Posts

B.C.'s Top 10 freshwater fishing spots

B.C.’s Top 10 Freshwater Fishing Spots

The Best Fishing Lakes and Rivers in British Columbia

With over 20,000 lakes and 750,000km of waterways, British Columbia is a freshwater fishing paradise and a dream for anglers.  Freshwater fishing offers a completely different experience to ocean fishing, and the opportunity to catch a variety of species of fish, some of which are unique to the area.

Anglers Spoiled for Choice in B.C.’s Species Rich Fresh Waters

There is an abundance of fish species to be found in British Columbia’s lakes and rivers including:

Anglers spoiled for choice - trout

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Bull Trout 
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Kokanee
  • Steelhead Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Dolly Warden
  • Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Sturgeon

A great catch is almost guaranteed thanks to an annual program funded by the freshwater licence fee that stocks trout in over 800 lakes across the province.

Top 10 Spots for Freshwater Fishing in B.C.

There are so many amazing lakes, streams and rivers in British Columbia but our list includes those which a fishing fanatic should not miss. They are all accessible by boat, although most of these can be fished from shore too.

Elk and Beaver Lakes: Located in the Saanich area of Vancouver Island these lakes are stocked with Rainbow Trout and small and largemouth Bass. The lakes are connected via a shallow channel and are very popular for day use by families. Motorboat speed and power limitations are in effect in some areas.

Quesnel Lake: With a depth of 2,000ft, this Cariboo area lake is believed to be the deepest fjord lake in the world. Access this pristine wilderness fishing spot via boat launches and recreation sites on the western shore. This lake breeds large fish with Lake Trout up to 20kg as well as Rainbow and Bull Trout and Kokanee to be found.

Top 10 spots for freshwater fishing

Sheridan Lake: Despite its secluded location near 100 Mile House; this lake is considered to be one of the best trout fishing lakes in the province. Rainbow Trout can grow up to 16kg thanks to a diet rich in freshwater shrimp which is abundant in the lake. There are a number of boat launches and resorts for anglers to choose from. 

Shushwap Lake: Known for its beautiful beaches; this lake, which has four ‘arms’ is rumoured to contain up to 19 species of fish. Chinook, Coho and Sockeye Salmon are certain to be found in the aptly named Salmon Arm, but angler’s in the know go for the Bull and Rainbow Trout which can weigh in at 10kg.

Williston Lake: At over 1,700sq km, this lake is actually the largest reservoir in BC, formed when the W.A.C Bennett Dam was constructed in 1968. A popular lake with many beaches and provincial parks on its shore; Williston is considered to be one of the best fishing lakes in the province with Arctic G

rayling, Rainbow and Bull Trout, Kokanee and Whitefish all reaching good sizes here.

Anderson Lake: Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout and Sockeye can all be found in this spectacular lake located north of Pemberton. At 21 miles long and nearly 1,000ft in depth the lake can get quite rough in windy weather so smaller boats should stay closer to shore.

Chilko Lake: This glacier-fed lake is the largest high elevation freshwater lake in Canada. Its turquoise waters and surrounding volcanic mountains make for a picturesque backdrop to a day of fishing for Rainbow and Bull Trout. A classified waters licence is required to fish here.

Top 10 spots for lake and river fishing in BC

Skeena River: Excellent salmon fishing can be found year-round on this river which runs between Terrace and Prince Rupert. Accessible boat put-ins can be found along highway 16. Bring your fly fishing gear for a successful trip.

Fraser River: B.C.’s largest river system, found east of Vancouver, is best known for its Sturgeon fishing opportunities. You’ll need some strong gear and arms if you catch one of these ancient fish which can grow to 12ft long. 

Cowichan River: Located in the centre of Vancouver Island; anglers find most success in the shoulder seasons when the river is cooler. It is considered the finest trout stream in the province thanks to its abundance of insects which keep the unique Brown Trout species plentiful in its waters.

