News, views, opinions and reviews from Van Isle Marina, one of the largest full service marinas in British Columbia.

The benefits of outboard motors

The Benefits of an Outboard Engine

Today’s Outboard Motors Aren’t What You Might Expect—They’re Even Better

When shopping for a new boat, you’re going to need the right engine to make your time on the water as carefree as possible. While you might automatically think that an inboard will be quieter and more powerful, you might be surprised to know that today’s outboard motors are extremely convenient. They’re designed to be quieter, more fuel efficient and more flexible than the loud, gas-guzzling 2/3 stroke engines of the past. While idling at the dock, you might even forget that your 4 stroke gas outboards are still running.

benefits of outboard motors - pursuit boats

Adding one, two, or even a triple threat of outboards to your boat lets yachts over 25 feet power through even the toughest ocean currents while maintaining a top speed. Depending on what you’ll use your new boat for, the pros of an outboard engine might just make you reconsider an inboard engine package on your next pleasure craft or fishing vessel.

“There’s been a shift in the market … that has seen a lot of customers move into the outboard-style product primarily because of its performance, ease of maintenance and all the other great things that outboards give you.”- David Glenn, director of marketing at S2 Yachts.

Some Key Benefits of Outboard Motors

Lower Initial Investment

benefits of outboard motors - twin yamahas

Outboard engines generally cost less up front and the newer engines are made to last anywhere from 2,500-3,000 hours. That’s a lot of time spent enjoying your boat! For what’s most often a lower upfront sticker price, this can be a huge pro for many boaters who might want to spend more on on-board features and upgrades (there are plenty of customized and upgrade options on our Pursuit Boats including the option to upgrade to Yamaha outboards with Digital Electronic Controls (DEC.))

Better Versatility

This is a huge selling point for many of our customers, since the ability to lift motors up allows boats to squeeze into shallower spots and be able to move easily from ocean to rivers and lakes and back again. Being able to reduce your draft (the depth of the boat’s keel in the water) lets you enjoy a wider variety of waterways without worrying about getting stuck in the shallows.

One of the biggest advantages of lifting the engine out of the water when not in use, it keeps sensitive parts, including the propeller in good working condition by not being constantly immersed in salt water.

More Room on Board

Outboard motors are mounted on the transom. Without the real estate needed for an inboard and all its components, you can enjoy quite a bit of extra space on the transom. This means additional bench seating, more space to clean your catch, more room for water sports equipment and greater overall real estate on deck. The majority of our Pursuit models come equipped with folding transom seats with integrated storage and Pursuit’s patented backrest for comfort and convenience.

Easier Access for Maintenance

It needs to be said that outboard motors do need just as much maintenance as inboards since they have similar components like pumps and water-cooling systems. They require filter and fluid changes just like inboards do, there are fuel lines, tanks and many other components that need to be kept up to par. The big difference here is that outboard motors are freely accessible and you can always see the engines. If you have multiple outboards mounted, your maintenance time and costs will increase since each individual engine needs to be looked after, but generally, outboards tend to be lower maintenance.

More Efficient Power

The newer outboard motors are extremely powerful with better fuel economy, faster performance and more efficient power. Compared with in-board propulsion systems, using multiple outboard engines creates more speed due to the positive power to weight ratio.

Modern Technology

With today’s modern outboards, the skipper can sit comfortably at the helm and control all the outboards using Digital Electronic Controls, joystick steering, autopilot, even automatic trim. Cruising with outboards on a single console, double console or offshore model is every bit as relaxed as cruising with the same (or better!) performance you’d find with an inboard model.

benefits of outboard engines - pursuit boats

Since 1977, Pursuit Boats have been designed and manufactured with extreme pride and care in the USA. Hand laminated hulls, one of the quietest cabins on the market and luxurious extras like custom fabrics and solid wood accents are just a few of the yacht-calibre features of these vessels.

With fifteen different boats across four categories ranging in size from 23 to 42 feet, you can choose from Offshore, Centre Console, Dual Console and Sport models, all powered by dependable Yamaha outboards. Each Pursuit model comes with attractive warranties, such as:

  • Ultra-premium gelcoat backed by a five-year hull blister warranty
  • Transferable five-year hull and deck structural warranty; and
  • Transferable two-year component warranty.

 

Looking to upgrade to more power and impressive technology to make the most of your next adventure? At Van Isle Marina, we’re pleased to be the exclusive Western Canada dealer for Pursuit Boats and we want to match you up with your dream yacht. From cruiser to megayacht, contact us or visit our world-class sales dock at 2320 Harbour Rd in beautiful Sidney, BC today.

How Far Can Yachts Travel

How Far Can Yachts Travel?

Pairing the Length of your Trip with the Right Yacht

Cruising the world is a dream for many, and there’s no better way to do it than in your own yacht. When it comes to the question of how far yachts can travel, there’s no one set answer for this. There are so many different types of yachts, all designed for travel ranging from open ocean exploration to island hopping.

Really, there’s no limit to how far or how long a yacht can travel, if it’s suited to the trip you have in mind. The success of your trip will depend on how well your goals mesh with the category of yacht. It will also depend on whether you’re captaining a sailing or motor yacht, how often you need to stop to refuel or restock supplies and what forms of auxiliary power are used aboard. Whether your goal is to yacht around the world or explore the coastline closer to home, there is a yacht designed for the voyage you envision.

To Determine How Far a Yacht Will Be Able to Travel, Ask:

  • Is it a sailing yacht or motor yacht?
  • What type of yacht?
  • How large is the yacht?
  • How large is the fuel tank?

Sailing Yachtsailing - how far can you sail

A sailing yacht will take you anywhere you want to go. With a capable skipper, a seaworthy, well-maintained yacht and the right sailing conditions, you can see the whole world.  A fully stocked, seaworthy 30-foot sailing yacht will sail about 100 nautical miles in a day, and she can continue up to 90 days without needing to stop. Given the right wind conditions, a sailing yacht in good shape can sail around the clock at a steady pace of about 5 knots per hour. A longer yacht with a larger hull will have a faster average speed and cover more distance than a smaller vessel.

Motorized Yachtyachts - how far can they go

It gets more complicated with motorized yachts since they rely heavily on a fuel source. If your parameters are how far a motorized yacht can go on a single tank of gas, this depends on the size of the boat and the fuel tank.

The general rule is the bigger the vessel, the larger the fuel tank. For instance, a 75-foot motorized vessel that can carry 11,000 litres of fuel can travel about 1500 nautical miles, depending on conditions, whereas a 35-45 foot motorized yacht with a 100-litre tank can travel about 400 nautical miles.

However, a larger fuel tank doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get that much further, since a larger boat would typically weigh more, have a larger crew, have more items contained inside and have more equipment—just to name a few variables.

Follow These Steps to Determine How Far Your Yacht Will be Able to Travel on A Single Tank of Fuel:

  • Clean your yacht, make sure that everything is working correctly. A maintained yacht will have better fuel economy.
  • Refuel your boat and always log engine hours as well as the times when you stop and start. This will narrow down how fast you go through fuel.
  • Measure in litres or gallons per hour rather than relying on your fuel gauge, which doesn’t always account for conditions on the water.

