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Naming Your Boat

Naming Your Boat

Boat Names – How Do You Choose?

Boat naming has been around for thousands of years, started when sailors named their vessels after deities and saints in the hopes of good fortune and smooth sailing. Names were chosen very carefully since the wrong name meant the difference between a safe voyage or being lost at sea.

There are so many names to choose from and so many directions you could take. Maybe you have a favourite song, a wicked sense of humour, love puns, or simply want to go traditional and pay a tribute to your beloved. There are a few things to keep in mind, which we’ll go through below, to help make naming your boat fun and painless.

choosing a name for your yacht

According to seafaring legends, it’s bad luck to rename a boat or to give a boat a name that begins with O.  Also, boat naming is steeped in lore and whether you believe it or not, you’re probably better off not tempting fate by naming your boat something tragic like Titanic or Unsinkable. Check out some other common boating superstitions. No matter if you’re superstitious or just a stickler for tradition, you’ll want to create a name that really sticks and that you won’t have to change later.

Before you can move on to picking a name and christening your beauty, there are a few more practical things to keep in mind:

  1. The name should be two/ three words max. No room for a sonnet here.
  2. The name should be short enough to fit on the transom and still be easy to read.
  3. The name should be easy to communicate over the VHF radio. Marine radio etiquette includes saying the name three times, so this is particularly important. Read more about VHF etiquette.
  4. The name can’t be anything that might be used to ask for help on the water (i.e. Man Overboard.)
  5. The name shouldn’t use racist, sexist, or profane language. Keep it classy.
  6. If it’s something you’d be embarrassed to say over the radio (like any of these) you won’t want it to be your primary identity at the wharf or out on the water.

Ready to create your list of potential names? Take your time and consider, most of all, what fits your boat, your values and your lifestyle. After all, when you’re on the water, your boat’s name becomes your name, so you’ll want to choose wisely. Here are some basic guidelines for how to choose the perfect moniker:

  1. How big is the boat/yacht?choosing boat names - naming your boat
  2. What type of boat do you have? Sailing yacht, powerboat, wooden boat, or sleek and modern are all suited to very different types of names. If you want to use a prefix, make sure it matches the type of boat. (For example, SS actually stands for Steam Ship.)
  3. What is your boat’s personality? If you’ve spent a fair amount of time aboard, you’ll probably have noticed that she has her own quirks.
  4. What mood do you want the name to convey? Some options include names that suggest relaxation, fun, adventure, romance, or a good pun to make others chuckle.
  5. Do you have a favourite animal?
  6. What is your profession or hobby?
  7. Are there any songs, movies or other pop culture references that you love?
  8. Do you want a traditional swashbuckling-type name? There are some great ones here.
  9. Do you like the sound of foreign names (for instance, La Belle Vita—The Beautiful Life)
  10. Lastly, what name makes you smile whenever you say it? That will more than likely be the name for your vessel!

Stuck for ideas? Try this fun Boat Name Generator from Linger and Lock. You can select preferences like “I like puns” or “it’s a big boat” to help narrow down the choices even further. Here are some randomly chosen boat names to get your imagination cruising:

  • Otter
  • Pelican
  • Sea Breezechoosing boat names
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Vagabond
  • Bitter End
  • Odyssey
  • Pegasus
  • Adagio (slow tempo)
  • Kids Inheritance
  • Knot on Call
  • Sea Ya
  • Midlife Crisis

Before you settle on a name, make sure that no other Canadian vessel shares this name. Use this searchable database here. You can use a different spelling for your favourite name as well, if you find your choice is already spoken for.

In keeping with tradition, you might want to christen your boat once you’ve chosen a name. This dates to ancient Greek times when Grecians wore wreaths of olive branches on their heads and drank fine wine to honour the gods. In the Middle Ages, two friars would board the boat and bless it before its maiden voyage. Essentially, this type of ceremony is meant to invoke protection of the gods and keep the men safe during long and perilous journeys. You can read more about the historical significance of christening a boat.naming your yacht

Gather up some friends, a bottle of something sparkly (champagne is the top choice) to drink, a branch of greens and a pre-scored bottle of wine to break on the boat. Keep the bottle in a bag to keep broken glass from falling into the water/onto your boat.

You’ll want to have your boat ready to go at the dock for a short maiden voyage after the celebration. Read a short poem, say a few words about the boat, and toast to many happy adventures. The pre-scored bottle will be broken over the bow of the boat. Aim to break the bottle over the metal rails to prevent any damage to the body of the boat.

For all your nautical needs, Van Isle Marina is the place to be. Located in beautiful Sidney, BC, we are Western Canada’s yachting experts and an exclusive authorized dealer of luxury Pursuit boats. Whether you’re looking for pre-owned, brand new, a basic sailing boat or a large motor yacht, our team of professional brokers can find the perfect boat for you. We offer extensive, fully serviced moorage and a world-class sales dock. Come on down or contact us today to get started on your next big adventure.