Successful Freshwater Fishing – What to Know Before You Go

  • Get a freshwater fishing licence – All anglers aged 16 and over require a specific freshwater licence to fish the lakes and rivers of B.C. This can be purchased online or at a licenced vendor. Be aware that some locations or species require an additional conservation fee.
  • Familiarize yourself with freshwater fishing regulations –  these include areas with catch and release only fishing, catch limits and region-specific rules.
  • Bring the right gear – Freshwater fishing needs different equipment to ocean fishing. Your local fishing store can help you with supplies such as:
    • Fly fishing rods and lures
    • Species-specific bait
    • Strong hooks and lines for large lake fish
    • A depth finder
  • Remember to wash your hands!  – Freshwater fish are sensitive to odors and may be scared away by smells they don’t recognize.

Van Isle Marina can help you find your dream fishing boat

Van Isle Marina Can Help You Find Your Dream Fishing Boat 

Keen to try some freshwater fishing but need to upgrade your boat? Van Isle Marina’s experienced sales team can advise you on all the options and additions available, contact us today to find out more.

Got a fishing boat you need to store? We offer docking and dry storage facilities in addition to our 500 open and covered marina berths at our state-of-the-art marina.

Located in Sidney, B.C., Van Isle Marina is a convenient starting point to access the amazing freshwater fishing that Vancouver Island offers, or take the nearby ferry to the mainland to explore all the freshwater fishing locations on our list.

Canada & United States Border Opens

August 9th, 2021

Welcome back neighbors, friends, family, & boaters! We are excited to announce the border will reopen to U.S. citizens & U.S. residents on August 9th.

Starting August 9th  — fully vaccinated U.S. citizens & permanent residents living in the U.S. will be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine for two weeks.

Canadian officials also announced today that as of Aug. 9,  children under 12 will be exempt from the quarantine requirement after entering Canada if they follow public health measures.

U.S. travelers entering Canada will require a pre-entry negative Covid-19 test result and will need to present proof of one of the vaccines authorized for use in Canada. That means two doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca products, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days before arriving.

All U.S. travelers must use the government’s ArriveCAN portal to submit their information. If they meet the government’s criteria, they will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

We look forward to welcoming you and accommodating your late-summer boating adventures. Please contact our marina office if you have any questions or wish to request marina reservations.

On behalf of all the Crew at Van Isle Marina, welcome back and we look forward to seeing you on the docks.

 

 

Coastal Biking Trails on Vancouver Island

The Best Biking Trails Around Coastal Vancouver Island

Cycling Trails Around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands – Our Top 5 Picks

On Vancouver Island, outdoor enthusiasts are typically within a few kilometres of the coast at any given time. Views of the Pacific Ocean and Coastal Mountains frame many of our favourite parks and hiking trails. If you’re a biking enthusiast, boating to some of the best coastal biking trails on Vancouver Island is an excellent way to experience a complete land and sea adventure, while getting fit and having fun.

The Gulf Islands often have higher elevations and are an ideal destination for a challenging coastal bike ride. Meanwhile, cities like Victoria feature a smooth, even waterfront route for those in the mood for a more meandering or family-friendly ride.

Below are just a few of our favourite destinations for cyclists around the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

1. Biking Galiano IslandBiking Galiano Island, British Columbia

A 42 km return trip from Montague Harbour to Dionisio Park (also known as Coon Bay) and back, the biking on Galiano Island is hilly and requires a bit more stamina. Roads are narrow and there are no shoulders, but there are so many incredible views and parks to see that it’s worth the effort. If you’re up for a challenge, try hiking or mountain biking to the top of Mount Galiano. If you’re looking for a laid-back cycle, you can stop at any one of the parks on the island before retiring to your boat or to the lovely Galiano Inn and Spa for a bit of pampering.

Biking Lasqueti Island, BC

2. Biking Lasqueti Island

Lasqueti residents are avid bikers and the island has one of the most well-organized biking communities around. There are no cars on the Lasqueti Ferry, so the gravel roads are relatively quiet and popular with bikers. Only 68-square km with no hydroelectric power, Lasqueti is an island where you can really escape, riding the 15 km stretch from the ferry terminal to Squitty Bay Provincial Park.

