Trawler Forum

Trawler Forum (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   Newbie on my way to Vancouver Island (

LakeMJim 06-11-2021 10:11 PM

Newbie on my way to Vancouver Island
Hi, I am retired and recently sold everything I own (the third time in my life doing so, what a great feeling!) and plan to move to somewhere around the Gulf Islands. My flight is booked and I'll arrive in a couple of weeks.

I am completely flexible about location and what kind of boat I will end up buying. I am looking for advice. I have lived on inland lake islands for many years, and so I am familiar with smaller boats, bowriders and such, but am as green as it gets when it comes to trawlers and any kind of coastal boating.

Two of my family members are extremely experienced sailors (like decades of experience on sailboats up to the largest navy vessels). But they must be getting tired of my questions.

They told me about Ranger tugs, I went to see one, loved it, and so am considering one, or something like it.

Normally I'd be in a huge rush and jump right in, as I tend to do, but with the scarcity of boats in general and my inexperience, I'm thinking maybe a bit of research and some test cruises near Vancouver would be a better way to go.

Anyway, that's me, I'll be asking a million annoying questions. Sorry. (Canadian eh)

Comodave 06-11-2021 10:12 PM

Welcome aboard. Good luck with your search.

JLT 06-11-2021 10:16 PM

Check out Thetis or Galiano islands. Need more detials? Ask!

LakeMJim 06-11-2021 10:21 PM


Years ago I spent a week on a liveaboard dive boat and recall Galiano. I'm looking forward to exploring it all more. I'm also looking for a water access building lot or fixer upper somewhere around there.

Probably not a great time to be buying, so I am more likely to rent. Maybe Nanaimo?

Unless someone convinces me I need a much bigger boat to live on and forget about being land based at all....

Peter B 06-11-2021 10:32 PM


Originally Posted by LakeMJim (Post 1011643)
.....Unless someone convinces me I need a much bigger boat to live on and forget about being land based at all....

Yes, there is that, and welcome to TF. One advantage in your situation is that if you buy big enough to live-aboard, you're unlikely (unable actually), to accumulate too much 'stuff', the getting rid of which to move from a house, is a real pain, as you will be well aware.

Also a boat big enough to live-aboard is often easier to drive solo than a smaller one - especially if, like the Ranger Tug, it is on a trailer. Usually they will have thrusters - or they can be retro-fitted, and launching and retrieving a boat single-handed is nigh on impossible to do safely or without dramas, compared to starting the engine, and just dropping or retrieving lines, and just heading off from a berth. Ask me how I know... :D

LakeMJim 06-11-2021 11:04 PM

One reason that I am moving to Vancouver Island is that I have family and friends there, so I could probably have some 'crew' to help me out, especially if I was doing any serious trip.

My lifestyle tends to be sell everything, feel wonderful and liberated, almost exhilarated, travel for a few tears, then find a water access lot to build on, which requires a small barge, a runabout, a tractor, an Argo, a snowmobile, a truck and 8 million tools.

So I like the idea of being forced to not accumulate all those toys for the 4th time.

Although I really do enjoy building in remote areas for some strange reason.

Conrad 06-11-2021 11:17 PM

My goodness, so much to suggest. I'm a liveaboard on a 42 Nordic Tug based in Campbell River, further up the island. I love my life. For a liveaboard I'd suggest something in the 40' minimum if you are single. 200' + if you have a partner...
Kidding on the partner front of course.
For the price of a new Ranger tug there are many used options out there that will give you more living space and perhaps better sea capabilities if you're out in the straits much.
I find the gulf islands to be quite crowded in the summer, although pretty amazing. Because of that, I'm berthed in Campbell River which gives me quick access to Desolation Sound, and parts north, all of which are much less crowded. And of course you can always head south for exploring the gulf islands if you choose.
Good luck on your quest; you have some amazing options in front of you.

LakeMJim 06-12-2021 12:00 AM

Thanks Conrad, I am really looking for a slightly used tug, of whichever brand is available.

I was hoping for something like a 2015, lowish hours. But I want to be open minded, and if I came across a much older but really well maintained boat, I'd consider it.

My dilemma is, being inexperienced, and usually alone, I might struggle with a larger boat. Or maybe not. I can dock a boat and my am told with bow thrusters even a larger boat is not too difficult.