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.

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.

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.

Boating Terms & Terminology

A Glossary of Yachting Lingo

 

Whether you’ve got a solid pair of sea legs or are brand new to the boating life, you probably know that yachting and boating comes with its own language.

Boating terms go back centuries and a lot of sailing vocabulary has been adopted as commonly used idioms in our everyday life. Many of us use them as second nature without even realizing their true origins. Just for fun, we’ve matched up a few of the most popular boating phrases with their everyday definition and use.

Expand your yachting vocabulary and have fun impressing your landlubber friends with your newfound knowledge. You’re about to get to know the meanings of phrases like “Anchors aweigh!”, “Move to the cathead” and “Crank the windlass.”

Need a Refresher Course on Boat Parts and Basic Lingo? Take a Look at Our Past Posts Before Casting Off

Basic Boating Lingo

Parts of a Boat

Basics of Marine Navigation

 

List of Boating Terminology 

Abreast- boats sailing side by side at the same speed and position.

Everyday Use: we often use the term “abreast” to mean stay informed or updated. “Please keep me abreast of any changes in the plan.”

Aft- towards the stern (back) of the boat.

Belay- secure a line by winding on a cleat or pin.

Bitter End – the last part of a line or chain.Boat terms and terminology - Bitter End

Everyday Use: When all other possibilities are exhausted and someone reaches the very end.
“They fought to the bitter end”

Cast Off – to remove the line from the dock or mooring. To move out.

Cathead – where the anchor is secured near the bow.

Charts – charts on the water are the same as maps on land. Charting can be done on paper or electronically using ENC (Electronic Navigational Chart).

Come Around – turn into the wind.

Boat terms and terminology - Dolphin Pilings

Everyday Use: When referring to someone potentially changing their mind or opinion. “They’ll come around, you’ll see.”

Course – steering towards your destination.

Draft – the vertical depth of a yacht below the waterline. Knowing the draft helps to navigate through shallow water.

Dolphin – A group of pilings bound together by cables.

Fathom – a fathom is a unit of measurement for 6 feet or 1.8288 metres. A fathom is typically the length of rope that a grown man or woman can extend with outstretched arms. Before modern technology, depth was measured by counting fathoms and lowering the line into the sea.

Everyday Use: When trying to figure something out, you are trying to get to the bottom of it. “I can’t fathom why she would do something like that.”

Gunwale – the top edge on the side of a boat.

Boat terms and terminology - Heeling Sailboat

Heeling – When you’re heeling, your sails are filled and your boat is leaning over, being pushed by the wind. To reach top speed, you want to be heeling.

Iron Wind – a nickname for the engine of the yacht.

Jibe – a jibe is a more complex way of changing direction that requires moving the stern into and through the wind and moving the mainsail to the other side of the boat. After a jibe, the wind direction will have changed from one side of the boat to the other. Whether you choose to tack or jibe entirely depends on the situation, what’s around you and the direction of the wind.

Everyday Use: To complement or match with something.
“Your story doesn’t jibe with his story.”

Chicken Jibe – tacking more than 180° to avoid a jibe is sometimes called a chicken jibe.

Kedge – A small anchor used to change the direction or pivot point. Can also be used as an additional anchor in bad weather.

Lazy Jack – A bag attached to the boom for the mainsail to fall into.

Lines – on a yacht or any type of boat, ropes become known as lines.

Mainstay – the main line that is used to support a mast.

Everyday Use: An essential part of something.
“A good quality engine is the mainstay of a yacht.”

Payout – to add slack to the line.

Reefing – reining in the sails during periods of strong wind.

Tack – tack is used as both a verb and a noun.

Verb: to change direction by turning the bow through the wind.

Noun: the course you are on, relative to the location of the wind. You are either on a starboard tack or a port tack, depending on which side the wind is blowing.

Three Sheets to the Wind – sailing with all of your sails (sheets) unsecured.

Everyday Use: Used to describe someone who is thoroughly drunk.
“I heard Bob was three sheets to the wind last night.”

True Wind – Wind as measured on land, as opposed to how wind appears on a moving yacht (known as apparent wind).

Weigh – Raise the anchor.

Boat terms and terminology - Windlass

Everyday Use: Getting something underway.
Contrary to popular belief, the phrase is “anchors aweigh”, rather than “anchors away”
 

Windlass – the winch used to raise the anchor

To round out your boating knowledge, you might also want to read up on old boating superstitions. Learn about good and bad luck omens that tie into the history of yachting and never be pressed for an icebreaker again.

Ready to start up the engine of a beautiful yacht? Whether you’re brand new to yachting or have years of experience at the helm, we offer a wide variety of new and pre-loved boats. Our experienced brokers are happy to help you choose the perfect yacht for your lifestyle. Come visit us in Sidney, BC near Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal!