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Old 07-12-2012, 09:22   #1
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British Columbia?

We are thinking of moving to BC from the Chesapeake Bay for the mild climate, cruising possibilities and the politics. Would anyone please give their opinions on living, working, cruising, and living aboard there? Thank you!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:48   #2
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Re: British Columbia?

Well, hopefully some of our BC folks will chime in. I can say that the cruising is superb .... at least for 6 months a year. I know nothing about Americans working in Canada though. But if you are on the south end of BC near the border, you could still work in the US. A whole heck of a lot of Canadians come across the border to shop, Prices are high on most everything up there that I have seen. Any given day I would say the freeway and the parking lot at Costco are 50% Canadians here in NW Washington.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:22   #3
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Re: British Columbia?

Politics?BC is a great land of possibilities but the politics are very controversial.Half of BC is concerned about protecting the natural beauty that abounds,the other half are only interested in exploiting the resources and lining their pockets.The ecosystem is very fragile here(read Exxon Valdez,in Alaska)and it wouldn't take much to put it into jepoardy.It's probably the most expensive place to live in North America,hence the need for a high income.That being said the boating is great,although sailing can be a challenge.Most of the year skies are grey accompanied by alot of damp rainy weather.The cruising season lasts from May till October,with July-Sept. being the drier season.The infastructure is excellent and the economy is quite strong at present.Living aboard requires a good heating system,and anchoring near major centres can be a problem.Some marinas allow living aboard but are not centrally located.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:29   #4
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Re: British Columbia?

Born and grew up in the PNW, worked the water there for about 12 years before immigrating to the US. Wish I was back there now although living in the high desert in NV is pretty nice. Miss the ocean and the great cruising on the BC coast. Cruising, you need to learn the importance of tides and current in many of the tighter channels and get used to light air but the scenery and solitude away from the southern coast is stunning. My kids cross the border every week for shopping and are probably one of the canuck cars sitting in the Costco parking lot Cheechako refers to. Finding work in BC is easier than in the US, particularly up coast away from the built up centers. Picking up casual work is not that difficult even if you don't have valid immigration papers according to what friends of mine from the US have told me. Don't believe there is a complimentary system to e-verify process they have here in the US. It is very difficult to deport folks out of Canada because of the many laws protecting those there illegally. Go figure! Phil
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:47   #5
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Great information! Thank you all. I look forward to hearing more. My wife is a Canadian citizen, so work/emigrating isn't too bad for us.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:49   #6
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Re: British Columbia?

Been here all my life. The coastline is breathtaking, all the time. But the best part of BC is the politics. Very amusing, even a better spectator sport than hockey. Really, you couldn't dream this stuff up if you were Stephen King.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:00   #7
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Re: British Columbia?

If you like big mountain skiing and sailing its the promise land.....
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:03   #8
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Re: British Columbia?

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Originally Posted by highseas View Post
Politics?BC is a great land of possibilities but the politics are very controversial.Half of BC is concerned about protecting the natural beauty that abounds,the other half are only interested in exploiting the resources and lining their pockets.The ecosystem is very fragile here(read Exxon Valdez,in Alaska)and it wouldn't take much to put it into jepoardy.It's probably the most expensive place to live in North America,hence the need for a high income.That being said the boating is great,although sailing can be a challenge.Most of the year skies are grey accompanied by alot of damp rainy weather.The cruising season lasts from May till October,with July-Sept. being the drier season.The infastructure is excellent and the economy is quite strong at present.Living aboard requires a good heating system,and anchoring near major centres can be a problem.Some marinas allow living aboard but are not centrally located.
To add to this, you will need the Canadian boating certs and radio license. Even if you have a USA registration your allowed 6 weeks w/o, unless you take the boat back to the USA before hand.

Boat License | Boating Test | Online Exam & Safety Course | BOATsmart! Canada

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:15   #9
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Re: British Columbia?

Your biggest shock will be the prices of everything as Canada loves to tax everything to death. Best show in town is the politics. Some might think it would make a great reality show....most would never believe it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:44   #10
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Re: British Columbia?

True about prices. I tend to stock up on tinned foods and sundries whenever I have a chance to go into the US (at least the 48 states south of us as Alaskan prices are a tad high as well). One of the most outrageous commodities as far as prices go is liquor due mainly to the high excise taxes on alcohol; in BC liquor sales is virtually a government monopoly.

For the most part, weather is, as already stated by others, wet except for a relatively dry season between July and September. Sailing conditions are quite good in summer, but late fall and winters are subject to frequent gale conditions which can spring up very quickly. On the plus side, Vancouver is well sheltered from the worst gale and storm conditions and winters tend to be moderate along the coastal areas:

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:52   #11
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Re: British Columbia?

The cost of housing in Vancouver is out of sight. Hope you were planning on living on your boat. My cousin owns a small 80 year old house on a postage stamp lot in what was once an ethnic working class neighborhood. Says his house is valued at something over 8 big ones. Hear things are cheaper on the peninsula but you've got to deal with ferry schedules. Something I'd love but my wife would hate.
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:57   #12
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Re: British Columbia?

You're going to need to be a bit more specific about where in BC as much of the data so far has been on Vancouver. Victoria is fantastic as well (and easier to live aboard than Vancouver), and many of the smaller communities are extremely affordable. Friends of mine just bought a gorgeous little 2 story house accross the stree from the beach in small town Vancouver Island for less than $250,000.

Where are you thinking? What do you do for work?

Oh, and yes I think this is a fantastic place to be a sailor, and a skier, and a climber, and a... In Vancouver we routinely sail one day and ski the other during the winter.
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:03   #13
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Re: British Columbia?

Washington(the good one) has recently changed there politics and the taxes arent as bad as BC,might want to give it a try and if you dont like it you can move a little farther north to BC...good luck
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:11   #14
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Re: British Columbia?

It is unbelievably expensive to live in BC - housing, goods, and services. We're in the process of having our RE bubble finally implode but that will take a few more years to play out. Renting is the smart move right now. I've heard Victoria is good for liveaboards but Vancouver is tough and even many small towns are starting to become unfriendly. Liking rain and investing in good rain gear is a must.
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:16   #15
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Re: British Columbia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The cost of housing in Vancouver is out of sight. Hope you were planning on living on your boat. My cousin owns a small 80 year old house on a postage stamp lot in what was once an ethnic working class neighborhood. Says his house is valued at something over 8 big ones. Hear things are cheaper on the peninsula but you've got to deal with ferry schedules. Something I'd love but my wife would hate.
When Hong Kong went over to the Chinese many of the free Chinese immigrated to BC/Vancouver. At least that's what I heard, and based on the driver's appearance in canadian licensed cars i see it's true. I imagine that created a big population bubble.
Not sure you'd need to take the ferry much from Van Isle.... seems like everything you need is over there...?
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