I once tied up a 20 foot barge to cleats that were 2 feet underwater in rough and near freezing conditions during the floods of 2019 on my lake in Ontario. How much more difficult can docking be?

More remote areas appeal to me, and I would love to explore further North. Just don't think I am ready for it, unless of course I am based up there.

I think it's safe to say I would almost certainly spend more time at the dock than cruising for the first year, or two.

Russell Clifton 06-12-2021 04:21 AM

Look into doing a charter to see if a ranger tug is really something you would like to live on.

LakeMJim 06-12-2021 08:17 AM

I will definitely look into a charter.

Just offhand I would say I am pretty sure I couldn't afford a Ranger big enough that I would like to live on. Maybe for a month or two on a long cruise, but not for a year or two.

If I decided to try a liveaboard I think I'd be looking at an older, much bigger trawler.

But these are the decisions I am struggling with right now.

I can 'rough it'. I have spent the last few years living alone on an island in a construction site.

But probably due to that experience, I think I'd like someplace to live that's got all the amenities.

rsn48 06-21-2021 06:56 PM

The better boating is further north than the southern gulf Islands. Desolation Sound and the Broughtons offer more, particularly the Broughtons which are never over flowing like Desolation and the southern Gulf Islands can be.

If you are open, consider living on Texada Island which allows you to keep a boat at the Texada Boat Club (kind of a boat club for those who only want to wear jeans). You have to be a resident of Texada to join. The location of the boat club gives you access to all kinds of wonderful boating. Most of the population is on the northern section of the island.

sledge 06-21-2021 08:19 PM

I'm gonna chime in and agree with Conrad... i mean Rangers are great for certain boaters that need a very compact boat for specific reasons... but if you might live aboard long term; 35 to 40-ft range might be a lot more comfortable.
Consider adding to your looking list Nordic and American tugs in the 34 ft range. Beyond LOA, be sure to compare beam at the same time. an extra foot of beam can make a huge difference in interior space.
As for the Gulf islands, we did spend a season in the area. I know some of the docks are pretty tired, but we really enjoyed the Ganges area of Salt Spring Island. Brentwood Bay is also a neat place with a "backdoor" to Butchart Gardens.
Happy hunting!

LakeMJim 06-21-2021 09:57 PM

rsn48: I am somewhat familiar with both the San Juan and Gulf islands and I like what I have seen of them.

Part of my motivation for getting a boat that can go a lot further than the average runabout is that I want to explore the entire inside passage, with a primary goal of finding a water access property where I would like to live year round. In general I'd like a little more remote. But I'm not crazy about off grid.

Looking and reading online is fine, but nothing beats seeing the place in person, and getting to know the entire area.

Being retired, I have plenty of time to explore and I plan to extend the season as long as is possible. I was boating in January in Ontario this year, pushing through some broken up ice.

Not having to deal with ice from January to the end of April sounds like a dream to me. And a boat with a closed cabin and a heater? Luxury.

I'm hoping I can avoid most of the crowds by being away from the popular areas in high season. Desolation Sound and the Broughtons sound ideal.

Since I am trying to find a warmer climate, not a colder one, I imagine I will want to live somewhere well South of Alaska. If that means I have to put up with more traffic, so be it, it can't possibly be busier than the lake I just left (I hope).

As for a bigger boat, of course I'd be more comfortable in a 34, 37 or 42 foot boat. But I can't afford one. And I don't want to get an older one that requires maintenance or is beyond the engine warranty. I want to be on the water, not sitting in my condo waiting for the boat to get out of the shop.

As I said, I am well aware the R27 is not the perfect boat, but it suits me. I am still considering one other used boat that is somewhat bigger, but I am very reluctant to pursue it due to its significantly higher cost and likely maintenance that I am not capable of doing myself.

Spinner 06-21-2021 10:16 PM

Welcome to the best cruising grounds around!! I have had two Ranger Tugs, a 29 and a 31. While I do know people who have lived aboard both, I think they would be pretty tight. Either will handle the waters in BC.