What Type of Auxiliary Power Sources Does the Yacht Have?yachting on the open seas

Other than the fuel tank, yachts can run on wind, sun, and water power, options that can power amenities on board the yacht and push it that much further on its voyage in between fuelings. Options for alternative power sources include:

  • Solar generators – Solar panels charge the boat’s batteries and hold a charge for when backup power is used. Some solar panels on the market today are so thin and flexible that they can be fixed onto or incorporated right into the sails
  • Wind generators – Not just for sailing yachts, wind generators harness the power of the wind to charge the yacht’s batteries
  • Hydro generators – Like upside down wind generators, hydro (water) generators are fixed to the transom and can be used to run systems on board, ranging from lights to water heaters
  • Outboard motors – Useful on smaller vessels, outboard motors can be used as a backup if the on-board engine should ever experience technical problems

Categories of Yachts

There are four main categories of yachts. It’s important to know which category your yacht falls into in order to plan and prepare for your trip.

Category A

Also known as Explorer or Expedition Yachts, Category A yachts are crewed and designed for open ocean. They have a large hull that can handle waves up to 23 feet high. These yachts can also handle extraordinarily strong winds, up to 47 knots.

Category B

These yachts are also worthy of the wider seas but are not capable of crossing oceans and are less capable of strong winds and rough water. They can handle waves up to 13 feet high.

Category C

Used inshore, Category C yachts are ideal for larger bays and lakes. They can handle waves up to about 7 feet high.

Category D

Great for sheltered areas like lakes, protected harbours and rivers, these are vessels meant for day trips. Category D yachts can travel in areas with waves reaching under 4 feet high.

At Van Isle Marina, we have many new and used yachts suited to whatever trip you desire – from a week spent cruising just off the coast of Vancouver Island, to a full tour of the Atlantic Ocean. We are also the exclusive West Coast dealers of Pursuit Boats. Contact our team of experienced brokers today or come and view our world-class sales dock in Sidney, BC to find the boat that’s right for you.

Vancouver Island Anchorages

Vancouver Island Anchorages

How to Sail Around Vancouver Island

The largest island off the West Coast of North America, Vancouver Island is a boater’s dream come true, offering every vista and experience you can possibly imagine. Sail alongside a pod of pacific white-sided dolphins, explore ancient petroglyphs on shore and toast spectacular sunsets as your yacht bobs in the waves.

If you’re up for a longer trip, it will take anywhere from 3-6 weeks to circumnavigate the entire island if you sail with the Northwest winds (counter-clockwise.) Some boaters take months to slowly explore every inch of Vancouver Island and its many coves and inlets.

Using the example of a full circle route of the Island, we’ve chosen anchorages in secluded coves as well as busier marinas and harbours. Whether you cruise around the Gulf Islands or go further afield to more remote locations, this list highlights key anchorages around Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - British Columbia's Bedwell Harbour

Gulf Islands

The group of Gulf Islands has many excellent anchorages. Bedwell Harbour off South Pender Island is a great choice as a sheltered anchorage with plenty of amenities including resorts and a Canadian Customs office.

If you don’t need any amenities and want a quiet spot instead, try Cabbage Island, a small island that usually has plenty of room to anchor.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - East Coast of Vancouver Island

East Coast of Vancouver Island

If you’re heading into Stuart Channel and Dodd Narrows, Genoa Bay is ideal for waiting out the tide and avoiding the heavy traffic around Chemainus’ Telegraph Harbour. If you need to restock any supplies or refuel, however, Telegraph Harbour is a good place to stop.

Further up, Mark Bay on Newcastle Island’s (Saysutshun’s) south side is a quiet place to anchor for a night or two.

Sailing around Vancouver Island - Discovery Passage

Discovery Passage

Discovery Passage connects the Strait of Georgia with Johnstone Strait. A long and narrow stretch, Discovery Passage is where casual boaters tend to turn around, since navigating the congested waters of the passage can be a challenge. It’s worth the challenge though, since the Discovery Passage is the start of true wilderness, leading to Desolation Sound.

Anchor in Campbell River or at Brown Bay or Granite Bay on Quadra Island (part of the Discovery Islands trio) while you plan your route northward. Campbell River and Comox are the last large cities you’ll see as you head towards the Johnstone Strait.

Sailing Around Van Isle - Johnstone Strait

Johnstone Strait

Best travelled earlier in the day to avoid stronger afternoon wind, Johnstone Strait has breathtaking scenery and is home to Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, aprotective zone for orcas.

Johnstone Strait has many protected anchorages on either side, including Chatham Point– a good pit stop for checking weather and wind conditions before starting into the Strait. Favourite anchorages in the Strait include the Walkem Islands, the large Port Harvey and Humpback Bay.

Queen Charlotte Strait - Walker Group Anchorage

Queen Charlotte Strait (East)

The Eastern Queen Charlotte Strait is a fishing mecca. With very productive waters, there are remote resorts, and hundreds of uninhabited and secluded coves to drop anchor. As you enter Retreat Passage, there are several islands and coves for anchorage, su

ch as Heath Bay and Laura Cove.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Sointula on Malcolm Island - Queen Charlotte Strait

Queen Charlotte Strait (West)

In Telegraph Cove, the Village of Sointula on Malcolm Island has food, gas, and a marine hardware store. Malcolm Island offers wonderful whale watching opportunities and protected anchorages. Back on mainland Vancouver Island, Port McNeill and Port Hardy are the last two small cities in Vancouver Island North and are popular anchorage spots.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Bull Harbour

West Coast of Vancouver Island

A challenging trip at the best of times, the Inside Passage (leading to Alaska) or Cape Scott are the two routes to take to go around the northernmost tip of the island. If you decide to go around Cape Scott, plan carefully. On Hope Island, Bull Harbour is a good place to stop and get your bearings before continuing onward.

Nahwitti Bar leads to Cape Scott and can only be crossed when the wind and water are calm, and this area shouldn’t be attempted by small crafts. A good way to ensure a safe crossing is to follow behind a fishing boat or to follow Tatnall Reefs, a calmer channel along the shore. That route will add a few nautical miles, but it’s worth it to avoid the fast current and swells. Once you’ve reached the start of Cape Scott, take the time to enjoy the awe-inspiring Cape Scott Provincial Park.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Cape Scott - West Coast Vancouver Island

Cape Scott

Continuing along Cape Scott there are no anchorages, so you must boat all the way through until you reach Quatsino Sound. You’ll always be in the company of commercial fishing boats, but it’s very important to be aware of the current, dangerous rocks and winds. Once you see the lighthouse, the toughest part of the journey is over.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Quatsino Sound

Quatsino Sound

Largely uninhabited and wild, Quatsino Sound is a rugged area that deserves to be explored. Hansen Bay is a historic site, sandy San Josef Bay offers three spots for anchorage– Hanna Point Bight, San Josef Inner Bay North and San Josef Inner Bay South.