If you prefer, you can moor at the narrow coves of Squitty Bay and ride into town instead. At 30 km total, you’ll be ready for a swim in the warm waters of Squitty Bay by the end of your journey. Later on, you can boat over to nearby Jedediah Island to spend the night near its white sand beaches. Because Jedediah is only accessible by boat, it’s a very serene space to set anchor.

3. Biking the Seaside Touring Route, VictoriaTouring Victoria BC on bike

Victoria is the cycling capital of Canada and is very bike-friendly. At any given time, you’ll see groups of bikers making their way through the downtown streets, around parks and cruising along the many designated bike lanes. One popular route is the Seaside Touring Route. At a total of 39 km, this is an easy trail network with plenty of entry and exit points. Being so bike-friendly means that Victoria has plenty of secure lock up spaces for your bike, to allow for sightseeing as well.

The route begins in James Bay, North America’s oldest residential neighbourhood. With a rich history and plenty of stunning views, it’s a fantastic way to start a long afternoon of cycling. Ride along the Ogden Point Breakwater, continue along to Dallas Road, where you can stop in at Beacon Hill Park to rest in the shade of the gardens with a snack. From there, keep cycling northeast through Oak Bay or Cadboro Bay. To stay on the loop, go north to connect to the Galloping Goose Trail, which will lead back to the centre of town. 

4. Biking Salt Spring Island

The largest of the Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island is an ideal spot to moor your boat and get out on your bike. With longer loops (35 km and 50 km) on relatively flat terrain, Salt Spring Island trails are excellent for exploring everything the Island has to offer. From wineries to artisan shops, enjoying the Island’s coastal biking trails is an enjoyable day trip. If you’re staying for one day, we recommend choosing just one of the loops, rather than trying to do both and missing out on all the art galleries and picnic spots scattered around. Salt Spring Island is also home to some amazing artisan cheese, so be sure to stop off at Saltspring Island Cheese or Moonstruck Organic Cheese.

Starting at the Long Harbour Ferry Terminal you can follow the Northern Route, which follows the northern tip of the island after some initial short and steep hills through forests of Arbutus and Douglas Fir trees. Or, you can choose the 50 km route which begins at the Ganges Ferry Terminal. Around 7 km from Ganges is a gorgeous white clamshell beach, which is ideal for a water break and a bit of a stretch before you continue along the route. Following Beaver Point Road, you can choose to head back to Ganges or continue on to Fulford Harbour. Note: The roads on Salt Spring Island can be quite busy at peak season, so it’s best to yield to ferry traffic in Ganges and Fulford Harbour.

Biking Yellow Point Road

5. Biking Yellow Point Road

South of Nanaimo, the Cedar and Yellowpoint areas offer a diverse bike ride filled with country and ocean views. Like the Gulf Islands, the area also abounds with local artisans, farms, cafes, pubs, orchards and more. Running 30 km, your route begins at CoCo Café on Cedar Road. Fuel up with a locally made breakfast and specialty coffee at this unique café before you hit the road. Cedar has narrow shoulders and some hilly areas, so always cycle with caution. Along the way, you can stop off at many different parks and beaches. Due to the popularity of biking in the area, the Yellowpoint Ecological Society is proposing a designated trail for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.  


These are just a handful of the many beautiful cycling trails and pathways around Vancouver Island. With a mix of busier, tourist driven towns and quiet, hidden gems. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find a new place to explore on your bike wherever you decide to anchor. Challenge yourself or just enjoy a slow ride surrounded by wildlife. Whatever you choose, your boat can lead you to Vancouver Island’s greatest cycling trails on the coast.

Planning your summer adventures? Consider upgrading your boat to get the most out of every minute of your trips. At Van Isle Marina, we offer a wide variety of new luxury Pursuit boats as well as pre-loved yachts and cruisers. Whether you’re looking for a yacht big enough for the whole family or for a leisurely escape for two, our team at Van Isle Marina looks forward to helping you find the perfect boat. Contact us via phone or web form to get started or come see us in sunny Sidney, BC today.