My current boat is a 2003 Nordic Tug 42. I am staying onboard while my house is in construction. It’s really comfortable and plenty spacious for one+cat!!

firehoser75 06-22-2021 12:10 PM

Welcome to the Vancouver Island area. With the right boat (meaning mostly the needed equipment), you can boat all year round here if you desire to do so.
I agree with all of the others who say the best cruising is north of Nanaimo, although the Gulf Islands in the off season are great as well.
Speaking from personal preferences and experience, if doing extended cruising (meaning greater distances and/or longer seasons) I would want a larger boat than a Ranger 27. There are many well built boats like Nordic Tug 32/34 or American Tug 34 that would make great boats for single handing (especially if equipped with both bow and stern thrusters) as easy as possible. They would be reliable and comfortable in most weather conditions around here. Obviously for comfort, a person would "pick their travel days" when crossing the Salish Sea and some other areas. Those boats could also be used as "live aboards" for a "minimalist". :)
In these parts, live aboard moorage can be hard to find. Most marinas either don't allow it or set strict limits and in those cases vacancies are rare.
As an aside, if you are not willing or able to do any of the necessary boat maintenance yourself, it will quickly become very expensive. Labour rates are over $100 per hour. Plus, when you are on extended cruises, it is best to have some idea on how to deal with "smaller" repair and troubleshooting issues, as at times help can be hard to find.
Good luck on your dreams.

LakeMJim 06-22-2021 01:20 PM

Thanks Tom.

The liveaboard idea was a fleeting thought that I quickly abandoned. All the advice and ideas here have helped me narrow things down.

I would hope that a brand new R27 with a Yamaha outboard that has a 5 year warranty would not be a problem maintenance wise. I can certainly do oil changes and things like that, although I would probably let the pros do even that as those costs are not prohibitive.

I'm expecting my major issues will be with electrical/electronics, and I just hope the major items are reliable.

I could afford a 31 or 34 foot diesel Tug that is 5 to 10 years old, but I can't imagine they will be less maintenance than a brand new outboard.

If I get into nasty weather I believe the advantage of the R27 is a speed that would get me out of the way before it hits, hopefully. I have all the time in the world and I would happily wait for days to get better weather.

I'm really interested to learn more about the weather year 'round. My first year I will be quite cautious of course. As long as there is not 3 feet of ice, it'll be an improvement over what I am leaving.

firehoser75 06-22-2021 04:56 PM

No problem Jim, and if that is the way you see as best for you, then go for it!!
However, some additional thoughts for your consideration.
I am by no means a Ranger Tug "basher". They have a large and very supportive following and you see a fair number of them out on the water. To me, that is a good sign.
However, in my opinion, the cabin space on the R27 is very limited for year round use. The boat is at least "half cockpit" and probably better suited to sunnier warmer weather than winter or even shoulder season long distance cruising. Yes, you can canvas it in but that is still not the same as interior space. Winter weather in these parts is generally considered to be mild. We rarely get overnight freezing temps (regularly close but not freezing) and very rarely get daytime freezing temps (however, some winters are worse than others). What we do get is lots and lots and lots of rain, making for a form of "bone chilling" dampness and cold. Also we get many more days with higher winds. Winter boating requires a good source of heat, like a diesel furnace, to be comfortable. Anchoring overnight without this type (non-electric) of heat source would not be very comfortable on many (most) winter days. The boats I mentioned earlier offer larger spaces indoors, good ventilation opportunities for summer, and usually all have good heating systems installed as standard. They also have adequate outdoor space (cockpit and "sun deck") for sunny weather.

Even new boats require maintenance with costs born by the owner. Warranties cover defects and failures. By the 5-10 year mark those should have been discovered and dealt with. Generally fuel costs are higher for outboard motors than for diesels and operating at slower cruising speed (trawlers). Most Ranger "Tugnuts" plane all the time and cruise at 15 or so knots. The other larger Tugs like NT or AT cruise mostly at 7 knots but when asked can run at 15 knots. At 7 knots they burn about 2 gallons per hour. I am reasonably sure that an R27 (with outboard) cruising at 14 knots burns more than 4 gallons per hour??? From figures I can find, it appears that the Ranger 27 averages about 1.5 mpg while an NT 32 will get about 3.5 mpg or a cost increase of $12 per mile for fuel for the Ranger (estimates only). Those costs can add up, however, on average you would spend less time "getting there".

