Hi there. I'm new around here, although some of you may know me from the YBW Scuttlebutt.
I'm going to be emigrating this summer to Vancouver and am looking to get afloat once there, so I'm on the scrounge for as much advice and local knowledge as I can get.
My experience has been in sailing our family boat around the Menai Straits, in Wales (v. tidal) since the grand age of 6 weeks old, and sporadically dodging around in the Forth, under the famous bridge, over the past few years. I've never done a practical exam, but have a shorebased qualification under my belt, never saw a kicking strap on a boat bigger than a dinghy until I was about 37 and always hanked on my jib, so to speak. So, I'm definitely at the lo-tech end of things, although I'm looking to upgrade to more modern when I get my own boat.
Advice on what sort of boats to look at would be good - 27-30' & no more than $15-20k is my target range, with the Whitby 25 (I know...), CS-27, Ericson 29 and the like currently being shortlisted. My knowledge of sailboats built in the US and Canada is limited to what I can find on the net, so first hand opinions would be welcomed.
I'd also like to get as much information as I can on the sailing grounds over there, and how best to get onto them. I think I'll probably do some crewing this year and look at a purchase next, so a friendly yacht club with an active racing and cruising program would be a must for me, as would be recommendations for pilot books and charts to whet my appetite.
Thanks in anticipation!