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Old 05-10-2020, 10:40   #16
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

I’ve been on vancover island for just over a year came from central Canada bought a boat did a complete refit ie more like a rebuild and first thing is everything cost 30 percent more here than the rest of Canada parts, labour etc so if you plan on spending 60 grand on refit make it a 100 cause that’s what it will cost yah also the winters are horrible cold and damp it can rain for weeks here and last yr we got 2ft of snow in Jan certainly not the island paridice I figured .
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:03   #17
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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Iíve been on vancover island for just over a year came from central Canada bought a boat did a complete refit ie more like a rebuild and first thing is everything cost 30 percent more here than the rest of Canada parts, labour etc so if you plan on spending 60 grand on refit make it a 100 cause thatís what it will cost yah also the winters are horrible cold and damp it can rain for weeks here and last yr we got 2ft of snow in Jan certainly not the island paridice I figured .



I've noticed that from those who have come here from afar. Those of us who grew up here seem to take it in stride (although I'd love to be sailing in the tropics right now). It seems that we become programmed at an early age to love our home environment and become discombobulated when taken out of it. I knew a guy who grew up in Schefferville, PQ (look it up), went "outside" to become an engineer and couldn't wait to move back home! Or Point Barrow, Alaska, or any number of places 99% of us would not choose to live.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:07   #18
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

False Creek really needs another old scow lol.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:29   #19
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

The idea is great, free rent, or no rent at all, and put the savings into maintaining the boat.

Have a diver lined up to scrape the bottom every month or two, and plan to pull it out once every 2 or 3 years for repaint and repairs.
Install a composting toilet. I guess urine can be tossed overboard in the dark of night, not sure what the rules are about that.
Food could be an issue, unless you have a freezer onboard, and that would likely require shore power in Winter, I doubt you could use Solar for that when its cloudy and raining every day.
Getting into shore and then locking up your boat would be risky. There will be a lot of hobos staring jealously at your boat from the shore and watching everything you do. Maybe work out a freezer, a cooker, and your heat requirements, and pop into granville island to stock up, and then head out again?
Make sure you have entertainment on the boat so your not going stir crazy out there by yourself, although most love that, at least short term.
You would want to scope out insurance in case your boat catches fire and sinks and you lose everything.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:45   #20
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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Originally Posted by dmitrytoda View Post
I work in IT. Right now with covid any job I'll find will be remote so I'll be able to work from the boat.

Shelter Island Marina looks like an option. I do have a car so I will be able to get around by land, and it's less than 30 nm from False Creek so I could do that run by boat say once a week, spend one week at anchor there, one week in the marina. That also solves the problem of longer absences.

I am actually looking at bigger boats, something like 35-40 ft for $50-70k, with the idea to get her ready for offshore cruising in a few years.

Your $15k/year budget for keeping a boat, does it include marina fees?

Hello again. One of the reasons I suggested Waggoners is that it answers a lot of the questions you've been asking about the "Where is..." type of things, the stuff TrentePieds has provided. I'm sure he'd be glad to physically talk to you about it, as he's offered.

You're new to boating, it appears. All of us were at some time or another. As you have replied, more of your background is "being exposed" like your work requirements and "need" for being close to Vancouver. As some have noted, you are in what is probably the most expensive and limited slip-availability place in all of British Columbia! If you've just moved there, have you considered continuing your move to a place with more slips and less cost, or are you actually limited to ONLY Vancouver?

I seriously urge you to buy Wagoners and read it. Why? My wife's folks moved to Vancouver Island in 1995 from Ontario, and we lived in Northern California and visited them a couple of times a year. He bought a small motorboat in 1999 and the VERY FIRST THING I bought him was the 2000 Wagoner!!! We had owned our own sailboats in California since 1983. Even back then (20 years ago) I avidly read it whenever I visited. There is a wealth of information in that book, and even if you started reading it this afternoon, it would take a long time to begin to absorb it all - and only the stuff local to you. Please, do so, it will answer a lot of your questions about what is actually available to you.

As you become more familiar with what is around you, you will be in a better position to continue to ask more specific questions. We will be please to share information and even links to other discussions that could be helpful to you.

Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:59   #21
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Thank you Stu, I'll make sure to get that Wagoners then!
Yes, I can move to a place with more slips and less cost, as long as it is on the mainland and within half a day, full day sail tops from Van.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:07   #22
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

I noticed you said you have "the budget" :-)

Great! So for starters, consider that last summer a Fast Passage 39, not long home from a circumnavigation and all found ready to go again, sold for five and sixty grand in my marina! Might have been a special circumstance, but such do occur and can be found if you are not in too much of a hurry. The FP39 is a William Garden design. Garden was the doyen of yacht designers on this coast for many years. I had a friend who bought one of the first FP39s built at Philbrook's and fitted out by Jespersen's. Going below was like going into a gallery of fine furniture!