Basic maintenance on a diesel is easy to learn and not terribly time consuming. If you end up in the Nanaimo area and are looking for recommendations for a marine electrician and a good, honest mechanic who will also instruct, let me know by PM and I will send you the info.
Good luck in your decisions and in your boat hunt. :)

Spinner 06-22-2021 05:15 PM

Good points, Tom! While I am not suggesting a Ranger Tug as a year-round live aboard boat, the ones that are ordered locally almost always have Webasto diesel furnaces installed. I even had a heat outlet added to my (fully enclosed) cockpit!

As regards speed, yes, I see a lot of Ranger Tugs zooming around. I think many are the new designs with outboards, and a hull optimized for planing. The original designs, and still the R-29 and R-31, were semi displacement, not planing hulls. I and a lot of other owners operated them at tug speed (below hull speed) to optimize fuel economy :-)

For living aboard, I think your suggestions for Nordic or American Tugs are just right!

firehoser75 06-22-2021 07:20 PM

Good points also Sue, and you know much more than I do when it comes to Ranger Tugs!! Good to know about the usual install of diesel furnaces in this area. Makes sense.
However, my comments stand for our OP as he is talking about potentially buying a brand new R27 with outboard motor (300 hp seems standard from what I can see online).
For extended cruising (meaning all year round and/or longer trips or time aboard) I feel that an R27 lacks interior room due to it's narrow beam and large cockpit. Additionally the Ranger's with outboards rarely operate at hull speed and therefore fuel costs will be approx. $1200 more (for only a 100 hour season) per year compared to the slower diesel tugs (on average) we have been discussing. Granted 100 hours at higher speed gets you further. The R27 also has a fairly small water tank (only 40 gallons, and we found 80 gallons hard on our first boat) and it's range is limited due to higher fuel consumption and a relatively small fuel tank.
My intent is to have the OP consider all aspects before making his decision and maybe standing a better chance of being totally happy with his choice, whatever that turns out to be.

I am glad to hear you have made it up here (to Canada) and hope to get to meet you in person one day.
I think I confused myself with fuel costs and mixed mpg and hours. It would theoretically cost $1200 more for a 100 mile trip. If my logic is off, maybe someone could correct me?? Thks.

Jeff F 06-22-2021 10:01 PM

I've been following your threads with interest and a bit of envy. I'd love to spend more time around Vancouver Island. I'd go the big old liveaboard route, but given your position and preferences I think the Ranger 27 outboard is a great choice.

Let us know how things go!

RT Firefly 06-22-2021 10:34 PM

Welcome aboard, eh?

firehoser75 06-23-2021 10:00 AM

Jim, and others,
Sorry, I really confused myself on the fuel economy for the Yamaha. Thinking about it overnight caused some clarification, hopefully.

I think I confused myself with fuel costs and mixed mpg and hours. It would theoretically cost $1200 more for a 100 mile trip. If my logic is off, maybe someone could correct me?? Thks."
Totally incorrect as the engine should burn approx. 8 gph at just above half throttle (3500 rpm). I am not sure if that rpm is enough to get the R27 to 15 knots, but if it is then taking into account that this is double the speed of the 7 knot cruising NT using 2 gph, then that amounts to only a doubling of fuel cost (for the same distance), so no where near as bad as I earlier suggested. :) My bad!!!
At the time I thought $1200 extra for a 100 mile trip sounded crazy. :)

LakeMJim 06-23-2021 12:43 PM

Tom, Thanks for all the advice, and I am a little concerned I might go stir crazy in a small cabin if forced inside by weather for a week or so. But my plans, which may not turn out to be possible, are to make frequent stops and get off and stretch my legs. For the several hundred thousand dollars I would spend on a much bigger, new trawler/tug, I can afford a LOT of $99 motel rooms along the way.

I have walked around both the R29 and R31 and they seemed plenty roomy for me, but I have yet to test out the R27, which I will do in the next few weeks.

Despite being gas powered, the R27 has a webasto diesel furnace and heat. Separate 5 gal diesel tank.

Water: More would be great, but if 80 gallons for 2 was manageable, 40 for one should be doable as well. Living on an island for years proved I can easily get by with one 20L jug of drinking/cooking water per week. I'm thinking I'd carry one or two of those with me.