Winter Harbour is a gorgeous place and a popular anchorage with a fully stocked store. Inner Quatsino Sound is the first large sound on the West Coast and offers plenty of protected harbour as well as access to Hwy 19 back down the Island.

Van Isle Anchorages - Checleset Bay

Brooks Bay, Brooks Peninsula and Checleset Bay

The best anchorage in the Brooks Bay,

Brooks Peninsula and Checleset Bay areas is Clerke Point, in the southern end of the peninsula. Brooks Bay itself is a tough area to cross, with no anchorages in the narrow and deep Klaskino Inlet and Klashkish Narrows.

In comparison, Checleset Bay is much calmer and easier to navigate, and you can go further out to sea or stay closer to Nasparti Inlet and anchorages in Columbia and Baidarka Coves.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Kyuquot Sound

Kyuquot Sound

Walters Cove Resort is an ideal place to anchor at the public wharf and stock up on supplies. There are many places for anchorage within the Sound and it’s best to access these via Kyuquot Channel, rather than Crowther Channel. Kyuquot Bay on Union Island is a popular anchorage, as well as Surprise Island.

Van Isle Anchorages - Nootka Sound

Nootka Sound

Tahsis Narrows leads to Tahsis Inlet and many calm and quiet anchorages with amazing scenery. Many of these are meant for small boats, like Santa Gertrudis Cove and Jewett Cove on Strange Island. The village of Tahsis has anchorage and some amenities. Deeper waters can be found in Tlupana Inlet, better suited for larger craft. Critter Cove and Galiano Bay are just two of many protected anchorages in the area.

Clayoquot SoundVancouver Island Anchorages - Clayoquot Sound

To reach Clayoquot Sound, you must go through Estevan Point first. It can be a challenge with rougher waters, but that quickly settles once you reach Hesquiat Harbour. The water can get very busy along Flores, Vargas and Meares Island, but there are still many little anchorages in Sydney Inlet like Riley Cove and Young Bay.

Tranquilito Cove in Tranquil Inlet lives up to its name with a more remote location and warm, protected waters. The village of Tofino has anchorage, including their public wharf.

Vancouver Island Anchorages - Barkley Sound

Barkley Sound

A very popular tourist destination, Barkley Sound is the busiest Sound on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. Many boaters prefer to anchor and explore the many islands and islets from a dinghy. Ucluelet Inlet and Bamfield Inlet are more open and easier to access than Alberni Inlet, which is best for small crafts that can navigate the steep and narrow topography.

Cape BealeVancouver Island Anchorages - Cape Beale

Leading back to the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Cape Beale will take you to the northern entrance of the Juan de Fuca Strait.  Prevailing winds that pick up in the afternoons make it best to cross this passage in the morning. The best anchorage sites are Sooke Harbour and Sooke Basin in the Sooke Inlet. Further south, downtown Victoria offers plenty of moorage and all the amenities you could want or need. The last stretch along Haro Strait leads to the Saanich Peninsula, where our full service marina awaits you.

 

The Gateway to Vancouver Island, Sidney is home to Van Isle Marina, where we offer covered and uncovered moorage available annually, monthly or nightly. Do you have questions about trip planning and logistics? Need to fuel up? Our dock store located on the fuel dock is fully stocked with cruising guides, charts, tide books and many other supplies needed for a successful trip. Come visit us at 2320 Harbour Rd in Sidney, BC.

10 Costs you must know before buying a boat

10 Costs You Must Know Before Buying a Boat

Understanding the True Cost of Boat Ownership

 

While it’s tempting to look at the sticker price of a boat for sale and get caught up in the dream, we always caution our customers on the additional costs of boat ownership they need to consider. After all, it’s easy to underestimate what it takes to own a boat, which is why our yacht brokers always take new boat owners through all the costs that may arise.

Our brokers want our customers to love their boats wholeheartedly and feel excited every time they are out on the water – not struggle to make payments and end up experiencing buyer’s remorse.

Keeping the following costs in mind while shopping for your first boat is strongly recommended in order to stay comfortably within your budget.

1. Fuel and Other Operating Costscost of owning a boat - fuel

Operating costs vary a lot based on the type of boat. For example, the cost of fuel will naturally vary according to the age, size, and style of your boat (sport vs day cruiser; motor yacht vs sailboat, etc). There are also expenses associated with oil, batteries, pumps, lights, and specialized equipment and other rations that ultimately will need replenishing. These will all need to be budgeted for appropriately.

Fuel and operating costs are never an exact science, but your yacht broker and experienced boater family and friends will happily share some insights with you and can assist you in knowing what to budget for these items.

2. Boat Insurance

The cost to insure your boat against damages will depend on things like the size and age of the boat, where it will be docked, the types of activities it will be used for, and other factors. On top of insurance for your actual vessel, you might also be required to have liability insurance and damage coverage.

Insurance costs can certainly add up, making them one of the highest costs of boat ownership, but like all insurances, it’s a necessary evil if you want to moor your boat anywhere. At Van Isle Marina, we can refer you to some excellent insurance brokers who can assist you.

3. Moorage and Storagecosts of owning a boat - moorage

Mooring a boat at a marina or storing your boat on land in a storage facility will come with various costs that differ a lot among marinas and facilities. For example, a secure storage facility might cost considerably less overall than mooring your boat in the water at a municipal marina, private marina, or exclusive yacht club. These costs can range from a hundred dollars to a thousand dollars (or more) per month.

Fees are often calculated per foot of your vessel, and paid for monthly or annually. Discuss with your yacht broker where you will be storing your new boat, specifically mentioning whether it will be stored in water or on land, as this cost will definitely affect how much boat you can afford. See Van Isle Marina’s moorage rates to get an idea of what moorage and storage could cost you.

In addition to the moorage fee, some marinas may also charge for things like live aboard fees, optional car parking, and utility fees for electrical power and fresh water supplies.

4. Trailercost of owning a boat - trailer

With most smaller boat purchases comes an inevitable trailer purchase. The trailer is a key component of boat ownership. At some point you’ll need one to haul your boat in and out of the water.

Sometimes the trailer you’ll use to haul your boat is an entirely separate purchase, while sometimes it’s included in the price of the boat you’re buying. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to do more than just consider the outright purchase of the trailer – there are the additional maintenance costs of the trailer, with tires and brakes being the two biggest ticket items, on top of insurance and any potential storage costs if you cannot keep the trailer on your property.

5. Maintenance and Repairscost of owning a boat - maintenance

It’s common to hear from boat owners that a boat’s maintenance costs are approximately 5-10% of the value of the boat per year. However, it’s tough to go off of such a percentage. There are so many factors that affect a boat’s maintenance cost and schedule, with the obvious ones being how often it is used, and in what weather conditions.

Things that need maintaining are waxing and painting of the hull and engine tune-ups, while things that might need frequent repair are plumbing and electrical issues – again, it all depends on the age of your vessel, your make and model, and how much sweat equity you’re able to contribute.

