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Old 11-30-2020, 03:01 PM   #1
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Newbie From Calgary

Good afternoon, we are making the move to liveaboard come the new year, after a lifetime of 'planning.' Pretend the apostrophes are air quotes, as the real planning only started last year as things got close. We are still shopping for the vessel, but we plan to look along the coast starting in Richmond BC, and a second slip in the Vancouver Island/ Salt Spring area. Maybe throw a mooring ball into the mix in the Comox region.

We are looking forward to this lifestyle change, and I fully plan to snag as much knowledge as I can in the next few months before pulling the plug.

Thanks!

Mike.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:10 PM   #2
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Try calling Comox Valley Marina (two marinas in Comox, side by side, public/private) which is private. I recently saw an advert from them about available moorage however no liveaboards.

There are boats on mooring balls in the area but boats have been known to break loose and end up on rocks in the area as well. From late fall to mid winter, high winds are routine along the coast.

You could try Ladysmith, I do know some have gone there to liveaboard.

Another alternative is not live on your boat full time, but part time and live on one of our Islands in the Gulf. Here's a place on Savary Island (piece of boring trivai, it is the only island to be oriented East/West, all the other islands are oriented NW/SE). A warning note about Savary, it is off the grid so your home has to be self sufficient. Here's a very small place but uniquely kinky (500 sq feet but hey, more than a boat):

(flip through the images, first one is of the beach the house is by, next photos is the home): https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Home-.../99056814.html
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:51 PM   #3
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That house is very unique! There have been some liveaboard options located, slips being in the 10-15/ft for that option, and one attached to a vessel we are looking at which would be pretty convenient Nothing is written in stone at this point though!
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:30 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard eh?
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:38 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard

Ahhh, Savary Island...

I saw its sand ringed gull shape as a teenager flying north to go home, and resolved then and there to visit when I got older. As it turns out, it was by sea kayak. We loved the place. It's basically an ancient sand dune. No other place like it.
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:46 PM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:25 PM   #8
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Some of the islands can be a bit on the strange side. An Ozzy friend of mine was going to visit his brother and wife on one of the Northern Islands closer to Desolation. I remember warning him that many who live on these islands are a bit "different." I can remember him laughing at that. When I picked him up at the ferry to drive him to the airport, he told me the place he stayed at had an outside bathtub, their only tub, and it was in the middle of paths that met in a circle, the center of the circle - the bathtub. So he said, not only did you get to take a bath, but visit with locals as well...lol.

Here is a video of a woman and husband living on Lasqueti Island, literally just across from my house in Qualicum Beach. She has a "few" Saint Bernard dogs. The couple and dogs were booted out of some place, can't remember where so they took up residence on Lasqueti as they knew they would fit right in. Here is a video of their dogs:

This video doesn't show all of her dogs, she has 42 -
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Old 12-05-2020, 12:15 PM   #9
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Hi Mike,
Welcome to the forum. Slips can be hard to find, depending on the size of your boat. Liveaboard slips are even harder to find. A lot of marinas do not allow live aboards, and those that do, usually have a small maximum limit (number). Just something to be aware of, as fore warned is fore armed.
Good luck on your "hunting" both boat and marina.
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Old 12-06-2020, 01:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Tom! You in Ladysmith?
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:07 PM   #11
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Nope, Nanaimo. We moor at the Nanaimo Port Authority right downtown.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:11 PM   #12
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Ah. There are a couple vessels in Ladysmith we are interested in. Might drive the east coast of the island in a couple weeks and stick our noses in some of the marinas.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:24 PM   #13
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Check out Maple Bay Marina. Although a little more remote (half hour drive to Duncan) it’s a nice spot, good marine services. Some liveaboards allowed.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:34 PM   #14
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Awesome! I look forward to seeing all these gems. That doesn't look inconvenient for family flying in, we can choose Victoria or Nanaimo with equal ease :P
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:02 PM   #15
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I live north of Nanaimo but because my son is in Victoria, I spend a bit of time there. I have toyed with keeping my boat in Victoria but the cruising is so much more superior with my boat in Comox. If you pull up Google Earth and look at Victoria, you will be committed to going through the Strait of Juan da fuca a lot, sometimes challenging. If you look at Duncan or Ladysmith you will see they are right in cruising action for the lower Gulf Islands. I think you would be better off in these two locations rather than Victoria.
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:22 PM   #16
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Oh, agreed, I meant family could fly in to either city if we were in Maple Bay. It's not super out of the way. It's certainly a beautiful spot as well.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:40 PM   #17
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Harbour Air a seaplane service has a terminal at the end of the dock at Maple Bay Marina. If you’re looking for marinas very close to a major airport you can’t beat the ones in Sidney. We keep our boat at Sidney, North Saanich Marina and are happy there. Don’t think they allow live aboard though.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:22 PM   #18
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I'm living aboard in Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River. We have the Campbell River Airport close by, and Comox Airport about 45 minutes away.
Plus, we have a mall associated with the marina with all of the usual mall outlets (Yes, it has a liquor store...), and a great liveaboard community.
The best part though is that we are perfectly positioned to cruise Desolation, Discovery, Cordero/Nodales, and onward north to the Broughtons and beyond.
The city has a Walmart, Home Depot, but no Costco.
I love it here.

And yes, there is a Timmies very close to the marina!
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:28 PM   #19
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Mike,
A good friend used to live aboard at the Maple Bay marina. So they do allow some at least. He did complain about the condition of the docks, lack of upkeep in general, etc.
There are some marinas in the Maple Bay to Nanoose area that allow a limited number of liveaboards, but vacancies can be hard to find. Look early, find a slip before buying the boat, but that means knowing how big you might go.
Personally I like the central V. Island area, Nanaimo in particular. From here you can head south to the Gulf Islands quickly and easily, or turn the other way and head to Desolation Sound or the Sunshine Coast, both within one day (if desired). Many options within an easy range.
Campbell River is another good option, but is a much smaller town with less local amenities, but probably enough for most.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:29 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. C. Sounds quite idyllic BUT the real question is: How far away is Timmies?


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