MPG: I have been watching 'channel surfing's videos on youtube, and although a little worrisome (especially since I will be buying gas in Canada more often than in the USA, unless I find it worthwhile to take a little trip to fill up...) the numbers weren't too bad. It was quite interesting the smallish (1mpg IIRC) difference between 7 knots and 25.

I tell myself I will be going 7, but more experienced cruisers tell me I won't do that for too long. The really inefficient speed for the R27 seems to be from 8 to 15 or so.

As for costs of fuel, well, I can afford it, but my Scottish heritage means I won't enjoy it. I won't be going hungry though.

I am leaving Toronto tomorrow, driving instead of flying, and should be in Vancouver in a week or so. Unfortunately I can't go via the USA, even though I have both shots. I've always wanted to see Mt Rushmore, the Dakotas, Yellowstone etc. Shame.

My friend in VCR is taking me for a 1 week sail around the area the second week of July. I'll see how much I like sharing a 27 ft sailboat for a week. Should be a good test.

rsn48 06-23-2021 01:08 PM

The problem with tugs and outboards can be a problem - where to store the dinghy? Having a dinghy on board is quite important in our neck of the woods. Your dinghy is your main transportation once at anchor.

Here is a fun video of a concert in Desolation 2019, notice all the dinghies at show:

Northern Spy 06-23-2021 01:17 PM

Desolation Sound isn't so desolate on the August long weekend.

LakeMJim 06-23-2021 03:46 PM

As a long time kayaker I expect I will find putting a kayak in the water a lot easier than a dinghy which needs to have a motor attached.

No offense, but I would be running in the opposite direction of crowds of people in dinghys.

And I really can't imagine making my boat purchase decision based upon if it's easy to get a dinghy onboard. If it saves me $200k, I think I'll get an inflatable.

Spinner 06-23-2021 11:58 PM

If you are calculating water usage, keep in mind that some boat heads are plumbed for fresh water flushing, not salt water. There are some real advantages to fresh water heads - much less odor!

MVDarlin 06-25-2021 12:50 PM

Check out Tofino on the West Side of Vancouver Island.. Also. Recommend something bigger than a Ranger for live aboard. Nordic / American Tugs are nice and a 40 ft trawler is a good choice
Twin diesel

BCK 06-25-2021 04:22 PM

A small boat, to begin with, may be a wise choice. There's a lot to learn about boating out here on the chuck...currents, tides, navigation, commercial traffic, Georgia Strait! We started with a 14' aluminum, then a 18.5' Double Eagle, to a 25' Albin, and now a 34' CHB trawler (my avatar pic). We have LOVED each boat and suited us at the time but did outgrow the earlier ones as we are a family of 5! Moorage is very hard to find and there are usually waiting lists, and someone else mentioned also there are restrictions on liveaboards. Check out CHB's...they are getting older now, but if you're handy, there are some good deals!

thataway 06-25-2021 07:33 PM

I will give you my opinion of the Ranger "tug". I have followed the line since the 1970's and original 21 displacement small cabin, large cockpit boat was built. I have demoed several models for dealers showing the boats to potential customers and considered buying one.

The current boats, except the 30/31 are outboard powered. They are deep V and not efficient hulls. Either you want to run them at 5 to 6 knots or over 17 knots. They don't do well at semi displacement speeds.

They have a lot of "bling"--beautiful interiors. This appeals to a certain group of people. But try and repair systems. The access may be difficult, and one has to be careful not to damage the surfaces. My experience with the current outboard boat is mostly related to a 23' (I believe closer to the current 27) with a friend I have cruised along side in several trips. The boat runs well, but does use a lot of fuel when on a plane. My comparable sized boat uses a 150 hp to achieve the same speeds that a 300 hp is necessary to achieve on the Ranger tug. The fuel use is about 2x at planing speeds.

Spend some time living with the layout--more than just a day's outing use if possible. Are you happy with the V berth bunk mattress/comfort? Will you use other features of the forward cabin? How about the head and shower. The location, headroom, use of shower?

When I was considering purchase of a Ranger, it would have been the diesel 27. But looking at the access to the engine, gave me pause. I also wondered about the space given to the "coffin berth" under the Dinette table.

I agree with those, if you want a displacement or semi displacement boat, there are a number of alternatives, which are gong to cost a lot more.

