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Bajabuzz 09-17-2019 10:22 AM

Need advise on PNW marinas and contractors
Hi all, we are considering leaving the charter company we are with and that would require us to give up our 60’ slip in Anacortes.
We know that there are no 60’ slip available here but was wondering if anyone has researched additional locations including Canada.

We live near San Luis Obispo Ca and have a direct flight to Seattle.

We did talk to Van Isle Marina in Sidney, and they don’t have a slip but do have dry storage that includes 12 free launch and retrieve per year. Is there a similar situation locally? And yes I will be calling around but also looking for input.

Our plan is to go to Alaska next year so we don’t really need a slip at this time as long as we can get work done on the hard.

So that brings up the next part of the equation. We have a list of repairs to get done before the Alaska trip. This includes new isinglass on FB, new canvas for FB cover, having boat polished, refinishing some interior woodwork, engine services, and lots of little things that are hard for me to get to because I live far away.

Any recommendations or ideas would be appreciated!

Thank you,


ksanders 09-17-2019 10:35 AM

North Harbor Diesel is a very good general boat yard, with a good dry storage facility.

I have not been there but in 2011/2012 I had a extensive refit, re-power done there and found them to be very professional, with a wide skill set available in house.

gsholz 09-17-2019 11:48 AM

Check out Port Sidney Marina just south of Van Isle. Last time I checked they had a few 60’ slips available

Van Isle and nearby Canoe Cove have most marine services. Port Sidney is more of a resort marina. Getting work scheduled during fall/winter should be easy. During the spring rush not so much.

In terms of access, all three marinas are very close to the Victoria international airport.

PS: Note that WA use tax may be due if your boat leaves charter service and you stay in WA.

Bajabuzz 09-17-2019 01:21 PM

kSanders and gsholz Thanks for your insight. North Harbor Diesel is right next to us so I will check with them.

We did do the deferred sales tax so we will have to pay the piper so to speak when we leave charter fleet. It is a devalued repay but don’t know the depreciation schedule right now.

Will also have to look into getting from Seattle to Sidney.

Spinner 09-17-2019 02:53 PM

Seattle to Sidney:

Drive (or take shuttle) to Anacortes, take ferry to Sidney.

Drive to Tswassen ferry terminal not far over the border in BC, take BC ferry to Vancouver Island, drive short distance to Sidney.

Take Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria, rent a car or take bus to Sidney.

Take seaplane from Seattle to Victoria Harbor, etc

Direct seaplane flight to Sidney??

dhays 09-17-2019 03:04 PM

Not sure of what commercial flights go into Victoria Intl, but part of that airport is in Sidney.

Also, there are some airtaxi services which may take you to there from Seatac or Boiing field.

If money isn't an issue, Kenmore Air will fly a seaplane anywhere you want.

Bajabuzz 09-17-2019 07:33 PM

Thanks guys!

Out on the boat now so won’t get much research done until I get back to Anacortes on Saturday.

Sure has been raining a lot!

IRENE 09-17-2019 11:12 PM

Raven Marine
I will be calling Raven Marine in Sidney for our next “yard” period. I have not done business with them, but I have seen some of their work.

Best Wishes

av8r 09-18-2019 12:31 AM

Alaska Air flies into Sidney, labeled Victoria, CYYJ. 10 minute taxi ride to Port of Sidney Marina or VanIsle, 20 min to Canoe Cove. Very easy.

nwboater 09-18-2019 11:29 AM

Need advise on PNW marinas and contractors
We are in Port Sidney as I write...the marina is packed solid with big boats. Have you looked into Campbell River? We spent several days there having repairs made by Ocean Pacific Marine and I was impressed by their skills (ABYC certified), courtesy and labor rates. And their yard and marine store is adjacent to Discovery Harbour Marina which provides moorage for many large yachts.

rsn48 09-18-2019 01:38 PM

So my two cents and I'm about to call Campbell River for you after getting off the phone calling Ladysmith marina for you. You are going to need to prepare to think outside the box and live outside the box, so to speak. Most Marinas in the Pacific North West and coastal BC are older so the number of larger slips is minimal. And most are not only full but have waiting lists. Where I moor my boat in Comox has an extensive waiting list and 10 % of the patrons are from Alberta, so what you are proposing about flying in to stay on your boat is being done on Vancouver Island more than you think.