Boating in Barkley Sound

Boating in Barkley Sound

Cruising, Fishing and Anchorages in The Barkley Sound


For any boater who is also into fishing, kayaking and exploring, Barkley Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island is a must-see.

Barkley Sound is an 800 square km area between Bamfield and Ucluelet, including the entrance to the Alberni inlet. Set within the Pacific Rim National Park area, it’s a popular tourist destination thanks to its top-class fishing opportunities, hundreds of islands to explore and friendly, small communities to visit. 

Boaters can cruise the area, exploring islands, inlets and nooks, diving or fishing for salmon and halibut.  

To access the Barkley Sound area, the best options for putting in are Ucluelet, Bamfield Inlet or even Port Alberni. Keep in mind that setting off from Port Alberni is a much longer route, requiring a 60km sail down the Alberni Inlet to reach the Barkley Sound. 

There are numerous options for moorage throughout the Barkley Sound, although many boaters prefer the freedom of anchoring up amongst the islands and exploring from there by dinghy or kayak.

Things To Do In Barkley Sound 

Explore the Broken Group IslandsBroken Group Islands

The Broken Group Islands, situated to the southeast of Ucluelet, is made of numerous small islands, channels and inlets which are just begging to be explored. Very popular with kayakers who participate in multi-day paddles in the area, the waters can definitely get busy in the summer. 

The best way to explore the Broken Group Islands is to anchor up and take a dinghy or kayak around and between the islands where you can investigate coves. You can also pull up onto one of many sandy beaches for a secluded picnic.

The bay at Turtle Island provides sheltered water to anchor up before settling down to watch a spectacular sunset.

Effingham Bay, on Effingham Island, one of the largest islands in the Broken Group, is considered to have the best big boat anchorage in the area. The southeast corner of the bay is well protected, except during periods of strong westerly winds. Effingham is an interesting island to explore, with beaches, remains of a village and a sea cave on the island’s east side.

Lucky Creek, Vancouver Island

Find the waterfall at Lucky Creek

Lucky Creek is a 3km long river with a waterfall at its endpoint. Located east of Refuge Island, Lucky Creek is tidal and can be impassible at low tide, so make sure you check the tide times before heading upriver in your dinghy. When you reach the end of the creek, a short climb over some rocks reveals the waterfall and bathing pools, if you are brave enough to face the cool water.

Watch Marine Wildlife

Port Alberni Wildlife - whale watching

Marine wildlife is abundant in the Barkley Sound. The ocean itself teems with orcas, humpback whales, the imperial eagle porpoises, sea lions, seals and sea otters, many of which you’ll encounter while cruising the waters around the islands.

On the coast, you may see black bears roaming the shoreline depending on the time of year, and don’t forget to look up to sight the majestic bald eagles, which are as attracted by the fish in the area as humans are.

If you are lucky enough to spot a whale while sailing around Vancouver Island, remember to follow the regulations regarding safe marine mammal viewing.

Barkley Sound Lodge, Vancouver Island

Fishing in Barkley Sound

Barkley Sound is a fishing lover’s dream. Year-round, salmon, halibut and lingcod fishing draws anglers from far and wide to come and make their big catch of the day. There are a number of fishing charters and lodges in the area that can guide you to the prime fishing grounds and even prepare your catch afterwards.

Moorage Sites in Barkley Sound

If anchoring up around one of the many islands in Barkley sound isn’t for you, or you are looking for some other services where you moor, consider some of these options:

  • Island West Resort in Ucluelet offers short term moorage options as well as fishing charters and has a pub onsite.
  • Mills Landing Cottages and Charters in Bamfield offersMills Landing, Vancouver Island more than just moorage. For those interested in fishing, Mills Landing can supply everything you need from bait to a cleaning station and their guides can even point you to the best fishing spots. Wildlife viewing tours are also available here if you want to take a break from sailing for a day.
  • Barkley Sound Lodge located in a secluded inlet in the centre of the Sound, offers a chance to anchor in true wilderness, yet still experience a modern and elegant resort. Enjoy a night off the water with one of their packages including lodge accommodation, fishing excursions and meals.
  • Poet Nook Marina which is situated north east of Bamfield, near the Alberni Inlet entrance, is a 140 vessel, state of the art marina, which makes a great base for exploring the sound.


