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post #1 of 23 Old 05-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Ganges Suggestions

Hi Folks-

I'm in the process of planning our annual gulf islands cruise. We like to hit Ganges for the saturday market. In past years we have stayed at the Ganges Marina. Great location but the docks have seen better days. I'm looking for opinions on the Saltspring Marina at the end of the bay. Is it any better? I know it's a bit further in to town. I'm also open to other suggestions. Anchoring is not the best option for us as we have young children and they need to be able to at least walk the docks with their nets and buckets. As anyone who has been to Ganges knows, reservations on a weekend are a must.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Doug Powers
S/V Totoro
Seattle, WA
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-29-2011
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Ganges is, of course, always a bit tough but we usually use the transient floats just beyond the Coast Guard station, right below the Thrifty's grocery store. They have added some footage and a second float a few years back and since many use these floats as a 'stop and shop' slips do open up from time to time. The most exposed float can be uncomfortable but there's no place more convenient than these.

It's also sometimes worth a look into the original fishermans' floats behind the breakwater - it's a bit busy too but sometimes an end spot will free up.

I don't think we've ever been totally skunked looking for overnight moorage at either of these two places. We have had to raft up on occasion.

Sorry, we've not been to the marina at the end of the bay, but the Seattle YC has taken up a 25% holding there as an outstation. Some details here:

Seattle Yacht Club - Ganges

Ron

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post #3 of 23 Old 12-08-2012
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

We had our sailboat at Salt Spring Marina for a month. The docks are in rough condition, a secure coded gate on the dock, the management... no so personable... Moby's is nice but overpriced but the docking fees are about half what they are at Ganges...
If you have a membership at a member sailing/yacht club... Sail Spring Sailing Club affords dock space to members of associate clubs... their web page has a list of what clubs they do this with. SSSC has excellent docks... best near/in Ganges.
I have moorage and a dingy... although i miss the convience of a slip


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post #4 of 23 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

I'll provide an update to this post. The year I made the original inquiry, we ended up trying Saltspring Marina. I can't say enough to discourage cruisers from visiting this marina. The docks were rough and some of the boats in permanent moorage were outright eyesores. We were instructed to tie up on the right side of the marina (as you're looking toward the shore from the water). Hastings House is on the hill above this spot. Miserable is an appropriate description of our 2 night stay. We always hope for peaceful evenings when we cruise. The Camaro Rock blaring from Moby's went on till the wee hours of the morning. A to the showers in the evening was scary for my wife and children (then 6 and 9) due to the trashy outflow from Moby's. This is saying something as we are street-wise city folk.

Of the two marinas that take advance reservations, absolutely choose Ganges Marina over Saltspring. There are places in downtown Ganges that play music such as the delightful Tree House Cafe and the good intentioned Oyster Catcher. Music is always done by a respectful 11pm.

Doug Powers
S/V Totoro
C&C 30 MkII
Seattle
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-24-2013
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Gee, I saw the thread title, but not which forum it was in. My first reaction was that someone wanted to go cruising in India. Cool.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

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Originally Posted by hangupndrive View Post
I'll provide an update to this post. The year I made the original inquiry, we ended up trying Saltspring Marina. I can't say enough to discourage cruisers from visiting this marina. The docks were rough and some of the boats in permanent moorage were outright eyesores. We were instructed to tie up on the right side of the marina (as you're looking toward the shore from the water). Hastings House is on the hill above this spot. Miserable is an appropriate description of our 2 night stay. We always hope for peaceful evenings when we cruise. The Camaro Rock blaring from Moby's went on till the wee hours of the morning. A to the showers in the evening was scary for my wife and children (then 6 and 9) due to the trashy outflow from Moby's. This is saying something as we are street-wise city folk.

Of the two marinas that take advance reservations, absolutely choose Ganges Marina over Saltspring. There are places in downtown Ganges that play music such as the delightful Tree House Cafe and the good intentioned Oyster Catcher. Music is always done by a respectful 11pm.

Doug Powers
S/V Totoro
C&C 30 MkII
Seattle
Here here. I'll second that. The public marina is tiny an a POS. I can't even find a harbor master. There's a sign on the office says out working in the parking lot.

The docks in front of the office are full of gnarly people and nearly boats. Actually this whole harbor sucks. It's goo to anchor in jut there is no dock space. Especially compared to Friday harbor.

People are also less friendly.
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

The besy spot is the Kannaka Dock which is part of the public dock. it fills up early in the summer especialy at weekends. The Government dock at in front is more of a break water than a dock though its good for a quick stop. very exposed to wake.
Mobyies has closed. so no worry about noise there.
Anchorage can be very busy but there is a convieneint dingy dock right in center of town.
exposed to SE
Never heard any complaints about the people.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

I found Ganges a bit disappointing generally. Coming from dog-friendly Sidney where mutts are welcome pretty much everywhere, Ganges was the polar opposite. I can't see any reason to visit the town again, although I'm sure other parts of Saltspring are nice enough. I'd probably just take the ferry next time so we had the car.

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post #9 of 23 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

My dog finds Ganges quite friendly.
You have a v nice boat for sale.
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Ganges Suggestions

Thanks
Perhaps we were just there on a particularly bad weekend, but he couldn't come into any shops, he couldn't walk through the market with us, he couldn't even sit outside at a table at the coffee shops etc. In Sidney, the only places he isn't allowed are the restaurants, and bizzarely, one of the Thrift Stores.
Oh, and too many hippies. Yeah, forgot that. Too many hippies always puts me off a place

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