SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Reaction score
11
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I just started taking a sailing class and have only 2 days on the water in English Bay here in Vancouver. I've found that I've got a fairly good grasp of the physics of handling a small boat but admit the terminology is still a challenge for me (I've never been good at second languages).

I'm a recent arrival to Vancouver and looking to find a small, affordable boat and keep it somewhere nearby (Bowen Island is my current fantasy), with the hope of eventually going further and living aboard if I can find a hospitable place (legally-liveaboard-wise rather than necessarily environmentally) in the Gulf Islands.

I've had a fascination with sailing since I was young, spent much time on the water in the lakes in the Sierra Nevada in my native California, and want to set some big goals for the next few years: get a small boat, upgrade it to a larger one (maybe 35' or so), live aboard, sail the west coast AK-CA a few times, then try to make it across an ocean or 3.

Looking for some encouraging words (so far all my non-sailing friends are quite the nay-sayers), especially from local liveaboard sailors and those who spend their time in the colder climates and those who live simple and cheap.

Eager to answer questions about my plans to be better quizzed on what I've considered and what I still need to consider about all these goals and dreams.

Thanks!
 

Senior Member
Joined
19,468 Posts
Reaction score
3,881
Welcome!

Sounds like you've got a bit of a 'plan' that is workable.. so often we get people posting here that they've always dreamed of sailing, want to learn, buy a perfect blue water boat (for under $10K) and start a circumnavigation by the capes in 4 or 5 weeks' time :rolleyes: ;)

Getting a manageable seaworthy boat for cruising the BC coast is actually easier than ever, boats from the 70s/80s, most/many in good condition, can be had for well under $10,000 up to as much as 30 feet or more. Boats now 30 years old and over are selling for prices that often belie the equipment on board (in your favour, not the seller's) and/or the condition they are in. Still need to keep your eyes open and check them out, but they are out there.

BC is an ideal learning ground.. enough weather/semi open water to earn your stripes, and probably unparalleled numbers of anchorages, marinas, parks that make the destinations such valuable bonuses to the actual sailing you'll encounter.

Best of luck in your endeavours... let me know if you want a second pair of eyes for that first boat you're considering...
 

SailNet Captain of the Month
Joined
6,082 Posts
Reaction score
4,469
Welcome Mark, I'm not in your neighbourhood, but I am a "cold water cruiser (Great Lakes for now). I have sailed out of Vancouver. You have a wonderful cruising ground all around you.

Ignore the naysayers. Your plan is far from crazy. Go at your own pace. Learn, and grow your skills and your boat. As Faster says, there are lots of good boats to be had in the 30' range, and they won't cost you a Vancouver mortgage to get them ;).

If you're interested in frugal sailing and cruising you should check out the http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gener...5073-voyaging-$500-per-month.html#post2662050 thread. It's been going on for a long time, and most questions have been asked, and answered over and over, but there is always room new perspectives. You'll find there is a vast resource of experience here on SN. If you can ask a specific question, you'll usually get good responses.
 

Registered
Joined
9,377 Posts
Reaction score
1,365
Welcome to Canada, eh.

The West Coast is a great place to learn to sail. Navigation can be a bit tough with lots of rocks that are charted but not marked. The tides and currents can be challenging, but you can also take advantage of them. Anyone can sail in big winds, the light winds of summer will really teach you how to sail.

Your plan is quite doable. You might also try some racing; there is a fairly active sailing community with everything from round the buoys to around Vancouver Island, which goes this June.

The biggest issue to finding moorage.

Lessons are great start, especially coastal navigation. Make sure you get your Pleasure Craft Operator's card and your Restricted Operator's Certificate (M) - the latter is your VHF license.

The BC coast is probably the most spectacular sailing I know.
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Reaction score
11
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the encouragement and welcome.

A couple specific questions since there are some BC sailors responding here:

- I've budgeted about $5k CAD for something in the 19'-25' range that would be 'livable' (eg, could connect to electrical, has a functional head, and would be generally seaworthy for coastal sailing in this area with little additional investment). Sound reasonable?

- Other than Craigslist and this and other similar sailor fora, any tips on places to look?

- I'm budgeting about $350/mo for moorage at a liveaboard-friendly marina that's a 1-2-hop ferry from either Vic, Van or Nanaimo (but not on the actual mainland or Van Island) inclusive of liveaboard fees (but not necessarily hydro or disposal fees). Am I being realistic? Anyone using such a marina and willing to give me some deets on your fees and budgets?

- Anyone need some short-trip crew to help be get some experience?

I'm sure I'll rattle off more questions in the appropriate sections as I think them up.

thanks!!
 

Senior Member
Joined
19,468 Posts
Reaction score
3,881
Thanks for the encouragement and welcome.

A couple specific questions since there are some BC sailors responding here:

- I've budgeted about $5k CAD for something in the 19'-25' range that would be 'livable' (eg, could connect to electrical, has a functional head, and would be generally seaworthy for coastal sailing in this area with little additional investment). Sound reasonable?
Possible, although 'liveable' under 25 feet will debated by many. The problem is mainly that few 25 footers in that price range will have serious headroom.. so it will depend on how tall you are and what you yourself consider to be 'liveable'.

- Other than Craigslist and this and other similar sailor fora, any tips on places to look?
CL is a good place to watch, Kijiji another. "Used Vancouver" is a possible as well. Keep in mind that most posted prices are rather negotiable, but also consider that if you find the 'right one' a bit above budget it may be worth the difference in the end.

I'm budgeting about $350/mo for moorage at a liveaboard-friendly marina that's a 1-2-hop ferry from either Vic, Van or Nanaimo (but not on the actual mainland or Van Island) inclusive of liveaboard fees (but not necessarily hydro or disposal fees). Am I being realistic? Anyone using such a marina and willing to give me some deets on your fees and budgets?
This will, of course, depend to a degree on what length OA you settle on. You may have more luck with liveaboard friendly marinas out of urban areas, and I think the 'most likely' on your list would be Bowen Island's Union Steamship marina; but I'm not certain of their fees. As a reference, we pay just over $350/mo for non-liveaboard in the city, for a 35 footer

Anyone need some short-trip crew to help be get some experience?
Don't need anyone, but might give you a call some day just for a daysail...;)
 

Senior Member
Joined
19,468 Posts
Reaction score
3,881
I will be in false creek this spring for a few days over from the island hopefully you can come by for cocktails in the cockpit
Bill
SV Rangatira
Bill.. When and where??
 

Senior Member
Joined
19,468 Posts
Reaction score
3,881
Marina or anchoring off? I think the better transient slips are in the False Creek Fishermans' Wharves, where we are.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top