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  #1  
Old 09-27-2011
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Vancouver area : What to know ?

Hi there,

Since this is my first post, here is a short introduction :
We moved in the Vancouver area some months ago (coming from France). I shown a coastal map to my boss (heu... I mean my wife) and, at last, got the go to buy a boat (Wahoouuu !!).

I have lot of Hobie cat experience but never sailed on a cruiser. So I will aim for a simple/easy day sailer about 25' and that can be single handled.

The goal is to bring all the family (2 adults, 3 kids) for 1 or 2 days trips (and being on water alone when the family is not in the mood of getting wet ).

But before that, I have some questions please :

1/ Is there any draft requirement in the area ?
How deep are the fjord-like area in the sunshine coast ? What about the islands around Vancouver island ?

2/Weather : I am amazed to read some ppl saying you can sail here most of the year. This is a good new, but I still find it hard to believe (sorry )
I went to the boat show at Mosquito creek last week end and most of the cruisers had bimini top...
So is a well protected cockpit a necessity or not ?

3/Any advice about where getting some cruiser training ?
I am looking for hand-on lesson : get abroad, sail, and learn. Any place doing that around ?
I suppose once I have the boat it will be easier to find ppl trading a ride for some advices. But before that any place/school to advice ?


Thx you very munch all


SFU
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Old 09-27-2011
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SFU

Draft is not an issue here on this coast. Accordingly, you'll enjoy better performance with a deep draft version of any boat you consider. However looking in the mid 20 foot range you'll most likely end up with 4-5 foot draft max anyway so that's no problem. The only real advantange a lift keel or shoal draft boat has around here is the ability to go deep into a busy bay on a summer evening and still find a spot.

A 25/26 footer with two adults and 3 kids is going to be pushing it.. (btw how old are the children?) That said it's a very intimate experience doing things that way. It would be helpful to know what your budget might be... you may be surprised at how much boat you can buy nowadays.

Weather.... yes we do sail year round, but you need the right gear and clothing, have a fairly robust constitution and not mind getting wet. That said, winter sailing is often 'better' than summer sailing breeze-wise. I'd say a dodger is absolutely necessary for off season sailing, but a bimini or cockpit enclosure is not strictly required. Those that have them, though, seem to love them.

Cooper Boating centre in Granville Island, Island Cruising in Sidney, and a few other private outfits can offer the training you want, or you can just go out, use your Hobie experience and adapt to a cruising monohull... and yes, it's not too difficult to get someone who will come along for the ride and give you some pointers (you can call me if you get to that point!)

btw I know of a Tanzer 26 currently available for a good price; a decent boat with a good reputation....
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Old 09-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
SFU

Draft is not an issue here on this coast. Accordingly, you'll enjoy better performance with a deep draft version of any boat you consider. However looking in the mid 20 foot range you'll most likely end up with 4-5 foot draft max anyway so that's no problem. The only real advantange a lift keel or shoal draft boat has around here is the ability to go deep into a busy bay on a summer evening and still find a spot.

A 25/26 footer with two adults and 3 kids is going to be pushing it.. (btw how old are the children?) That said it's a very intimate experience doing things that way. It would be helpful to know what your budget might be... you may be surprised at how much boat you can buy nowadays.

Weather.... yes we do sail year round, but you need the right gear and clothing, have a fairly robust constitution and not mind getting wet. That said, winter sailing is often 'better' than summer sailing breeze-wise. I'd say a dodger is absolutely necessary for off season sailing, but a bimini or cockpit enclosure is not strictly required. Those that have them, though, seem to love them.

Cooper Boating centre in Granville Island, Island Cruising in Sidney, and a few other private outfits can offer the training you want, or you can just go out, use your Hobie experience and adapt to a cruising monohull... and yes, it's not too difficult to get someone who will come along for the ride and give you some pointers (you can call me if you get to that point!)

btw I know of a Tanzer 26 currently available for a good price; a decent boat with a good reputation....
Listen to Faster - he knows his stuff and the info he posted is spot on. Just buy a boat (WITH MOORAGE) and start sailing. This area is very benign except you must pay strict attention to your piloting - true navigation is not necessary since everything is line of sight. There are LOTS of rocks, reefs etc. and the tides and currents are extreme - some of the most extreme in the world so pay close attention.