6. Equipment & Accessories

You’ll need to outfit your new boat with all the essential elements that are required for a day out on the water, including lifejackets, cleaning supplies, towels, fishing tackle, first aid supplies, water sports equipment, and more. Some of these are relatively minor one-time expenses, but they all contribute to your overall cost of owning a boat.

7. Extras & Add-onscost of owning a boat - fishing equipment

Just like brand new cars, boats can come standard (factory built) or come with several optional add-ons to enhance the experience of the ride. Your desire and ability to opt for these extras will depend on your budget and how much you are willing to invest.

Be prepared for the ticket price of your desired model to go up when you factor in your desired extras. This could include things like upgraded upholstery packages, sportfishing packages, GPS systems, anchoring system, laundry rooms, engine power, and the list goes on. You name it, there is probably an upgrade for it in the boating world!

8. Warranties & Interest

There might be the option to purchase extended warranties on some new models. Study these closely and be sure you understand what is already covered by the limited warranty, and what the extension of the extended warranty will cover.

If you’ll be financing your new boat, the amount of interest you’ll pay over time should also be considered an additional cost of boat ownership.

9. Certification & Registration

If you’re brand new to boating, there is a mandatory boating safety course to take in order to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. And if you have a VHF marine radio on board, one person on board must also carry a Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime). These are not overly expensive to obtain, but they are costs associated with boat ownership nonetheless. If you want to take it a step further, registering your boat (for a fee) is yet another option.

Read more about the documentation you need to operate a boat.

10. Depreciation

Some boats hold their value more than others, which, in a roundabout way, can be considered a cost of boat ownership. When you go to sell your new boat to move on to something you like better, be prepared for some depreciation if you’re the original owner of the boat you’re selling. A yacht broker can advise you on any particular model’s potential resale value if depreciation is a concern to you.

See our post on Buying a Pre-Owned Yacht for more tips on budgeting for as much yacht as you can afford. We can help you find something within reach!

At Van Isle Marina, our brokers want you to feel comfortable and understand all aspects of the yachting lifestyle, including the costs. We are standing by, ready to help you navigate the experience of buying your first boat. Learn more about our sales process and how you can apply online for financing. We look forward to helping you find and afford the boat of your dreams!

Boat Only Destinations Around Vancouver Island

Secret Secluded Areas off the Beaten Path

Touring Vancouver Island – 8 Secluded Destinations You Can Get to by Boat

 

Owning a boat is like having a ticket to the most exclusive locations around Vancouver Island. From jaw-dropping coves and inlets to trails leading to hidden crystal-clear lakes, stunning ocean vistas and serene campsites, boating here means you can experience the power and beauty of the coast firsthand. Landing in places where RVers cannot or do not dare to go, your yacht will let you access secluded spots where you can moor for a few hours or a few days, or even go ashore and experience wilderness camping.

Vancouver Island and Coastal BC is a haven for natural wonders, so your chances are very good that no matter which location you choose to venture to, you’ll find a quiet space to enjoy. Remember that there is always an empty shoreline around the next corner.

The diverse geography, tidal patterns and landscapes of Desolation Sound, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast create an incredibly varied ecosystem with endless opportunities for exploration.

Eight Secluded Destinations

Cabbage Island, BC

Cabbage Island Marine Park

Not many boaters make the journey to Cabbage Island and with its white sand beaches, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise when you land. Part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Cabbage Island is a tiny island that neighbours Tumbo and Saturna Islands. The Anchorage has 10 mooring buoys and while relatively sheltered, there can be some strong winds off the Strait of Georgia. On Cabbage Island you can sunbathe, picnic, scuba dive among the reefs and fish the day away.

 

Desolation Sound, BC

Desolation Sound

With over 6,000 acres of shoreline, Desolation Sound is the largest marine park in BC and the perfect place to find your new favourite anchorage spot. Most anchorage locations are sheltered and enclosed by topography that ranges from low shoreline to mountainsides. Despite its name, coined by Cpt. George Vancouver for its forbidding-looking terrain, Desolation Sound has warm water for swimming, scuba diving, paddling and salmon fishing. It’s a yachter’s paradise thanks to the calm waters and many sheltered bays, as well as endless islands and archipelagos to explore.

 

Pirates Cove Marine Provincial Park, De Courcy Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Pirates Cove (Decourcy Island)

While Pirates Cove is popular among boaters, the sheltered anchorage makes it ideal for mooring off the coastline. Another great way to experience the Southern Gulf Islands, Decourcy Island has two dinghy docks and has picnic facilities, non-potable cold water via hand pump, pit toilets, and 6 walk-in campsites. This is a great starting point for off the beaten path exploration.

 

Savary Island, BCSavary Island

In the Sunshine Coast, Savary Island feels almost tropical, with white sandy beaches and a warm southern tide. Only 7.5 KM long, Savary is home to sand dunes, ancient forest and dune meadows, making it one of the most diverse (and sensitive) ecosystems on the coast. Savary has no power or public camping and only a handful of accommodations for overnight guests—designed to maintain the natural beauty of the island. At the entrance to Desolation Sound, Savary Island has been known as a cottage destination since the 1930’s and has about 100 permanent residents.

 

Thurston Bay Marine Park

Thurston Bay Marine Provincial Park (Sonora Island)

In Johnstone Strait, Thurston Bay Provincial Park provides sheltered anchorage and is undeveloped, with no facilities. Random camping and small campfires are allowed. Small, scenic beaches and a trail leading to Florence Lake (great for swimming and fishing) make this an ideal place to anchor and explore.

 

Wallace Island, BCWallace Island Provincial Park

Between Saltspring and Galiano Islands, Wallace Island Provincial Park is an ideal place to explore the Southern Gulf Islands at a quieter port. It is open for day use and camping at its 18 walk-in campsites which have basic facilities, a small dock at Conover Cove and sheltered anchorage with stern tie ups at Conover Cove as well as Princess Bay. For vessels less than 11 m (36 ft), anchorage is further out in the cove. Wallace Island Park offers swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking as well as access to many coves and beaches – just one more way to enjoy this park. Note that due to reefs, shoals and low tides in the cove, boaters must use caution to avoid grounding.

 

Walsh Cove Provincial ParkWalsh Cove Provincial Park (West Redonda Island)

Though named a Provincial Park, Walsh Cove is undeveloped and very secluded. It’s excellent for swimming, diving, fishing and kayaking and is a safe, scenic place to anchor. North of Desolation Sound on the Waddington Channel, it’s one of several marine parks in the Sound.

 

Whaleboat Island Marine ParkWhaleboat Island Marine Provincial Park

Open for day use, this is an islet in the Decourcy group of islands. Tiny Whaleboat Island is undeveloped and features a stunning, sheltered intertidal shoreline that is perfect for boating and paddling. Between Ruxton and Pylades, it’s a great spot to watch for transient Orcas as well as watch the flocks of Cormorants and Oystercatchers.

