigerator, ice maker, sink, and two-plate electric BBQ
  • New solid-surface bench tops in the galley
  • New saloon and cockpit loungers
  • Extended swim platform
  • New saloon cocktail cabinet with bottle storage drawer and drawers for glass
  • More accommodation deck floor space
  • Larger starboard hanging locker in the master stateroom

Learn more about the Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition, available in Western Canada through Van Isle Marina.

Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht Platinum EditionRiviera 5400 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition available at Van Isle Marina

The Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht can host larger groups for days or weeks at a time with three beautiful staterooms, two designer bathrooms, and a hull length of 52 feet.

In addition to the upgrades each Sport Yacht received, including a newly styled helm with more instrumentation, the new platinum edition 5400 features a new Riviera Platinum Silver wet bar including benchtop, refrigerator, icemaker, sink and two-plate electric BBQ – meaning less trips back into the main galley.

Learn more about the Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition, available in Western Canada through Van Isle Marina.

Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition

Considered the flagship of the Sport Yacht collection, the 6000 has a hull length of 57 feet and features three beautiful staterooms and three designer bathrooms in the Presidential layout, or four staterooms and three bathrooms in the Classic design.

Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition at Van Isle Marina

In addition to the upgrades each of the Sport Yachts received, the Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition now comes with:

  • Three joystick control points, with two at the cockpit and one in the helm.
  • Waterfall benchtops and stainless steel sinks and mixer tap in the galley.
  • Extended seating area in the saloon, with the starboard-side lounge now seeing a centre seat base slide out to become an ottoman
  • New-style Pompanette helm seats with Alcantara inserts and feature stitching for the helm station.
  • Black caulking in the teak decks has been replaced with platinum grey.

Learn more about the Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition, available in Western Canada through Van Isle Marina.

Riviera Platinum Edition Sport Yachts – Where to Buy in Western Canada

The new Riviera 6000, 5400 and 4800 Platinum Edition Sport Yachts are exclusively available in Western Canada through Van Isle Marina. (Please note that the Riviera Sport Yacht line is now only available as the Platinum Edition series.)

Over the past 14 years, Riviera has launched over 560 Sport Yachts. With the unveiling of the Platinum Edition Sport Yachts in spring 2019, the team at Van Isle Marina predicts there will be hundreds more launched in the future – many of which will go to boating enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest – as Riviera continues to refine and define the luxury sport yacht category around the world.

To learn more about owning a Riviera Motor Yacht, please contact one of our yacht sales brokers and we will be happy to help you build the perfect Riviera Sport Yacht. If you’re looking for something other than a sport yacht, there are five distinct Riviera Collections, including the Enclosed Flybridge Collection, Open Flybridge Collection, the Sport Yacht Collection, the Sport Motor Yacht Collection, and the SUV Collection.

Wildlife of Vancouver Island

Wildlife of Vancouver Island

Types of Wild Animals on Vancouver Island

Between the months of May and October, Vancouver Island comes alive with wildlife sightings. From land animals such as bears, cougars, and deer, to marine animals like whales, otters, and salmon, Vancouver Island is bursting with wildlife. Here are some of the different types of wildlife living on and around Vancouver Island on Canada’s West Coast – look out for them from the deck of your boat or yacht, or while on land for a hike.

In the Water


Fish found around Vancouver Island

From the five types of pacific salmon, to the various types of trout, dozens of rockfish species, and several varieties of shellfish, Vancouver Island is teeming with fish for locals and visitors to catch, eat, or watch. Popular target species that are commercially important to the region include salmon, trout, and halibut, as well as shellfish such as crabs, prawns, mussels, and Olympia Oysters. Pacific herring are also an important fish in the area, sought after for their roe and to use as live bait for the larger, more lucrative fish species.

Sea OttersVancouver Island Wildlife - Sea Otter

Members of the weasel family, there are two distinct species of otters that can be seen around Vancouver Island: river otters and sea otters. Around the Island, river otters are more commonly spotted than sea otters. River otters inhabit coastal shorelines, rivers, streams, wetlands, ponds, and lakes – they are seemingly everywhere!

Sea LionsVancouver Island Wildlife - Sea Lion

Sea lions, which resemble seals but are not the same animal, are hungry for the region’s pacific salmon, making them unpopular with fishermen in the area. There are two common types of sea lion around the Island: California sea lions and Steller sea lions. You can tell them apart by their colouring. California sea lions are dark brown, while Steller sea lions are a lighter tan colour, or sometimes reddish brown. The two types tend to co-mingle in the same areas.

Harbour Seals

Wildlife around Vancouver Island - Harbour Seal

Harbour seals are mammals in the Pinniped (“feather foot”) family and can be found around the world. You’ll likely see them from your boat or from the shore napping on rocky reefs, sand bars or boulders up and down Vancouver Island. Unlike sea lions, seals do not have external ear flaps, and they are greyish in colour rather than brown. They have short, furry front flippers and cannot raise their head and shoulders well while on land, so they constantly appear to be sleeping.

Whales & Dolphins

Pacific gray whales and orcas are the two most common types of whales you’ll find around Vancouver Island, but there are also humpbacks too! While whales can be seen at any time of year, May to October is the optimal time for whale watching in the region.

  • More than 20,000 pacific gray whales make their migration north up the west coast during March and April, making boating in this region at this time of year extra exciting.Orcas - found around Vancouver Island
  • Orcas are the black and white whales of the region. They are always making headlines in the local news as they are favoured by locals. Resident orcas are either Northern residents or Southern residents. Both types are comfortable around boats and have been known to get close to boaters, so keep your camera handy!
  • Humpback whales are more common around Telegraph Cove, Port McNeil, and the Pacific Rim. They are the largest whales in the area, known as much for their song as they are for their sheer size and beautiful breaches.

Sometimes while whale watching, you might come across a school of 50-100 Pacific White-Sided dolphins – another wildlife popular amongst locals and visitors alike. These mammals are playful and often seen jumping along or behind the boats they encounter. You’ll find plenty of dolphins in the Johnstone Strait heading north to the Queen Charlotte Islands.

On Land

Whitetail deer found on Vancouver Island


Deer are plentiful on Vancouver Island. You won’t be able to get far into the wilderness on the island without spotting one! BC is home to mule deer, black-tailed deer, and white-tailed deer. They can be found everywhere from the valleys, to the mountains, coastal rainforests, and dry interior grasslands. Deer are also prevalent in residential neighbourhoods, which create conflict for homeowners as they graze in gardens and create traffic hazards.

Black Bears

Black bear sightings are common on Vancouver Island during spring and summer, as the region is home to around 7,000 black bears (but zero grizzly bears). Although black bears prefer wooded areas near rivers, they sometimes make their way into residential neighbourhoods and busy campsites in search of food.

Black Bears of Vancouver Island

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island is a great spot for viewing black bears, although there are dozens of other areas up and down the Island where you might come across one. If your boat can get close enough to the shore, be on the lookout for bears as they have been known to hang out on the shoreline hunting for food.


Cougars are home on Vancouver Island

Cougar sightings on Vancouver Island are less common than black bear sightings, but they do happen – often by unsuspecting locals on the trails or even in their backyards. Cougars are exceptionally dangerous creatures, considered to be the most feared cat in North America, so if you see one it’s best if it’s from an enclosed area. Like bears, hungry cougars make their way to urban areas when they are searching for food in the warmer months.

In BC, dangerous wildlife are handled by the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) – a public safety provider focused on natural resource law enforcement and human wildlife conflicts prevention and response.


Racoons are medium-sized mammals, and while they are intelligent creatures, they aren’t necessarily a type of wildlife you’ll be seeking out. They do, however, exist in droves on Vancouver Island. InWild animals on Van Isle - Racoon residential areas especially, racoons are more of a nuisance than anything, as they lurk in the darkness and topple over garbage cans to “dumpster dive” in search of sustenance.

Grey Wolves

Grey Wolves of Vancouver IslandIt’s unlikely you’ve come across a Vancouver Island wolf, but they are here on the Island in limited numbers in forested and semi-forested parts of the northern region, as well as areas around Port Renfrew and Clayoquat Sound. The Grey wolves on Vancouver Island are lighter in colour than their mainland relatives and are considered shy and elusive, making them even harder to spot. If you see a grey wolf and wonder, could that be a coyote? The answer is no – there are no coyotes on Vancouver Island (but there are many living on the Lower Mainland).

