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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!

preparing for long boat trips

Prepping for Long Boat Trips

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

 

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

longer yacht trips - enjoying the lifestyle

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

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

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

 

Planning Your Route

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Prepping the Boat

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

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

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

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

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

 

Provisioning and Packing

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

prepping for long boat trips - stocking your galley

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

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

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

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

 

Securing the Homefront

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

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

 

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

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

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

Easy and Delicious Crab Cake Recipes

A Short History of the Crab Cake

 

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

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

 

Basic Crab Cakes- A Simple and Adaptable Dish

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best Crab Cake Recipe

Classic Crab CakesBest Crab Cakes Recipe

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F

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

Get the full crab cake recipe from Chatelaine Magazine

 

Crab Cakes: Pairings and Toppings

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

 

Tropical Salsa Recipe
IngredientsTropical Salsa on top of Crab Cakes

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

Get the full recipe from LCBO.com

 

Tartar Sauce Recipe
Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Get the full recipe from Simply Taste

 

Tips for the Best Ever Crab Cakes

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

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

 

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

 

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

yacht renovations - how to

Renovating an Older Yacht

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

 

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

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

renovating yachts - tools required

Step 1. Take an Inventory of Your Tools and Workspace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 5. Pay Special Attention to the Hull

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

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

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

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

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

Step 7. Get Started on the Project

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

Finding the Right Boat to Restore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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