To help you plan your trip off the beaten path, take a look at our guide to prepping for long boat trips for information on everything from preparing your yacht, stocking your boat with the best foods and all the essentials, as well as planning your route. Pick up a tide chart at the Dock Store as backup for your navigation system and top up at the fuel dock before you set out.

If you’re looking for a new boat or yacht to see even more of what the West Coast has to offer, our team at Van Isle Marina is happy to help match you with the perfect boat for your needs, whether that’s for fishing, scuba diving, or island-hopping. Come down to our world-class sales dock at 2320 Harbour Road near the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal and explore our wide range of pre-owned yachts and boats for sale.

Pros and cons of chartering your yacht

Chartering Your Yacht

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Chartering Your Yacht

 

Picture this scenario – you have just returned home from your very first outing on your brand new luxury motor yacht. While on holiday, you enjoyed a two-week, fun-filled vacation cruise down to California.

Returning home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, you look forward to the next chance you have to take out your yacht again, only to realize that the next opportunity you have to escape is still weeks or months away.

In the meantime, your yacht goes unused and un-enjoyed, when in fact it could be making you money while being well-maintained as part of a chartered fleet.

If this sounds appealing to you, read on to learn more about yacht chartering and to see if entering your yacht into a chartered yacht fleet could be a possibility for you.

What Does It Mean to Charter Your Yacht?

Chartering your yacht, or enrolling in a yacht charter income program, refers to private boat owners making their yachts available to others to rent out while they are not using them. This is typically done through a yacht charter company.

Companies typically ask their chartered boat owners to make the boat available for a minimum of ten weeks a year. Owners can reserve or block off time in advance for their own use, and earn about 60% of the income generated by the charter company.

Boat Owner Responsibilitieschartering your boat costs - moorage

When chartering your yacht, you as a boat owner are responsible for:

  • Paying for moorage and insurance
  • Paying for all routine and required maintenance costs
  • Ensuring your boat is moored at the home of the charter company, as needed
  • Providing all required safety equipment in good working order as mandated by Transport Canada
  • Providing dinnerware, stemware, and cooking utensils for the galley

Charter Company Responsibilities

When your vessel is in a charter company’s hands, they are responsible for:

  • Paying for promoting and selling time on your boat
  • Providing fresh linens and bedding
  • Screening all new clients and showing them around
  • Inspecting, cleaning, fuelling, and restocking the boat once returned

Yacht Criteria

Not all yachts are eligible for chartering. Before considering if chartering your yacht is right for you, consider the following criteria. If you have yet to purchase your yacht and are planning to rely on chartering to offset yacht ownership costs, check with the chartering company first to see what types of vessels they are accepting.

The majority of yacht charter businesses are looking for vessels that:

  • Are a well-known, highly sought after make or model
  • Are no more than five years old (with exceptions!)
  • Are in immaculate condition
  • Are equipped with a reliable engine or solid sails
  • Are equipped with a motorized dinghy or tender
  • Have a well-equipped galley
  • Are in the 40 to 54-foot length range
  • Have 3 double cabins and more than one head (bathroom)
  • Vessels that are slightly smaller or larger than the 40 to 54-foot range may still be accepted, depending on their condition, amenities, and make and model.
  • Yachts that can sleep more than one couple, for example, a 33’ or 34’ boat that has a double bed and toilet ensuite, with another single or double bunk, are also sometimes accepted, based on need.

So, if your yacht, or the yacht you’re thinking of buying, meets the criteria above, it’s time to consider the pros and cons of chartering.

Pros of Chartering Your Yacht

Offsets the Costs of Owning a Boat

While chartering your yacht won’t be a huge income generator, a successful chartering season will likely bring in enough to cover dockage, routine maintenance, and insurance fees. This works out to be a 30 to 70% reduction in operating expenses, which can make a significant difference.  If you’ve been on the fence about buying a luxury motor yacht due to your budget, there are two main things you can do to mitigate the cost of boat ownership:

  • Find an older boat or yacht to renovate; or
  • Charter your motor yacht through a reputable yacht charterer.

Chartering is considerably less work than renovating an old boat, and comes with added perks such as:

Gentle Use is a Good Thing 

Boats benefit from getting a little bit of exercise out on the water. Although it sounds counterintuitive, a yacht that doesn’t get used much tends to have more issues than one that is used routinely. The reason is because fuel lingering in tanks isn’t good, and the boat doesn’t get much air circulation when it’s sealed up in storage. On the other hand, when you have your yacht in a charter program, it typically means nothing will seize up or mold out on you.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance Routinechartering your yacht requires maintenance

Having your yacht in a charter fleet is a great way to ensure it will get professionally maintained, as they typically have a stricter maintenance schedule. These regular servicing appointments will serve you well into the future after your yacht “ages out” of the fleet. As for cleanliness, the charter company staff will ensure your yacht is cleaned and made up for the next guests after every charter.

Marketing Your Boat 

Having your yacht out in a charter will give your boat a higher profile within the yachting community. This will help with re-sale, as the more people who become familiar with your boat and get to experience it, the better. We have found that a lot of prospective buyers of motor yachts are looking to buy because they have had a good experience using a chartered yacht previously.

Sharing is Caring

Sharing the beauty of your yacht with others can be a bit of an ego boost for proud yacht owners, providing a psychological benefit on top of the financial benefit. If you’ve gone to great lengths to customize your yacht, you’ll certainly appreciate everyone’s rave reviews on your style and taste. The effect is similar to homeowners who rent their homes on AirBnB.

Tax Advantages 

If you work closely with an accountant, you might be able to write off some expenses as business expenses associated with chartering, or otherwise receive tax benefits.

Cons of Chartering Your Yacht

Strangers on Your Yacht

While the charter company screens guests, you’ll still end up having strangers on board your boat. This certainly doesn’t appeal to all yacht owners. If you don’t think you’d be able to handle strangers occupying your home on the water, chartering might not work out for you.

Not Being Able to Stow Your Own Stuff 

When lending your yacht to a chartered fleet, you’ll be required to remove the majority of your personal belongings, including clothing, towels, toiletries, and groceries. This means having to pack these things back onto the boat each time you want to use it.

Insurance Fees May Go Up 

You’ll likely need to increase the amount of insurance you have on your boat, depending on how often you’ll be chartering your boat for. The price increase could be modest, but it could be substantial, so just be aware.

Increased Usage 

With increased usage comes a small amount of wear and tear. Some wear and tear can be a good thing (see point above about keeping the boat exercised), while some wear and tear isn’t beneficial. For example, chartering puts more hours on the engine, and if your yacht has carpets, these will likely need some TLC after a few seasons of chartering. Fortunately, revenues generated by your charter experience will likely far outweigh the cost of said wear and tear.

To Charter, or Not to Charter?

The pros and cons of chartering your yacht can be complex, as they will be unique to your situation, location, and style of boat you own. After weighing the pros and cons, only you can say for certain whether or not chartering your yacht makes sense for you and your situation. If you’re on the fence, don’t hesitate to interview several charter companies to find the right fit.

 

If you have any questions about chartering your yacht, or about yacht ownership in general, we’d love to hear from you – simply contact us with any questions you might have.

We can also help you find the perfect boat that would also be suitable for chartering. See what boats we have for sale at our sales dock right now. At Van Isle Marina, our brokers are here to help you navigate the world of luxury yachting.

best nature spots on vancouver island

Best Nature Spots on Vancouver Island

Top Nature Destinations from South to North Vancouver Island

A haven for natural wonders, Vancouver Island has so many incredible places to experience. Depending on whether you’re looking for a day trip or a multi-day exploration, a coastal or an inland excursion, we’ve created a list of nature spots that you might not hear about every day. Teeming with wildlife, these tend to be quieter since they’re just a bit more off the beaten path.  Whether you hike, bike, meander, spelunk, dive, or paddle, there’s something here for everyone, from ancient rainforest to magnificent sandy beaches.

Mystic Beach, Vancouver Island, BC

Mystic Beach

An hour and a half from Victoria, Mystic Beach is one of the most scenic beaches along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. At the end of a short 2 km rainforest trail with a suspension bridge, Mystic is home to sandstone cliffs topped by cedar and fir trees. A waterfall from the cliffs makes its way into every traveller’s photo and a rope swing dares visitors to swing into the ocean below. Time your visit with the low tide so you can walk under the waterfall and explore the galleries and tidepools.

Avatar Grove, Vancouver Island, BCAvatar Grove

Visit Avatar Grove along the Gordon River, and you’ll leave feeling humbled. Walk amongst the giants in this stand of protected cedars and firs. Just 20 minutes from the small community of Port Renfrew, Avatar Grove is a 50-hectare area of old-growth forest. It’s home to newly famous trees such as Canada’s Gnarliest Tree and Big Lonely Doug—the last giant left standing among a former clear cut. The upper and lower hikes are easy loops that take about 15-20 minutes along moss-covered trails, board walks and stairs, but most visitors meander much longer than that, awed by what they find. If you have a 4×4 vehicle, you can explore further up the road to find old Lonely Doug and a stunning view of the Gordon River Canyon.

Castle GroveCastle Grove, Vancouver Island, BC

Home to the Upper and Lower Wahlbran Falls along the Upper Wahlbran River, this stand of ancient Red Cedars is south of Lake Cowichan and Honeymoon Bay. Largely undiscovered by tourists, Castle Grove is a true back-to-nature paradise where hikers can enjoy a half-day hike (3-4 hours for the full loop) complete with Emerald Pools for swimming and exploring. Camp along the Lower Falls or backpack along a 13 km trail to Anderson Lake.

Chemainus River Estuary, Vancouver Island Aerial Photography, British Columbia, Canada.Chemainus River Estuary

Estuaries are a hotbed of natural activity where the lines between the land, river and ocean blend. From explosions of wildflowers in the spring to warm wading pools in the summer, there’s so much to see at the Chemainus River Estuary. Easily accessible from Chemainus Rd, it’s just a short walk along a network of trails leading to grassy marshes and coastal views. Owned by Ducks Unlimited, the 200-hectare estuary is a hidden treasure and home to a wide variety of raptors, shore birds, waterfowl, mammals and fish.

The Dark Side Trail (the Grotto)Dark Side Trail, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

A short 1 km hike following the south side of the Nanaimo River in Cassidy, there is so much to see in a small space. The Dark Side isn’t so much as a hike as it is an exploration, with multiple bridges, ladders to climb, boulders to crawl over and caves to explore. It’s a favourite spot for local climbers as well, with clips already installed in a few spots along the rock faces. Bring a lunch to enjoy while you take in the riverside views. Check out more great Central Island hiking spots.

Moorecroft Regional Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaMoorecroft Regional Park

Located in Nanoose Bay, Moorecroft is the former site of a summer/year-round camp. Picnic in the meadow, search for owls along the groomed trails lined with craggy old Garry Oaks, explore tide pools and swim or paddle in the calm waters of the bay. You can often see sealions and seals off the shoreline while taking in panoramic views of the Coastal Mountains. It’s easy to while away an entire day at Moorecroft Regional Park and there’s always something new to discover in this oceanfront park.

China BowlsChina Bowls, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Located on Perseverance Creek (also known as Perseverance Potholes) in Cumberland, the China Bowls is a small but dramatic landscape with plenty to explore. Accessed by a well-groomed 4 km loop, the “bowls” are made of carved rock formations of all shapes and sizes. With caramel coloured swirls and a smooth surface, this is a great example of the power of nature changing the landscape over thousands/millions of years.

San Josef Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaSan Josef Bay

San Josef Bay, affectionately known as San Jo Bay by North Islanders, this vast sandy beach is located within Cape Scott Provincial Park. Easy to access via a 45-minute trail, the soft sand, sea stacks topped by ancient trees, caves and tidal pools are just waiting to be explored. The trail is the most popular hike in Cape Scott, but the beach is so quiet it feels undiscovered in comparison to the other sandy hotspots on the Island.

Looking for unique experiences on the water? Expand your horizons and cruise Vancouver Island’s coastline and lakes with a new boat. At Van Isle Marina, our certified yacht brokers can match you up with a motor or sailing yacht that’s perfect for on-board fun. Explore our wide selection of new and used yachts, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team, or come down and visit our world-class sales dock to see our top-of-the-line Pursuit boats.

Van Isle Marina's DIY Dog Bath is open

DIY Dog Bath at Van Isle Marina

Our New Fureverclean Self-Serve Dog Wash Makes it Simple to Quickly Wash,
Dry and Condition Man’s Best Friend, Right Off the Boat

At Van Isle Marina, we love dogs and we know your dogs are a huge part of the family and typically like to go boating as much as their people do. For tips on yachting with your dog, check out our previous blog post that covers everything from on-board accommodations, to staying cool and hydrated.

If you bring your dogs to see us at the office or fuel dock, we’ll likely have some treats for them and if they need to stretch their sea legs, they can go for a run at Tsehum Harbour Park, just a few minutes’ walk from the Marina.

Wash Your Dog Right at the MarinaDIY Dog Wash at Van Isle Marina

We know that dogs are a challenge to keep clean at the best of times— never mind after exciting seafaring adventures. Before you load your dog into your car to head home, he’s probably going to need a good clean. With this in mind, we now have a self serve dog washing station available at the Marina.

Open 8am to 8pm in the Summer, and 8 am to 4pm in the Winter, the Fureverclean self-service station lets you quickly and easily give your pooch the spa treatment, washing out the salt spray and sand, mud and other evidence from his on-shore excursions.

Why Do Dogs Need to Be Washed?

  • Any cuts or abrasions need to be kept clean to help prevent infection
  • Dogs have multiple layers of fur that can trap allergens, bacteria, dirt, parasites, even fungi that can cause health issues
  • A dirty dog is an itchy dog. If a dog has poor skin hygiene, he’ll be itchy, uncomfortable and unable to settle
  • A gentle, calm bath is a really good way to bond, and washing your dog can be very relaxing for both of you

Why Use a Self Serve Dog Wash?

  • No need to book an appointment at the groomer
  • Affordable (only $12 for a complete wash, flea treatment, condition and blow dry)
  • Pets are more comfortable when they’re handled by their owners, rather than a stranger or groomer
  • In less than 15 minutes, your pooch will be clean and dry
  • The wash tub has a latchable door and safety chain to keep your dog safely enclosed—no more chasing soppy wet runaways through the house
  • No dirty tubs or fur clogged drains to deal with afterwards
  • Dogs like to shake dry, which soaks everyone around them. The enclosed tub eliminates this problem
  • You can use your own products or use our all-natural products and even bring your own towels in lieu of the air-dryer

The Fureverclean Dog Grooming Bath is Easy to Use

Bathing your dog with the backyard hose (cold!) or in the family tub (disaster!) is stressful and will probably leave your dog hating baths. Self-serve dog wash stations are a growing trend in Canada and since 1 in 3 families have a dog as a pet, we knew that it would make a lot of sense to have a dog wash station available for pre or post yachting adventures.

The Fureverclean will take your dog from grubby to snuggly in 12 minutes or less, stress-free. The easy to use machine even lets you pause the timer to add extra time to lather up your dog, add extra drying time as needed, and skip portions of the cycle if you prefer not to use flea treatment or conditioner.

This Dog Bath is Safe and Gentle

The Fureverclean station uses a soft-touch wash gun with multiple spray options, temperature-controlled water and two dryer speeds for a gentle and stress-free way to clean your pet. It also uses only hypoallergenic, all-natural shampoos to protect your dog’s skin and coat.

The machine itself is a self-contained wash station that is easy for your dog to get in and out of, with a transparent door that latches to keep your pet secure and able to see out. With a non-skid, soft coated floor, your dog won’t slip or slide during his shower while the drainage and filtration systems ensure that hair and water drains out effectively.

Ideal For Any Size Breed

Each machine can wash and dry any size dog, whether you have a Daschund, a Great Dane, or any breed in between. Each machine can wash one large dog and small dogs can even be washed in pairs for extra efficiency.

Convenient Payment Options

Forgot your change? No problem. The DIY dog wash station takes credit and debit (tap or swipe) tokens, or loonies and toonies. The average short haired, medium sized dog will be completely washed and dried in less than 10 minutes, and time can easily be added on for your larger, slightly furrier friend by adding a $1 coin for each additional minute needed.

How to Use Fureverclean

  • Bring your dog into the tub and attach the catch chain to the collar
  • Choose payment option to start the washing cycle
  • Wash your dog using the wash gun and premium natural shampoo
  • Choose the next wash cycle option
  • Select the dryer option. At this point, you can add more coins to keep the dryer going if you need more time
  • Remove your dog from the tub
  • Select the disinfect cycle so the tub is clean and sanitized for the next dog

Watch the Fureverclean in Action

To get out on the water with your family and furry friend(s) this summer, take a look at our selection of new and used yachts for sale or contact our expert team of sales brokers to view our exclusive lines of Pursuit boats and Riviera Luxury Yachts. Our knowledgeable staff at Van Isle Marina are happy to help you find the best boat for your whole family.

Luxury Yachts - Superyachts - Megayachts

Introducing the Superyacht and Megayacht

Luxury Yachts and Boats for the Uber-Rich

Designed as opulent floating resorts for the super-rich, superyachts and megayachts are in a world of their own when it comes to luxury travel. These vessels exceed even the most luxurious of on-land resorts. superyachts and megayachtsTravellers who dream of a getaway at sea without the crowds of a cruise ship, stunning cabins and endless amenities really love these incredible yachts and charter them to cruise the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. Often lumped into the same category, superyachts and megayachts are similar in that they’re both massive vessels designed for comfort, with professional crews and luxurious outfitted limousines that take passengers to land in air-conditioned comfort. It seems that the only real difference between superyachts and megayachts is their size:

Superyachts are usually a minimum of 78 feet long, while megayachts are minimum 260 feet long. Used for the ultimate at-sea vacations as well as state of the art research vessels, superyachts and megayachts push the boundaries of boating and inspire awe in all who see them.

The Ultimate Holiday

Meant to accommodate large parties, the original use for superyachts and megayachts was for billionaires and celebrities to flaunt their wealth, with yachts designed top to bottom in their own image. Custom designed interiors include the finest materials such as marble and teak as well as features such as glass walls to take full advantage of the ocean views and even solid gold fixtures. These vessels can be spotted anchored around the world, including posh locales like the Amalfi Coast or St. Tropez.

To offset the astronomical cost of operating and owning these massive ships, they’re often chartered by millionaires for a memorable vacation and offer impressive features designed to meet the needs of any VIP guest. Offering a multitude of amenities like gyms, private spas, helipads, dance halls and even open-air cinemas, these yachts are meant for kicking back and enjoying the very best that life has to offer. Guests can also enjoy water toys like giant slides, a sea pool, wake boards, paddle boards, even jet packs and personal submarines.

Research Vessels

These yachts are also used as explorer and research vessels around the world, including icy northern seas. REV (Research Expedition Vessel) was designed as a hybrid luxury vessel and marine research ship. It supports sixty scientists and features 8 state of the art labs, manned and autonomous vehicles, an auditorium, and just about everything else researchers need to study the seas. The Norwegian vessel is also eco-friendly, able to travel the world on a single tank of fuel. Some private owners also choose to use their yachts to learn more about the seas. In addition to recreation, former Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen (d.2018) often used his yachts for ocean research to help save species and improve the ocean’s health.

The 5 Largest Privately-Owned Yachts

Feast your eyes on these marvels of engineering:

Azzam - longest privately owned superyacht

AZZAM – The longest privately-owned superyacht at 590 feet long. Belonging to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, AZZAM took 4,000 shipbuilders and designers four years to complete. It’s one of the fastest superyachts in the water, reaching speeds of up to 32 knots.

Roman Abramovichs superyacht EclipseECLIPSE – Eclipsed by AZZAM as the largest superyacht in the world, ECLIPSE is 533 feet long and features 18 cabins and a master suite to rival any luxury home. It can accommodate up to 36 guests and 70 crew.  Owned by Russian businessman Roman Abromovich, ECLIPSE has two helicopter pads, a dance hall, two pools and several hot tubs.

Dubai - superyachtDUBAI – At 531 feet, DUBAI has endless sunbathing opportunities with seven decks and can accommodate 24 guests. Owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai, DUBAI has a platform large enough for a Blackhawk helicopter. It also includes a gymnasium, a personal submarine (with garage) and five VIP suites.

worlds largest custom superyacht - DilbarDILBAR – Often spotted along the Mediterranean coast, DILBAR is owned by Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov. The yacht features a 25m indoor swimming pool (the largest of any yacht), teak decks, a helicopter pad, 18 guest cabins and 40 crew cabins. At 512 feet, DILBAR is the largest yacht in the world by interior space. She also has six power plants which produce 40,000 horsepower.

Sailing Yacht ASAILING YACHT A – The world’s largest privately owned sail-assisted motor yacht, SAILING YACHT A is owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. A truly stunning superyacht, it features three rotating carbon fiber masts, with fully automated carbon fiber blend sails. With a hybrid electric-diesel propulsion system, a futuristic aesthetic and even an underwater observation pod in the keel, it’s a truly one-of-a-kind vessel that represents the best of engineering.

Quick Facts about Superyachts and Megayachts

  • There are limited numbers of these types of yachts. There are 10,000 plus superyachts in the world with about 150 added annually, and only a handful of megayachts
  • Superyachts and megayachts have so many amenities and services on board that the crew to guest ratio can rival the finest hotels
  • Sailing yachts are much less common and make up 20% of all superyachts and megayachts
  • Superyachts and megayachts can cost anywhere from $5 million to $500 million
  • Operating costs for one of these types of yachts can be 10% or more of the retail price
  • Many owners employ teams of private guards for each port

Dreaming of your own holiday out on the water, or looking to upgrade your current yacht? At Van Isle Marina we are the exclusive dealers of Pursuit boats and Riviera Luxury Yachts. As Certified Professional BC Boat Brokers, we’re glad to assist you in finding the perfect boat to meet your vision. Whether you’re looking for a superyacht, megayacht, cruiser or sailing yacht, we have a wide selection of yachts moored at our world-class sales docks. Contact our brokerage team today to experience the newest models for yourself.

9 easy knots for boating

9 Easy Knots for Boating

9 Simple Boating & Sailing Knots You Should Know

When it comes to boating, there are many types of knots used for everything from securing line when mooring, handling heavy loads, towing and of course, adjusting your sails.

As boating experts at Van Isle Marina, we’ve narrowed it down to this list of 9 tied and true (pun intended) knots, hitches and bends. These knots will assist you with everything from anchoring to joining two different lines in a pinch. Armed with this basic knowledge, you can cast off with confidence.

Note: When in use, the end of a line is called the standing end. If hanging loose it’s known as the working end, sometimes referred to as the tail end.

The Knots

A knot is mainly used to secure a line to an object, like a piling. It is also used to form an eye, or a noose. Knots used at the end of a line can function as a stopper to keep the line from slipping away, a loop to fasten to an object, or to add weight to the line when tossing.

Bowline Knot How to tie a Bowline Knot

The bowline is the most widely used in boating. A bowline forms a fixed noose at the end of the line and can also be used to connect two lines. The bowline is a go-to because it doesn’t slip and the knot can easily be untied, no matter how tight it has become.

How to Tie a Bowline Knot

Make a loop in the line, with the working end over the standing end. The working end goes through the loop, around behind the standing end and back into the loop. To close the knot, pull tightly. To untie, turn the knot over and bend it downward to loosen it.

Video Instructions

 

how to tie figure eight knotFigure Eight Knot

The figure eight is used as a stopper knot that can easily be undone. It’s most often used to keep a line from sliding away and should never be used for bearing a load.

How to Tie a Figure Eight Knot

Pass the working end over itself to form a loop then loop under and around the standing end. Finish the knot by passing the tail of the line down through the loop.

Video Instructions

 

Heaving Line Knothow to tie heaving line knot

The heaving line knot is excellent for weighing down the end of a line, making it easier to throw the line farther and keep it under control.

How to Tie a Heaving Line Knot

Make a bight (loop) in the line and hold it so that it encloses the working end. Wrap the working end around the first two strands, then around all three to use up the line of the working end. Finish the knot by passing the working end through the loop.

Video Instructions

how to tie half hitch knotHitch

A hitch is commonly used for tying line together (bending) or tying line to an anchor or a pile. A well-tied hitch will hold tightly to whatever you need it to, and still untie quickly and easily.

Half Hitch

The half hitch is used to bear loads as well as tie line around an object. It’s also used to finish many other hitches securely.

How to Tie a Half Hitch

Form a loop around the object you want to tie on to. Pass the end around the standing end and through the loop then tighten into the completed half hitch, which is designed to take a load on the standing end.

Video Instructions

Anchor Hitchhow to tie anchor hitch knot

Used for tying anchor line to the anchor.

How to Tie an Anchor Hitch

Pass the working end twice around the post keeping the second turn slack. Pass the working end over the standing end and under the original slack turn to tie the first half hitch. Pass the line around the standing end to tie a second half hitch and finish the knot.

Video Instructions

 

how to tie a cleat hitchCleat Hitch

The cleat hitch is used to attach line to a cleat. In sailing terms, a cleat is a T-shaped piece of metal or wood to which ropes are attached.

How to Tie a Cleat Hitch

Pass the line around the bottom horn of the cleat and then around over the top. Pull the line down across the middle and then up across the top again. Twist a loop in the line and hook it on the cleat as a half hitch.

Video Instructions

Midshipman’s Hitchhow to tie midshipmans hitch knot

The midshipman’s hitch creates an adjustable loop at the end of the line. Even though the loop can be adjusted, when used in combination with a half hitch, it provides a secure hold.

How to Tie a Midshipman’s Hitch

Pass the working end around the standing end then pass it around again. Tuck it beside the first turn and pull tightly. Pass the working end around again and then tie a half hitch to complete the knot.

Video Instructions

 

Bend

how to tie sheet bend knotA bend is used to connect two lines together. In sailing terms, bend means “to join”.

Sheet Bend

A sheet bend works well for joining different sized lines.

How to Tie a Sheet Bend

Form a bight (loop) in the thicker line and hold it in one hand. Pass the thinner line through the bight and behind first the working end and then the standing end. Tuck the thinner line under itself to finish.

Video Instructions

 

Alpine Butterfly Bendhow to tie alpine butterfly bend knot

Based on interlocking overhand knots, the alpine butterfly bend is used to join similar sized lines.

How to Tie an Alpine Butterfly Bend

Join the two ends, then wind the line around your hand so the join is by your fingertips. Wind the line around your hand again, then fold the join back and up under the other lines. Push the knot off your hand and tighten. To finish the knot, release the temporary join.

Video Instructions

 

Carrick Bendhow to tie carrick bend knot

The Carrick Bend is a great solution for a load-bearing bend that can be easily untied when no longer needed.

How to Tie a Carrick Bend

With one line, form a loop with the working end under the standing end. Pass the line under the loop of the other line and then over and under. Thread the working line across the loop passing under itself. To finish, pull both standing ends to tighten the knot.

Video Instructions

 

The number of knots, bends and hitches out there is staggering. We narrowed it down to these nine sailing knots since they’re all simple to master and have many practical applications for boating. If you’d like to learn more, we recommend visiting Animated Knots for a complete list of knots used in yachting.

At Van Isle Marina, we are Western Canada’s exclusive authorized dealers for top of the line Pursuit boats and Riviera luxury yachts. If you’ve been considering upgrading your boat, browse through our wide selection of new and used yachts and boats or contact our team of expert brokers to find the perfect model for your lifestyle.