I have cruised that area for 6 summers, including 4 trips on the Inland passage when I had my Cal 46 moored at Sequim's John Wayne Marina for the winters.

Good luck on the search and living on the Island, in some of the best cruising grounds in the entire World.

JustBob 06-25-2021 07:39 PM

Along the lines (& price) of a Ranger, why not look at Cutwater? Big following in the PNW. Some friends of mine just picked up a fairly new and lightly used one, well equipped, for $200k US.

REO 06-26-2021 08:34 AM

Are you planning to live aboard in Washington and travel to Canada in the summer, or spend most of the year in Canada? I ask that because there are tax and cruising permit issues that can come as a surprise. Best to research this before making a decision on where you will purchase a boat and where it will be kept. We were surprised that both Washington state and BC Canada have enforcement folks walking the docks looking for violators.

Herdboss 06-26-2021 02:29 PM

Did the same thing about 8 months ago Jim. From back in Alberta I found the whole concept of buying a boat confusing. So many brands, models, etc that I was constantly changing my mind. What I did was write down what I wanted from a boat rather than what boat I wanted and turned that list over to a broker. The broker in turn made some suggestions - a big one was how to accommodate my large dog who was going to be my #1. I wanted a fly bridge but obviously the dog was not going to be able to climb a ladder to get there. Settled on a 41' Canoe Cove and couldn't happier. It is important to get a good broker - one who will find you a 'best fit' boat rather than just a boat, even if that means a private sale and not getting a commission. If you're interested, I'll forward my brokers number.

firehoser75 06-26-2021 03:08 PM

I agree with Herdboss. Sometimes it is best to re-evaluate based on wants and needs.
I suggest making lists. What features or attributes are MUST HAVES, what are nice to have, and also importantly, what DO NOT WANT.
These lists are built after carefully considering how you are planning on using your boat. Eg.. alone or with regular guests. Short trips both in terms of distance and time or?? Year round or summer only? Speed important or not? Fuel cost important or not (often fuel costs actually work out to be a small cost compared to the overall costs of boat ownership)? You get the idea.
Then once you have a very good idea of what features are must haves and don't want, you can examine what you think right now to see if it fits well, or what other brands/models may work better. Obviously you have a budget, but purchasing cost turns out to sometimes not be as important as your overall comfort and use coupled with ongoing operating and maintenance costs. Also when examining a boat, also consider access for repair and especially maintenance. Some boats are almost "horror" shows when it comes to that.

As far as Cutwater goes, I have heard some negative things, so I advise you (if considering them) to take a careful look and investigate a bit prior to deciding one way or the other. Probably holds true with most boats. :)

R lucky 06-26-2021 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by Conrad (Post 1011667)
200' + if you have a partner...

So, you've met my partner... :D

One suggestion is to check out any recent edition of the Powerboat Guide. Here's a link with lots of choices (Sometimes it can also be found in libraries.)

I often recommended this book as a broker to clients who were in the early stages of fleshing out their needs and wants vs. what was available, most practical, affordable, etc. Once you've made some of these decisions you can then find a broker and give them specific info on what you're looking for. They may even be of assistence in finding waterfront land for you.

Good luck!

MRRiley 06-30-2021 07:39 AM

Here's one in Squim from the classifieds that is relatively low cost, local, looks Bristol, and would be practically the least loss of anything so far. Maybe give it some thought?

PS How's the move going?

Northern Spy 06-30-2021 08:54 AM


Originally Posted by REO (Post 1015553)
Are you planning to live aboard in Washington and travel to Canada in the summer, or spend most of the year in Canada? I ask that because there are tax and cruising permit issues that can come as a surprise. Best to research this before making a decision on where you will purchase a boat and where it will be kept. We were surprised that both Washington state and BC Canada have enforcement folks walking the docks looking for violators.

The original poster is from Ontario, Canada. Not an issue to have a boat in BC.

soin2la 06-30-2021 12:51 PM

Reading through, almost every sentence and especially post 13, I think of Sayward.

North, away from crowds, cheap dirt rentals, near enough to Campbell River and the rest of the island is exploreable by road, albeit some long days. Live in a small apartment or rented trailer while you get to know the locals, who will be most helpful getting you acclimatized. I know a dozen who would immediately embrace you and your chosen lifestyle. Small adequate “marina.” Down side? Johnstone Strait winds, either none or big.