One of the new GPS Plotters is an absolute joy to have around here. They give you much peace of mind and take a lot of grunt work piloting out of the equation. I really like not having to keep paper charts in the cockpit, keeping them dry, keeping them from flapping overboard etc.

I strongly recommend you bite the bullet and get one - the bigger the better.
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Navigation is a huge issue is the area. Many rocks are charted but not marked. The tides run from 13 to 18 feet (4-6 meters) ranges. Currents, especially in passes, can get fierce. Take a navigation course and spend time on a boat with a navigation instructor.

There are two organization that teach both theory and on-the-water; International Sail and Power Association (ISPA) and Canadian Yachting Association (CYA). Both use paid instructors. The Canadian Sail and Power Squadron is a volunteer organization that teaches only classroom sessions. CYA is the official Olympic organization.

There are lots of yacht clubs in the Vancouver area. They offer both instruction and race programs. CYA Member's Area

If you would like a French speaking instructor let me know and I will send you the information about an acquaintance who is a great guy. he teaches both ISPA and CYA courses.
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Old 09-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post

One of the new GPS Plotters is an absolute joy to have around here. They give you much peace of mind and take a lot of grunt work piloting out of the equation. I really like not having to keep paper charts in the cockpit, keeping them dry, keeping them from flapping overboard etc.
You do know that recreation level chartplotters do not meet the requirements

Quote:
Am I required by law to carry CHS charts? What are the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act?

Most vessels of any kind in Canada have an obligation to carry and use official charts and publications and to keep them up to date. The chart carriage requirements are listed in the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995 of the Canada Shipping Act.

CHS paper charts meet the requirements of the chart carriage regulations. CHS digital charts meet the requirements of the chart carriage regulations under certain circumstances. CHS Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) meet the requirements provided they are used with an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). CHS raster charts meet the requirements only if paper charts are carried and used as a backup.
ECDIS plotters are usually found in commercial environments.
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Quote:
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You do know that recreation level chartplotters do not meet the requirements

ECDIS plotters are usually found in commercial environments.
I always have paper on board. I've had way too much experience with electricity and water to rely completely on ANYTHING electrical on a boat.

Having said that, I've never had to look at a paper chart when the plotter is working.
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Gentlemen, being that the OP's from France, if he's from anywhere on the Atlantic side of things, I think he'll something about tides and such. Yes, you can sail year round. You'll be much happier with cabin heat and the best fleece and foul weather gear you can afford or find a deal on.

(25-26ft' sailboat, just get a handheld GPS and use the saved money from not buying a full blown chart plotter on some cabin heat, and call it a day)
Faster likes this.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 09-27-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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If you are interested in Sailing One Design very imexpensively two Active and friendly Fleets in The Area are

Santana 525
Martin 242

Both are 24-25 footers. The Martin is a lightweight high Performance boat. The Santana 525 is an old Design, but we'll loved in the area.

Both have typical small cabins found on these size boats.

You can google and find the fleet websites easy enough
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Old 09-27-2011
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Hi again,

Thank you for all the answers !



Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
A 25/26 footer with two adults and 3 kids is going to be pushing it.. (btw how old are the children?) That said it's a very intimate experience doing things that way.
Kids are 10 / 6 and 3 -> so still manageable -I hope- for some years -always an optimistic guy- if we keep it to 1 or 2 nights at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
It would be helpful to know what your budget might be... you may be surprised at how much boat you can buy nowadays.
About 5k to 10K I think. I want to keep it 'small' and 'cheap'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Weather.... yes we do sail year round, but you need the right gear and clothing, have a fairly robust constitution and not mind getting wet.
By the way what do you wear as footwear, plastic boots (not too slippy )?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
and yes, it's not too difficult to get someone who will come along for the ride and give you some pointers (you can call me if you get to that point!)
DEAL !!
Too late, what is said is said
I will be happy to have you aboard ( as well as anyone in the area wanting a ride)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
btw I know of a Tanzer 26 currently available for a good price; a decent boat with a good reputation....
I am interested !
This is the kind of boat I am looking for.
Can you please send me an email with the number to call ? (I prefer not to post my email in this message to avoid spam bots)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale
Navigation is a huge issue is the area. Many rocks are charted but not marked.
You mean they are on charts but without a sign on it ?

How will navigation courses will help with this ? For me navigation is more about defining a route to follow and finding his way without landmarks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale
If you would like a French speaking instructor let me know and I will send you the information about an acquaintance who is a great guy. he teaches both ISPA and CYA courses.
Actually, I DON'T want a French speaking instructor : else I won't be able to learn the English nautical vocabulary !
But I would be happy to have his number anyway. I am sure he can be great in English too


Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs
Gentlemen, being that the OP's from France, if he's from anywhere on the Atlantic side of things, I think he'll know his way around tidal concerns.
Well... yes and no. I do remember tides, but I spend the last 11 years in Tahiti (=no tide) so I am a little rusty on the matter (some friends even say wasted ).


And yes I think a little GPS is nice to have around. But well for the moment I don't plan to go very far !
By the way, where do you buy charts here ?


Thx again for all the answers !

SFU

Last edited by SFU; 09-27-2011 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFU View Post
Hi again,

Thank you for all the answers !

Kids are 10 / 6 and 3 -> so still manageable -I hope- for some years -always an optimistic guy- if we keep it to 1 or 2 nights at a time.
Most any 25-26 footer will be very cosy with that sized family.. but people have done that and thrown in a dog or a cat besides..


Quote:
About 5k to 10K I think. I want to keep it 'small' and 'cheap'.
Do-able in today's market... for the upper end of that you could probably find a decent 28-29 footer - might make the difference and a more successful experiment with your family.

Quote:
By the way what do you wear as footwear, plastic boots (not too slippy )?
If it's dry I'll wear warm sock and boat shoes/sneakers... if it's wet then the typical rubber boots (oversized with heavy sock) If it's really cold then a non-marking-soled heavier boot works.


Quote:
DEAL !!
Too late, what is said is said
I will be happy to have you aboard ( as well as anyone in the area wanting a ride)
No worries...


Quote:
I am interested !
This is the kind of boat I am looking for.
Can you please send me an email with the number to call ? (I prefer not to post my email in this message to avoid spam bots)
I'll send you a PM with some info.


Quote:
You mean they are on charts but without a sign on it ?

How will navigation courses will help with this ? For me navigation is more about defining a route to follow and finding his way without landmarks.
Nav courses will make sure you can 'read' the chart and properly interpret the hazard and it's location. Around here we mostly do conning rather than plotting and navigating.. a GPS with charts is making us all a little complacent, and as indicated above paper charts are req'd for legality. The CPS courses are probably the most accessible and their basic boating course will provide you with enough charting knowledge to get around safely.

Quote:
Well... yes and no. I do remember tides, but I spend the last 11 years in Tahiti (=no tide) so I am a little rusty on the matter (some friends even say wasted ).
The biggest issue with tides here is the 'gateways' into/out of the Gulf Islands... some run as fast as 10-12 knots at times, as do the narrows in and out of Vancouver Harbour itself. Timing is important.


Quote:
And yes I think a little GPS is nice to have around. But well for the moment I don't plan to go very far !
By the way, where do you buy charts here ?
Any Marine store (West Marine, Steveston, Thunderbird (WV), Martin Marine in NV etc) will deal in the CHS charts. About $20 each, with convenient chart books for designated areas at around $100.
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