Explore Barkley Sound in a Brand New Boat From Van Isle Marina

Barkley Sound is just one of many incredible places to explore and enjoy nature at its finest. Looking for the perfect boat to make your adventure travel dreams come true? Van Isle Marina is the exclusive dealer in western Canada for world-class Pursuit Boats. Something different in mind? Our sales brokers will work closely with you to understand your specific needs and budget and find you the perfect new or used boat. Take a peek at some of the current sales listings and contact us to set up a viewing appointment today.

If you’re trading up, you can keep it simple by relying on Van Isle Marina’s team to market your boat for sale. National and International buyers are attracted to our unparalleled marina, which offers short and long moorage options in our 500 berths near sunny Sidney, BC.

Gulf Island Getaways in British Columbia

Gulf Island Getaways

Explore BC’s Famed Southern and Northern Gulf Islands by Boat

The Southern and Northern Gulf Islands are located just off the coast of Vancouver Island. Whether you’re looking for a family wilderness adventure or a bit of pampering at one of the many resorts, the Gulf Islands deliver. Because all the islands offer their own special welcome and slice of island life, you can’t go wrong with whichever destination you choose. 

Planning a longer trip? You can easily cruise around the entire group of islands and islets starting from either the south or north set of Gulf Islands. Because of their mild Mediterranean climate and calm waters, all of the Gulf Islands are great to visit anytime. They’re the busiest from May-September when visitors flock to the endless stretch of sandy beach at Hornby Island’s Tribune Bay, or the lively market at Ganges Village on Saltspring Island. 

For private moorage, try Cabbage Island or Wallace Island. These are located just between Saturna and Galiano Islands and boast their own white-sand beaches and incredible sunsets. A fantastic spot for a picnic and to snorkel and scuba, these tiny islands will have you feeling like you’re alone in the world. Read on for more about visiting the Gulf Islands.

Major Gulf Islands to Explore

Gabriola IslandGabriola Island - Gulf Islands, BC

Just 5 kilometres from Nanaimo’s harbour, Gabriola Island provides a great starting point for any Gulf Island exploration. With gorgeous beaches, warm water and a growing residential community, Gabriola is known as Isle of the Arts, offering annual studio tours and the opportunity to meet one on one with its many artisans. With great moorage and a variety of accommodations, you can easily settle in for a day or a week on this laid-back island.

 

Galiano IslandGaliano Island - Gulf Islands, BC

Called the Gem of the Salish Sea, Galiano Island offers beaches created from sandstone galleries, hiking, whale watching, golfing and spa accommodations. Montague Marine Park is one of the oldest Provincial Parks in all the Gulf Islands and is still the most popular with its unique white shell beach. Montague Marina and Harbour is ideal for small craft with power and a fuel dock and is a good starting point for exploring all Galiano has to offer.

 

Pender Islandpender island - Gulf Islands, BC

For access to all amenities and slips for boats up to 100 feet, Pender Island is the perfect place to moor. For excellent dining and a cozy sleep on land, book a stay at Poet’s Cove. At this 4-star resort, you’ll enjoy outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, the Susurrus Spa, eucalyptus steam cave and your choice of cottage, villa or lodge room. Enjoy 5 freshwater lakes on North and South Pender Islands, fish for cod, flounder, snapper, salmon and trout, hit the links at the golf course, meander along gentle hills or hike up Mt. Daniel for rewarding views of the harbour. 

