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Old 11-28-2022, 07:33 PM   #1
City: Gibsons
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 8
New member from BC

Hi everyone -- new to the forum and have been really enjoying the wealth of information on here.

I live in Gibsons, BC in Canada and have 25+ years of sailing experience (starting with laser 4.7 as a kid up to several years of crewing on Melges 32s and Swan 45s in New England). We currently have a an old Catalina 27 sailboat, but my wife is keen to switch to power (despite my best efforts!), so we're looking to make the move to a trawler this year.

Our ultimate goal is to spend 4-6 weeks each summer puttering around Desolation Sound (right on our doorstep) and the Gulf Islands, as well as a few impromptu trips around Howe Sound/to Vancouver Island through the shoulder seasons. Very impressed with Helmsman Trawlers so far, and have found this forum to be extremely helpful in terms of asking myself the right questions as we narrow down our search.

Thanks all,
John Cooney
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:43 PM   #2
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City: Slicker?
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Welcome aboard eh? Listen to the missus. Dump the sails and enjoy yourselves. Life's too short to freeze your privates in an open cockpit or live in a cave.
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:46 PM   #3
City: Gibsons
Join Date: Nov 2022
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Thanks RTF!

If I want to spend time afloat, I'll have to appease her (I may hide a laser/Hobie 16 down the end of the garden for when I miss the feeling of soggy hiking shorts and frostbitten fingers!)
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:58 PM   #4
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:58 PM   #5
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Secure moorage first!
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Old 11-28-2022, 10:54 PM   #6
City: Gibsons
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Hi Northern Spy - we luckily have moorage up in Pender Harbour (moorage was assumable with our current boat...and half of the appeal in buying it). As I'm sure you know, it's a huge challenge on the Coast. Most marinas between Gibsons and Egmont have 5-10 year waitlists. Not sure if the Powell Riveria ( ) is any different?

Current spot can apparently accommodate up to 40', but i think anything over ~35' would be pushing it!
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:12 PM   #7
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Make the switch to the Dark Side! Remember, sailboats are really power boats with a big stick anyway!
Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:54 PM   #8
City: Gibsons
Join Date: Nov 2022
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Thanks Slowgoesit -- my wife will happily swap the big stick and bed sheets for a few creature comforts!
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:32 AM   #9
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I love motorboating but also sailing.
I hang a Walkerby 10 in the davits and I have a lot of fun with that, it sails fine!


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Old 11-29-2022, 12:38 AM   #10
City: Gibsons
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Pascall, hello - I foresee something similar, perfect for exploring all of the little coves and inlets in our neck of the woods!
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:11 AM   #11
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I want to learn to sail, but my plan is a 10' sailing dinghy to take along.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:54 PM   #12
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John, there's at least one TF member here from Gibson's Landing, C Lectric. Maybe he will give you a shout.
Ken on Hatt Trick
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:09 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard. And bring your Laser along. I had a rack built to carry my Laser, which encouraged our then early teen son to come along for another few years. I still sail it regularly, so can get a wet bum and cold fingers whenever I want.
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:40 PM   #14
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Welcome Aboard, Eh.

We get a lot of converts to the dark side. A real bed, genny, hot water, heated cockpit (saloon) etc. Lots to be said for a trawler.

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Old 11-30-2022, 07:07 PM   #15
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City: Gibsons, B.C., Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: Palmer 32'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,109
Son of Marvin Cooney by any chance? Good day to you.

I suspect you know this but Moorage is tight. The 3 marinas are full. However go talk to them. Do not let nay sayers put you off. THe smaller boats have a better chance than the larger boats. The 33 Helmsman would likely do better than a larger boat. We have a number of the Rangers, 25, 27 and 29.

There is also Port Stalishan at Field Rd. The boat needs to be well secured as it is wide open to Georgia Straight and the winds. Extra lines and the black rubber snubbers. The entrance is shallow so you must pay attention to the tides for egress/entry. However I have known a couple of folk who went there, maintained their waiting list position by checking every few months and eventually they got a slip.

Several of our Y.C. members , GYC, have had to put the boat in Pender Hbr.
Some will get winter moorage and then hang the boat for the summer on a mooring ball.

Anyways, go in and talk to the marinas. Get on a waiting list. Politely keep checking.

By the way they will charge you for the wait list but , if I remember correctly, that will be refunded or used as part of the first years moorage cost.

The main thing is to get a good idea of the boat size and type you want and go talk to them. There are always people that get slips earlier than anticipated.

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Old 12-01-2022, 01:27 AM   #16
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Welcome aboard !
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:51 PM   #17
City: West coast
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Does Pender have moorage for 65’ trawler? I have covered winter moorage (well, year round) but it seems scenic to be there or further North.
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Old 12-01-2022, 02:46 PM   #18
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Welcome aboard John!!
My wife and I went through similar changes, but for us, she still loved to sail although physically it was difficult for her.
Good advice so far regarding moorage. For your existing slip, ensure that whatever boat(s) your are considering will not only fit, but be allowed by the marina. Also, check with your insurance company, as some are very "picky" about how much you move up in size and any requirements they may put upon you????
When we were seriously looking, we were really down to 3 boats: the Nordic Tug 37, the American Tug 34, and the Helmsman 37. There were only a very few Helmsman for sale (used), and that was a big factor for us. We did not want to build for many reasons, the biggest being price. For us, we found the NT 32/34 to be a bit too small, and found the smallest boat that would "work" for us to be the AT 34 (single cabin though). We ended up with our NT 37 and really enjoyed that boat!!!
Good luck with your "transition".
Nanaimo, BC
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Old 12-05-2022, 02:05 PM   #19
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Reversing the Process

I have heard tell of shopping first for moorage of the preferred size and location and then finding a suitable boat to fit. In today's tight boat market, this may not be as successful as in pre-COVID days. However, if you can lock in your "dream moorage" and sublet it while you search for your "dream boat", maybe...? Hard to know which box to think out of
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Old 12-05-2022, 03:18 PM   #20
City: Gibsons
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 8
Hi C Lectric - no relation to Marvin (that I know of... and there aren't too many of us Cooneys).

Thanks for the feedback RE marinas, very helpful - we have a spot in John Henrys, and will be holding onto that 100%. Would ideally like to be a bit closer to home (Gibsons), but would happily settle for Secret Cove (we've just found that extra drive to PH limits how often we get up there during the week in the summer time).

I'm also keeping a close eye on boats coming up for sale with assumable moorage in Gibsons - could tie us over through the spring while we continue our trawler search!

Thanks again!
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