Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Several people we know have recently moved south... mostly on the purchase of a larger boat. Moorage seems easier to find there, and is much less expensive. The border crossings are manageable as long as you don't need to go at peak times, when waits can be hours long. A "Nexus" pass expedites the crossing/clearance and is not expensive, ($50 for 5 years, I think) but at peak times it can still take a while to get into the Nexux lineup.. I've also noticed recently that at times the Nexus wait can be longer than the regular (but rarely).
The marinas are better quality as a rule, and the drive times from the Fraser Valley are in fact better to Blaine/Bellingham/Pt Roberts than Vancouver's preferred marinas (border delays aside)
The downside is having to deal with customs on the boat when you want to cruise Canadian waters.. fact is most of the Canadians who keep their boats there tend to cruise the San Juans, esp on short weekend trips. As a cruising destination/area the San Juans are lovely, and quite different in some ways from the Canadian islands but you will contend with very chilly waters (if you're into swimming) and generally stronger currents on a day-to-day basis in that area. OTOH it can be quite a short hop to the Gulf Islands from say, Pt Roberts marina, compared to from Vancouver.
So far our friends that have moved down seem quite content with the situation.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)