 

Salt Spring IslandSalt Spring Island BC

Salt Spring Island has become a world-class destination and a mecca for everything from artisans to luxury resorts. First developed on apple orchards and farming, Salt Spring offers a wide variety of activities, luxury accommodations, gorgeous beaches and top-quality farm to table organic food and wine. Visitors to Saltspring can moor at any one of its three marinas: Ganges, Musgrave Landing, or Salt Spring Marina. Salt Spring Island is also home to a large sailing club, so you’ll always be in good company. 

 

Saturna Island - Gulf Islands, BC

Saturna Island

Saturna Island offers boat launches at Lyall Harbour and Winter Cove. With a tiny population of 350 year-round residents and limited accommodations, it’s recommended to reserve your trip well in advance. Enjoy clear views of Mt. Baker, seal-watch at East Point Park, and relax in the sand at Thomson Park. A much more remote getaway that’s still mainly undeveloped, Saturna is an excellent spot to unwind.

 

Thetis IslandThetis Island - Gulf Islands, BC

Originally joined with Penelakut (Kuper) Island, Thetis become its own island when a shallow cut was dredged back in 1905 to allow boat traffic. Today, what’s known as “The Cut” is a stunning passage between the two islands, allowing access to popular Telegraph Harbour. If you’re going to be cruising through The Cut, it’s important to watch tides carefully in this shallow passage. With roughly the same population as Saturna, Thetis is home to a close-knit community, sandstone beaches and two marinas (Telegraph Harbour and Thetis Island Marina and Pub.) 

 

Denman IslandDenman Island - Gulf Island, BC

10 minutes from Buckley Bay, Denman and Hornby Island provide some excellent island-hopping opportunities. The Denman Island Community Dock is a public wharf just down the hill from the main village, making it a great place to moor and restock supplies at the General Store, or grab a freshly baked treat from Irma’s Kitchen. 

 

Hornby IslandHornby Island - Gulf Islands, BC

Hornby Island is decidedly more developed and has something for every member of the family.  Sometimes called Canada’s Hawaii, it features long stretches of smooth sandy beaches and crystal-clear water for world-famous diving. Spend the day picnicking and playing on the warm sand, exploring the forest, practicing yoga with the locals and then wind down with a visit to Island Stars for some guided stargazing. Spend the night rocking in the gentle waves at Ford’s Cove or book a stay with one of the nearby resorts or B&B’s.

 

Texada IslandTexada Island - Gulf Islands, BC

The largest of the Gulf Islands, Texada is known as “the rock” and is home to a full range of amenities including moorage at Sturt (Marble) Bay. Ideal for watching whales and dolphins from the shore, Texada is a naturalist’s paradise as well. Discover incredible archeological sites, see the waterfalls at Stromberg Falls, or hike around one (or two!) of the ten lakes on the island.  You can also explore the secluded bays and coves of nearby Jedediah Island. 

 

We live in an incredible area of the world, with limitless options for outdoor recreation, wildlife watching, fishing and more. Thinking about upgrading your boat before the new season begins? We offer a wide variety of new luxury Pursuit boats as well as pre-loved yachts and cruisers. Whether you’re looking for a yacht big enough to host a large party, or for a cozy getaway for two, our team at Van Isle Marina looks forward to helping you find the perfect boat for your next trip. Contact us via phone or web form to get started or come see us in sunny Sidney, BC.

*Please note some destinations have been intentionally left off the list due to Covid-19 visitor regulations. Because conditions and closures are set to change at any time, please check current Gulf Islands closures.

Spending Xmas on Board Your Boat

Celebrating Christmas On Board Your Yacht

Thinking about doing Christmas a little differently this year? If you can’t get away for your usual warm-weather vacation, consider celebrating out on the water.

Celebrating Christmas on board your boat

Just imagine waking up nestled all snug in your berth, cuddled up to the one you love. The boat gently rocking, the tabletop Christmas tree aglow, and coffee percolating on the stovetop. You’re anchored at your favourite quiet harbour. No one else is around and you feel total peace and tranquility.