In the Air

BirdsBirds of Prey Vancouver Island - Bald Eagle

There are hundreds of different birds circling above Vancouver Island at any given time, making the area a birder’s paradise. The mightiest one to watch soaring through the sky is the Bald Eagle, which captivates locals as much as visitors. The island also has plenty of sparrows, blue jays, swallows, woodpeckers, owls, hummingbirds, and hawks.

There is also a wide range of seabirds living on Vancouver Island, including several species of gulls, skimmers, shearwaters, terns, puffins, plovers, kingfishers, herons, ducks, loons, and albatrosses. With so many seabirds in the area, there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching from your boat.


brown bats apenty on Vancouver Island

Less of a type of wildlife to admire out in the wild, and more of a pest to protect your house from, are bats. Vancouver Island is home to 16 species of bats, with the Little Brown Bat being the most common. Bats are a special type of mammal and are an integral part of our ecosystem, as they are great insect eaters and their guano is used as plant fertilizer.


Spend any amount of time on and around Vancouver Island and you’ll quickly come to realize the region is filled with all sorts of wildlife. In and amongst all the flora and fauna of the region, Vancouver Island offers many amazing opportunities for wildlife viewing, whether by boat or by foot. It’s one of the things this region is known for, and one of the many things that draws thousands of visitors to the waters surrounding Van Isle Marina each year. Come for our large marina, stay for our wildlife sightings.

Pursuit Boats Dealer for Western Canada

Van Isle Marina is now the Western Canada Exclusive Dealer for Pursuit Boats.

At Van Isle Marina, we are constantly adding to our inventory of highly desirable, dependable, luxury yachts and quality boats. In addition to our wide selection of pre-owned boats and Riviera yachts for sale, we are extremely excited to announce we are the new, exclusive Western Canada dealer for Pursuit Boats.

Pursuit Boats builds outboard-powered boats that are innovative and of high quality. This established brand is also leading sales in North America within its category. These exhilarating boats are purpose-built for recreational activities such as water sports, diving, fishing, adventure and entertaining.

Established in 1977 by Leon Slikkers, Pursuit Boats designs and manufactures a wide range of fishing and cruising boats in four distinct categories, including the Centre Console, Dual Console, Offshore, and Sport categories. In 2018, Pursuit Boats officially joined the Malibu Boats family, giving them even more prestige and distinction in the industry.

With Van Isle Marina’s new partnership with Pursuit, we are now offering boaters in Western Canada many more boat models to choose from, ranging from 23 to 40 feet.

The Pursuit Promise

Pursuit Boats are designed, developed, and manufactured in the United States and are known for their proven hulls, refined lamination techniques, and vacuum-infused stringer grids.

In addition, each Pursuit model comes with attractive warranties, such as:

  • an ultra-premium gelcoat backed by a five-year hull blister warranty;
  • a transferable five-year hull and deck structural warranty; and
  • a transferable two-year component warranty.

Pursuit Boats has something for every level of boater, from new boaters looking to make their first purchase, to fishermen looking to take their comfort and style to the next level, to boat owners looking to diversify or add to their fleets. Every Pursuit Boat model offers yacht-quality amenities suitable for long-range, offshore cruising as well as in-shore activities.

The Pursuit OS325 has arrived at our sales dock this month (September 2019), with the OS355 arriving in December 2019.

Meet the Pursuit OS325

The OS325 is perfectly sized and comes with twin Yamaha F300 engines for comfortable cruising speeds of 30 mph or you can always push it up to 48 mph. The beauty of each Pursuit Boat starts with the hand-laminated hull with moulded hull side frameless tempered glass windows that add a beautiful touch. A boarding ladder is moulded into the hull for a seamless look. Choose from a variety of hull, helm, boot stripe, and interior colour packages.

With the OS325 you also get a truly appointment enclosed helm station that is topped with a moulded fibreglass hardtop and features year-round climate control. You’ll also enjoy this model’s comfortable cabin, JL audio equipment, LED lighting throughout, stainless steel finishing touches, anchoring system, and port galley equipped with a fridge, microwave, sink, cooktop, and smart storage space.

In the cockpit, an entertainment centre comes with a sink, cutting board, dedicated storage, 120V outlet, and a grill top to give yourself more cooking options.

The interior cabin is accented with hardwood and is smartly laid out with seating that converts into a berth with storage space below. A solid wood table with power adjustable pedestal also adds more ways to enjoy the interior space. Nearby, the head feels luxurious with its glass bowl sink with Corian countertop, vanity mirror, and pullout shower wand.

