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Old 07-23-2019, 11:10 AM   #1
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Moorage Options on Sunshine Coast, BC

Hi folks,

Looking at retiring to Sunshine Coast in BC. One issue we have encountered in that Moorage for our 40’ LOA boat seems virtually non-existent, so unless we buy a house with its own sheltered dock the waiting lists seems 10 years+ between Gibsons and Pender Harbour. Anyone have any experience or ideas for getting moorage there?

Cheers
Bill
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:36 PM   #2
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Have you actually talked to the marinas? I mean used the phone and asked.
Often you will get the usual 'years' but untill someone says they want a spot that's all they can do. I've seen people get in in short order and others wait for long periods depending upon who leaves.
Put your name on the waiting lists?

Gibsons Marina is tight yet people get in. There is also Hyak Marine gas dock also run by Gibsons Marina, Smitty's Marina, plus the Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority docks.

Another marina is Port Stalashen Marina. They often have moorage. The marina entrance must be done at at least a mid tide as it dries sometimes. Once in the depth is OK for most vessels in your size interest. The entrance is also governed by the weather as it opens directly onto Georgia Strait which can be very rough. Good lines, the rubber snubbers and lot of them is needed in winter. However it can also lead to a move to the Gibsons marina as it is managed by G.M.

Sechelt itself has two marinas, Porpoise Bay marina and Lighthouse Marina. THe catch is you must enter and leave through Skookumchuck Narrows. NOt hard but you MUST time it as the currents are very strong and can be dangerous if ignored.

Secret Cove Marina and Buccaneer Marina are in Secret Cove. The harbour is good although you need to take care at the entrance, it's deep, just tight, and inside there are drying flats and rocks. Well Charted.

Next is Pender Harbour with several marinas. Madeira Park is a government dock but they do have some permanent spaces. I'll leave you to google them and the marinas in P.H. as there are a few.


Unless just plain dumb lucky you won't likely just walk into a spot. You must persist starting now. Once here you likely will be able to move the boat much more easily. You must phone and if you are here visiting then go see them.
Part of the trouble is there are lots of people doing the same but it's the ones who continue to check and go see them who will get the attention.
And be nice, not suckup, no matter how frustrating as I've known a couple who started doing otherwise and they blew it. Moorage is tight.

Where are you now? When we moved here, Gibsons, moorage was tighter than now. It took us a few years of visits to ensure we didn't get forgotten about. Moorage determined when we moved from elsewhere and pulled the work plug. Even so if you are in Vancouver area now you could approach and get on the list leaving the boat in Vanc. area untill a slip is available.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas.

Yes we did actually ask politely in person at Gibsons, Sechelt, and Secret Cove and left messages at Pender Harbour. Gibson’s folks actually laughed and said 25 years and not to bother with the wait list! Spoke with Secret Cove marina who said to email them a request. I did to both a week ago - no response yet. Sechelt said 10 years wait list! There may be options at Madeira Park, but as there is currently a ban on building new docks there they said it would take a while. Currently at Point Roberts, and so far the impression has been its a closed shop, and depends who you know to get a place rather than get on an official list. :-(

Just wondering how others approached the problem.

Bill
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:00 PM   #4
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I was on the list for 1.5 years before I got one. A waiting list is just that. Lots of people get on the list with the idea of having a boat. When the phone calls start, the list often shrinks quickly.

I bought my boat because my name came up. I paid immediately for the slip even though I didn't have a boat, allowed them to sub let it, and agreed to having a boat in the slip within a couple of months.

Never got around to getting a bigger slip...
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:02 PM   #5
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Of course, if you are a gambling man, stop by the whafingers with a bottle of Oban, or something similar...
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:57 PM   #6
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If you simply go by the 25 years or 10 years line you will never get anywhere, not just here.

Ask if there is a waiting list.

Northern Spy is exactly right about shrinkage once the calls start.

If you don't get on the list you will not get anywhere. Be prepare to pay a deposit though at some marinas as it is one means of them cutting down on waiting lists to the people who are serious. If you take an offered slip that deposit will be applied to the moorage.

Be accurate about overall boat length, and think about the length you really need.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:29 AM   #7
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If you're retired, maybe somewhere close until a spot opens. Like Vancouver Island away from the big populations. I docked one winter in Nanaimo and had no problem finding a berth for an 83' boat.


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Old 07-26-2019, 11:09 AM   #8
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I think the writing is on the wall so to speak, move to Vancouver Island in the Qualicum Beach area or north and moor your boat at the Deep Bay marina and join the little yacht club there - has decent reciprocals. Then you will be but a short cruise to all the good stuff, Jarvis Inlet et. al., Desolation, Broughtons, and Southern panhandle Alaska.

And you will love living on the Island, promise.

PS: We lived in Deep Cove and I like it here better, not the long depressing gray skies that make you think of moving to Manitoba in the winter - at least there, even though it might be - 100 C in the winter, the sky is sunny. When people asked me about living in Deep Cove, I'd say "for 6 months" its probably one of the best places to live on the planet, the other 6 months, not so much." And Honey's has shrunk the size of their donuts, I mean - whats the point of living.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for those extra thoughts.

Tending to agree, think the moorage issue up there is not going away anytime soon. I don't mind being persistent but want to use our boat not commute an hour or have to take a ferry to use it for a few years. Having a dock would be solution but that means Secret Cove, Pender or further north and lots of $.

Vancouver Island seems to have much more options. We do like Qualicum too and Brentwood Bay area too.

Cheers
Bill
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