I see no real disadvantage to the Ranger, in today’s market. Get one, figure out how it suits or doesn’t and move up in a year…or not. Those things will always draw fans.

I didn’t see a budget, so…

Or cruise this site for some really interesting alternatives, which might get you thinking.

LakeMJim 07-02-2021 09:59 AM

Lots more good advice! and an update
Thanks everyone for all the advice, I am making some progress, sort of.

First, I spent a week driving across Canada and am now in Vancouver, so I can more easily see actual boats for sale in person.

I'll be test driving a Ranger in a week or two, as soon as I sort out a place to live (that's a whole other big decision process).

One thing I have been doing is calling marinas all over to get on waiting lists and see if they have any slips available, plus costs etc. Not making much headway there...that could be a big deciding factor of where I end up, which is looking more like Nanaimo or North of there, despite the fact I have a family member with a condo I can rent in Victoria, which would be a nice situation. IF I could get a slip in that area.

I was really hoping I would get to see the Emma B which was for sale, but unfortunately for me it has sold. It was probably about perfect for my needs, although the potential maintenance issues scared me a little. I did talk to both the former owner and the broker, but I just couldn't pull the trigger without seeing the boat in person, and I didn't make it in time. I did get my second Vax though, which was a big reason for my delay getting out here.

One thing I will clarify, I can see myself doing a lot of cruising the first year, but I am really very interested in finding a waterfront lot to build a home on (I have done it before, I like the challenge).

So if I find that lot or fixer upper, I would be spending a lot more time on land, while you guys anchor in front of me and wave as I slave away.

That's just one more reason i was thinking a smaller boat might be more suitable. I won't be full time cruising forever. And reliability is key, as I will be using the boat as my transportation to get supplies (I mean groceries, tools etc., not barge loads of lumber).

So the saga continues, but I am learning a lot and have really narrowed my focus. Looking forward to seeing a testing out a few boats in person in the very near future.

I'll be sailing around the Gulf islands this weekend on a friend's old sailboat. I think it will convince me I need new, and bigger.

MRRiley 07-02-2021 08:16 PM

Reminds me of a saying I've heard repeated about the "Great Loop"; "go small and go now!"

Congrats on making your way west, best wishes on putting together your program!

REO 07-03-2021 10:19 AM

We lived in Sidney , just north of Victoria for several years. Van Isle marina and the city marina in Sidney are great. Most likely both have a waiting list. There was a scheme to build a dry marina near the town where boats could be stored and launched as needed. That could be an option until you get everything fixed up. I don't know if that facility was ever built.

LakeMJim 07-03-2021 10:37 AM

Port Sidney
Reo: Port Sidney would be perfect, as I could rent my nephew's condo nearby.

I have been in touch with the marinas there and am on a few wait lists. Van Isla did mention the possibility of having the boat hauled out, which has some advantages and disadvantages of course.

It may or may not suit my might also end up being my only option the way things are going.

Which leads me to consider buying a trailer for whichever boat I end up with, and hauling it out myself and storing it somewhere.

Definitely not my preference, but unless I have some success in the next 6 months finding a slip, it might be my only option.

Later next week I will be exploring Nanaimo and North by car, and will see if I think I like it there and if I can find a slip somewhere.

Nothing is easy!

soin2la 07-03-2021 11:07 AM


Originally Posted by REO (Post 1017620)
We lived in Sidney , just north of Victoria for several years. Van Isle marina and the city marina in Sidney are great. Most likely both have a waiting list. There was a scheme to build a dry marina near the town where boats could be stored and launched as needed. That could be an option until you get everything fixed up. I don't know if that facility was ever built.

There are a number of marinas in the Sidney, North Saanich area, including the red rail in Tsehum harbour.

VanIsle has a "yacht park" on the hard and Port Sidney is owned by the Mill Bay Marine Group, not the Town of Sidney.

REO 07-03-2021 02:35 PM

Yacht Park. What a great name.
Seriously, Sidney is a beautiful small town. Well worth considering. Maybe you will have a better chance of getting a slip at Vanisle if you are in their yacht park. We kept our boat at Vanisle and they have good facilities for live aboards.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012