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Old 27-05-2018, 14:33   #1
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Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

Looking to buy in the next year or two and donít want to limit our abilities to moor, dock or anchor around the San Juan and gulf islands bc. Is there a max length we should be limiting ourselves to? I see that in the San Juanís itís 45í or less for buoys but Iím having a hard time finding info about the Canadian waters and beyond.

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Old 27-05-2018, 14:59   #2
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Re: Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

You have plenty of anchorages with so much space that length doesnít matter. I didnít use mooring balls myself in the PNW, always dropped the hook or docked once in a while, but from what I saw I would think there are several mooring fields with room for larger boats, but I donít know whether it might be a strength issue rather than a space issue. I didnít see many mooring balls in BC and AK. Maybe there were some close to a couple big towns in BC but out in the boonies there arenít any, at least not where I went.

From a docking perspective you should find berths in most marinas, certainly for up to 50í everywhere and even 60í or more in most places. In the boonies what you find is usually a single dock to which you go alongside and you just use whatever lenght of it that your boat requires.

But again, except for nature reserves where the use of docks or mooring balls is mandatory, I believe anchoring is the way to go.
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Old 27-05-2018, 15:07   #3
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Re: Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

Would never use a mooring buoy anywhere without knowing 100% what's down there and its condition, especially on our current vessel.

I picked one up once that broke in about 25 knots and that was on a 3 tonne boat.
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Old 30-05-2018, 19:36   #4
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Re: Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

I don't think there is a standard for public mooring buoys in BC ... it depends on who installs and maintains the buoys...

Those maintained by Parks Canada (eg. Sidney Spit, Pender) have the following limitations:
  • Up to 15 metres with winds under 30 knots
  • Up to 12 metres with winds from 30-37 knots
At Newcastle Island (Nanaimo) the buoys maintained by BC Parks are of two types

  • those for boats 30 feet length overall or less
  • those for boats 40 feet length overall or less
Mostly you're anchoring ... especially once you get beyond the Gulf Islands.
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Old 30-05-2018, 20:13   #5
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Re: Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

Excellent! Thank you very much for all the great info!!
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Old 19-06-2018, 10:08   #6
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Re: Max length boat for mooring buoys in BC and San Juans

For PNW put your research and $ into good appropriate ground tackle and windlass. Don't forget a light high holding power anchor for setting from dinghy for emergency use and to limit swing.
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