Do you feel more relaxed already? Why not try a scaled-down Christmas celebration on your boat? Make sure your boat is winter-ready, then string some lights, grab a 2-foot tree and get ready to create a truly unforgettable holiday!

Décor and Ambience

Décor is quintessential to really feeling that holiday spirit. There’s nothing quite like the twinkling of lights and the scents of spice and cedar in the air to evoke nostalgia and joy. Some ideas:

  • String up a live or faux garland around the cabin. You can make your own fragrant garland with dried orange peels, popcorn and scented pinecones
  • Hang a fresh cedar bough or wreath from the cabin door
  • If you have the table space, consider a tabletop tree. A potted ornamental is a great option for a live tree. Decorate it with cute miniature ornaments and twinkle lightsSpending Christmas Aboard Your Boat
  • Add faux tea light candles to an unbreakable candleholder for instant ambience
  • Hang lights inside and out. Hang a single string or go all out and create an eye-catching display. The newer LED lights don’t get hot, making them a safe option for any space. *One note: LED’s are extremely efficient, but always make sure that your generator can support the additional load created from having lights on. Alternatively, you can use battery operated lights
  • Change up your pillow covers and bedding. Plaids are always stylish for winter, without being too garish, and they really add a warm, cozy feeling. Add a knitted or faux fur throw for an extra layer of comfort
  • Don’t forget the music! Holiday tunes are an essential part of that Christmassy feeling. Impressive audio systems now come standard with many newer boats and include features like built in speakers throughout

Gifting

Space is at a premium on pretty much any boat, unless you are the proud owner of a superyacht or megayacht.

Some gift ideas for kids from one to ninety-two

  • E-book gift card or bookchristmas on board your boat - giving gifts
  • Board or card game for everyone to bond over
  • Magnetic building blocks
  • Animal figurines
  • Flashlights
  • Fishing gear (tackle box, floats, etc…)
  • Watersports gear
  • Pocket knife / multi-tool
  • Walkie talkies
  • Fish finder
  • Fishing rod

Boatmodo also has some other very cool and practical gift ideas for boaters right here.

Food and Drink

The beauty of having an intimate Christmas is that you can serve something as simple as turkey burgers with cranberry sauce. You can also go bigger and barbecue a roast, chicken or ham to really emulate the feeling of a decadent feast. There’s probably nothing better for the avid fisherperson than spending Christmas Day fishing then pairing the catch with festive side dishes.

Other ideas for a modern, downsized holiday feast, courtesy of The Spruce Eats

Pan Roasted Fillet of Duck Breast– Make the sauce in advance and it’s a snap to create a luxurious breast of duck in lieu of turkey or chicken. As long as you have a skillet and an oven, you can easily make this

Pear Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola– Skip the prepackaged salad mix and make your own quick and easy pear salad. There’s no cooking required, so it goes from fridge to plate in no time.

Christmas food on your boat - Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower-Easy to make ahead or roast on your barbecue, roasted cauliflower is nothing like the bland, soggy cauliflower you might remember from your childhood holidays. Instead, it shines with a few simple ingredients.

For a carefree meal, prep ingredients or even just cook your favourite sides ahead of time and just store them in your fridge, freezer, or insulated storage. Reheat using your oven or microwave once the main part of the meal is cooked so the meat has time to rest and everything is hot and delicious.

Cooking in a galley is obviously a lot different from cooking in the average kitchen. There’s not as much surface area, the boat is moving, you’re carefully conserving propane, and more. To make it simpler, here are 13 tips for cooking on your boat, courtesy of the boatgalley.com.

If you’re ready to make this dream a reality, it might be time to treat yourself to a new or upgraded boat this holiday season! The gift that keeps on giving, a new boat is guaranteed to be at the centre of your adventures for years to come. Contact our knowledgeable team of broker elves or stop by our world-class sales dock to take a look at our selection of luxurious Pursuit Boats and new and pre-owned yachts today. At Van Isle Marina, we’ll help you find the perfect boat for your fishing, cruising and holidaying wishes.

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.

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.

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.

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.