So places like Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River are the first marina locations that come to mind when folks start searching, whether from Vancouver or Seattle or Tim Buck Two. And as you can guess they are difficult to get into and more difficult as your boat grows in length. However I got into a marina that was difficult to get into, my first piece of advise is if you find a location, book it up now and pay for time you aren't there, maybe they can sublet. My boat is on the hard so I have been subletting for the last year while my refits are completed.

So much to my surprise I called Campbell River Marina at 1 250 287-2614 and the DO have a spot. You will pay winter seasonal and recreational seasonal, kind of like how many RV parks work (translation: a way to get more money out of you). Campbell River is a jump off for Desolation Sound, the Broughton's and Alaska so it is packed in the summer. The town has good services and trades that can work on your boat.

The other one is Ladysmith (past home of Pamela, they don't have a spot available but I would call them, they will at the end of October but it is only available for a couple of months, but it sounds like he would try and work you in after that. Ladysmith has good services and trades and is a jumping off point for the Gulph Islands.

And I couldn't find a number for Deep Bay so I might stop by in person in a few days and see what is there.

JustBob 09-18-2019 07:49 PM

Why not Shilshoe or Elliott Bay in Seattle. Easy to get to for you, easy to have vendors come work on your boat?

On the sales tax, obviously you need a very sharp CPA, but if your boat say went to Canada before "going out of charter" I wonder if you could avoid paying? I know several people that avoided paying WA sales tax by keeping their boats in Canada. (I paid, because I wanted to have the boat close to our home base.)

I would certainly look into it since you are open to locating there anyway.

Spinner 09-18-2019 08:30 PM

Shilshole is very difficult to get into,check their waiting list. Elliott Bay is a little easier, depending on the size of the boat. EBM is the most expensive marina in Seattle, though it’s very nice.

Good luck!

Bajabuzz 09-19-2019 09:00 PM

Hey all, thank you for checking into this stuff for me.
I called North Harbor Diesel today and they have a waiting list to get into the yard.
I spoke to Van Isle Marina last week and they don’t have any slips but do have room in their yard so the boat could go on the hard and then just launch for our spring trip and shakedown and put back in yard and launch again before our trip to AK.
I will definitely talk to my CPA to find out about sales tax. If that is possible then that makes Canada the obvious choice. We have not given notice that we will not be in the fleet next year. This is a plan we just came up with on our current cruise.

Bajabuzz 09-20-2019 12:11 PM

Anyone have personal experience with Van Isle marine as far as repair work on your vessel?

This location seems to work best as far as travel goes and I have a nephew who lives in Sidney who could drop in on the boat when needed.

Thank you everyone for your help!

Greg S 09-22-2019 02:46 AM


Originally Posted by Bajabuzz (Post 804060)
Anyone have personal experience with Van Isle marine as far as repair work on your vessel?

This location seems to work best as far as travel goes and I have a nephew who lives in Sidney who could drop in on the boat when needed.

Thank you everyone for your help!

Not sure they do a lot of work themselves. Right next door is Philbrooks. Now, THEY do top quality repair work!
On Van Isle website, the homepage photo from shore looking across their parking lot and docks. The big yellow building on the right, and the long single dock going out along the breakwater is Philbrooks. In my humble opinion, you can't get better quality repair work. I seem to recall they don't do engine work themselves (could be wrong on that), couple hundred yards down the road is Gartside. They are a good mechanical shop to deal with.

My opinion only.

Greg S 09-22-2019 02:50 AM

PS. Pretty sure they both do work in Van Isle's dry storage yard.

Bajabuzz 09-22-2019 09:03 AM

Thank you!

Room Seven 09-23-2019 07:59 PM

I can vouch for La Conner Maritime Services in La Conner WA, a short hop from Anacortes. Had extensive work done on my 39' Universal Sedan trawler in 2012 before taking her to Alaska for five years, then brought her back to the same yard for another long list over the winter of 2017-18. They do first-class work and have an on-site Travel Lift and secured fenced storage.

You'd need to double check, but I believe as long as their shop is doing work on your boat there is no storage charge per se.


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