Like all Pursuit Boats, the OS325 features upholstery and canvas components that are fabricated in-house and installed by Pursuit’s highly skilled technicians. Dri-Fast foam and mesh backing allows the cockpit seating and cushions to drain completely.

The OS325 is also made for fishing, with rod holders, a 24-gallon recirculating live well, under gunwale rod storage, fish boxes, and cockpit tackle centre. Overall, the Pursuit OS325 – now available in Western Canada through Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC –  is plenty of boat in an impressive package.

Showcasing the Pursuit Brand

To showcase all the exceptional design and engineering qualities Pursuit is known for, the Van Isle Marina sales team will have the Pursuit OS325 on display at the Nanaimo Boat Show on September 19-22, 2019. This boat show, now in its fifth year, is a family- and pet-friendly, event with food and beverage service, live music, and a kid’s zone. Enjoy 4 days of boats at the Waterfront Suites and Marina in Nanaimo. Attendees can walk through the fully tented exhibit as well as tour boats on the water.

The showcasing of the Pursuit OS325 in September signifies the start of a new partnership between Van Isle Marina and Pursuit.

Pursuit OS355

The Pursuit OS355 is another model in Pursuit’s Offshore collection that we are excited to welcome to our marina. The OS355 is slightly longer than the OS325, with all of the quality features and gorgeous stylings Pursuit is known for. It has slightly more power, with Twin Yamaha XTO Offshore 425 hp 5.6 L V8 four stroke engines and direct fuel injection.

You can learn more about Pursuit Boats through our website. Watch the available videos and scroll through the photo galleries to preview the thrilling model range and everything Pursuit has to offer.

The Pursuit Boat brand is aligned with Riviera Yachts and we here at Van Isle Marina are excited to be part of the dealer network. We look forward to taking you on an exhilarating sea trial on these performance boats!

At Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC, we look forward to matching you with the best Pursuit Boat for your boating needs. We’d love to chat more at an upcoming boat show, or you can come see us anytime and we will help you build your perfect Pursuit. We are located at 2320 Harbour Road. Find out how to get here.

Common types of ground fish in BC waters

Kinds of Groundfish in BC Waters

The Most Common Types of Groundfish in British Columbia Waters

With so many species of fish living in BC waters, there is something to fish for at practically any time of year. In addition to the highly sought-after pacific salmon and freshwater trout, another extremely popular type of fish that draws anglers to our region is groundfish.

What are Groundfish?

Pacific Longspine thorny head

The term groundfish refers to an extremely broad category of fish species that live and feed near or on the bottom of the lake, river, or ocean in which they inhabit. Groundfish are sometimes also referred to as bottom feeders, or “demersal” fish.

In British Columbia, the most common types of groundfish that anglers target include flounder (including halibut and sole), lingcod, pacific cod, and rockfish species. Most groundfish don’t migrate far, tending to stay localized to one area for the course of their lives. The saltwater groundfish highlighted here can all be found deep within BC waters at various times of the year.

Below is our breakdown of the most common types of groundfish found in British Columbia.


Flounders are a group of fish belonging to the flatfish family, which also includes halibut and sole. When compared to halibut, which are in a category all their own due to their sheer size, flounders are smaller, shorter, and rounder – with smaller teeth and more prominent mouths.

Pacific flounder are edible – their flesh is low in fat, soft-textured, and has a very mild flavour. It tastes best when lightly sautéed or braised. Two common types of flounder found in BC waters and fish markets are the starry flounder and the arrowtooth flounder.

Starry flounder have black and white or orange bands around their dorsal and anal fins and weigh anywhere from one to more than 10 pounds. They can grow to be around three-feet long and prefer the sandy and muddy deep seas of the Northern Pacific. Arrowtooth flounder are another type of pacific flounder that grow to be a similar size, with brownish coloured bodies and large, toothy mouths.


Halibut are actually in the flounder family but remain in a category all their own to distinguish them as a highly prized, edible fish. Halibut are a saltwater groundfish with a very distinctive body style. They are a larger type of flatfish species with their top side being brown and underbelly side being white. They swim sideways, camouflaging themselves with the seabed like most flatfish.

Halibut have large, elongated, diamond-shaped bodies and broad tails. Highly sought after for their valuable meat, halibut are a fun and rewarding fish to fish for. There are, however, strict limits in place to protect halibut numbers. You are not allowed to keep halibut that exceed 126 cm in length, including the head, and the daily catch limit for halibut is one.



Lingcod, which are not actually ling or cod but resemble a mix of both those fish – are large saltwater fish that are easily attracted to both live bait and lures. Lingcod (aka ling cod, buffalo cod or cultus cod) can weight up to 130 pounds and grow to be more than 4 feet in length with long, slender bodies that are either brown or green with orange spots. Their heads are larger than their bodies, and their fang-like teeth give them an even more distinctive appearance.

Lingcod is a great fish to eat and can be prepared a number of ways, such as grilling and steaming. Lingcod are found on the west coast at depths of 1,500 feet or more.

Pacific Cod

Pacific cod

Pacific Cod have elongated bodies with three dorsal fins and squarish tails. They are brown to grey on their dorsal side, while underneath they are pale grey to white. Pacific cod have long chin barbel and on average weigh 2 to 5 kilograms but can grow to more than one metre long and weigh more than 20 kilograms. They travel in large schools down to depths of around 900 metres.

Pacific cod are also called grey cod or greyfish and are an important food species for North American and Japanese markets, which makes them another highly regulated groundfish. They taste best when bak

ed, broiled, boiled, steamed, deep-fried, and mixed in stews and chowders. Cod is truly a versatile fish.


Rockfish is a broad term for a several species of groundfish that live specifically in rocky seabeds, as opposed to sandy or muddy seab

eds. In BC, common types of rockfish include copper rockfish, black rockfish, canary rockfish and quillback rockfish, among others. Most rockfish are edible, with a mild, sweet flavor and nutty accent.

Rockfish range in appearance from solid coloured, mottled colour, or banded colourations. Many are actually named after their colourings. Rockfish are members of the Scorpaenidae family (scorpionfish), meaning they have varying degrees of mildly venomous spines. Their dorsal fins are tall and deeply incised so as to appear jagged or spikey. The eyes of most rockfish are big and bulbous.

Yelloweye Rockfish

Pacific Yelloweye Rockfish and Longspine Thornyhead

Two common types of rockfish you might have seen at seafood markets are the Pacific yelloweye rockfish, a.k.a. “Pacific red snapper” and the Pacific longspine thornyhead.

Pacific red snapper is the largest West Coast scorpionfish, growing up to 1 metre long, weighing around 23 kilograms, and living to be up to 120 years old.  Pacific red snapper is orangey yellow with a bit of pink on the back and sides. It’s a prized fish around the Lower Mainland especially for commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries for its large size and excellent meat quality.

The Pacific longspine thornyhead is another unique deep-sea rockfish around the Lower Mainland in that it can survive many months between meals, live up to 50 years, and has distinctive bulbous eyeballs. Commercially speaking, longspine thornyheads are caught primarily for the Japanese market.


what does sole look like

Sole is a broad term for several species of smaller flatfish within the flounder-groundfish category. In the Pacific Ocean, the two most common types of sole are English Sole and Rock sole. Both types have a diamond-shaped, flattened body that easily skims along the ocean floor. Both have small, pointed heads with rounded, fan-like tails and long, flat fins on each side of their bodies.

Rock sole have a brown and grey mottled body that blends in with the ocean floor and a blind side that is white with a pink tinge. English sole is more of a solid brown colour with a blind side that is white or slightly yellowed.

There is also the Pacific Dover sole found at seafood markets that resembles the common sole of Europe – the Dover sole. Pacific Dover sole are solid brown in colour and excrete a mucous onto their skin, making them a slippery catch.

In general, sole can grow to about 50-60 centimetres long and are usually found at depths of less than 150 metres, though they can survive depths of down to 500 metres.

Learn More

For help identifying any of the groundfish mentioned above, consult the DFO’s groundfish identification guide. Properly identifying your catch is important to help you stay within your daily catch limits administered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). No matter what type of fish you set out to catch, make sure you’re aware of the DFO’s freshwater and saltwater fishing regulations

Looking for a new vessel for catching groundfish? Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC has a wide range of new and pre-owned yachts and boats for sale. Take a look at our current selection online, or visit us in person  at 2320 Harbour Road near the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.