You have said nothing about prior sailing experience. A lot of people here will suggest that such a boat is too big for a novice to handle, let alone to learn on. I disagree. Half a century ago I was an instructor and did a lot of "crooz'n'learns" in a 65 foot ketch. Boat handling is no trick. Becoming a competent skipper is a kettle of fish of a different colour - but we can come back to that.

If you are a novice, stick with "frozen snot". No other building medium is as impervious to damage, as easily repaired when damage does occur - as it will - or as maintenance and worry free.

Eschew all labour saving devices. Lay a sound foundation for boat-handling the old-fashioned way. Once that is under your belt, you can dickey up the boat with sundry toys. If, as would have been the case if you'd been the lucky buyer of the aforementioned FP39, such devices fall into your turban, work around them so you can prosper without them if/when they give you grief - as they will.

Once you are into 40-ish feet any boat you buy is almost certain to have built-in heat for the winter. In days of yore when "functional" over-rode "pretty", the stoves put out by Dickinson's were ubiquitous. Diesel fuelled. The cat's miow! They would keep you warm, they would keep you dry, they would cook your dinners. But they were bulky, so then, for some years as more and more Newbs ran away to sea, Force 10 bulkhead mounted heaters were in vogue. Also diesel fueled. And capable of simmering a kettle, but not of cooking a dinner. These days Webasto and/or Espar forced air heaters are all the rage. Tough to make your morning coffee on one of those!

If you can live with commuting by car, and if you are not required to put on the dog downtown, you might consider the sundry marinas east of the Lion's Gate. Reed Point might serve. So might Dollarton. Mosquito Creek. You may NOT sail within the area of the Port of Vancouver, but obviously in a forty footer you'll have an engine, so that's no bother. East of Second Narrows, you may sail again. Heck, if you get yourself accepted at the Royal Van Yot-club, Wigwam Inn at the very top of Indian Arm is a RVYC outstation. Haven't been there for many, many years, but I doubt that there are many people there in the winter. There is a marina at Port Moody and from there to the new Skytrain station, whence you can ride right into the deep, dark innermost entrails of Vancouver's business District, is a ten minute walk.

Choose your frozen snot boat wisely now and your circumnavigation begins to become a possibility!

As for the fifteen grand a year: Yes, that includes moorage but only because I'm on the VI side of the Straits and because I can do, and do do, all the required maintenance myself. It includes a sinking fund for replacement of sails. Sails, much to the surprise of many newbs, are CONSUMABLES! I have a new engine. Had I not, I should increase the sinking fund to make provision for its replacement.

Now, be aware that my displacement is about 11K lbs. The FP39 is 21K lbs, so, say, double my displacement. Consider, therefore, that your OWNERSHIP costs (not your acquisition cost) will be double, i.e. about $30K per annum. Another way of looking at it is that I'm 30Ft overall, the FP is 39, i.e. 30% longer. So therefore 1.3 x 1.3 x 1.3 = 22, i.e. the estimated required budget to KEEP a FP is more than twice the proven cost to keep TrentePieds. Would that the people responsible for tamping down the present pandemic were capable of comprehending exponential equations :-)!!

If you see mutterings in this forum about "not needing an engine" ignore them. Our particular geological circumstances here in the Salish Sea are such that we often need the iron wind to go anywhere, and more particularly to navigate the various passes where the tidal current runs strong four times in 24 hours.

Rosatte is right about the cold and the damp. We live in a temperate rain forest. Ain't the Caribbean. In a forty footer with a Dickinson stove, you'll have no real problem. Of old, locally designed boats always had a hanging locker for your foulies. It was heated by the Dickinson, so you'll always have a dry set to put on. Stinky wet socks hung on the stove were a common adornment in the galleys of old. Then, half a century ago, every Tom, Dick and Harry suddenly had to be a sailor. And have their wives with them. Wives don't like smelly socks straight from the sea-boot! All these things conspired to make American "production" boats designed for the Caribbean the norm among Sunday sailors even here.

And I'm with Stu on the usefulness of Waggoners!

TP
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:13   #23
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Wow it will take me a while to digest all this!

As to my sailing experience, it is not huge but not zero either. I did a Basic Cruising course on the Great Lakes, then Intermediate Cruising here in Vancouver / Howe Sound two years ago, and skippered twice on short charters in the Great Lakes again. The biggest boat I sailed was 39 feet.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:39   #24
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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I'm looking for somebody who lives aboard their boat in or around Vancouver and does not have a permanent slip in a marina. Hopefully you could share your experience and maybe let me pick your brain a little.

I want to buy a sailboat and live aboard in Vancouver for free. Of course that would be too good to be true. So I aim to spend half the time anchored in False Creek (14/30 and 21/40 days in high and low season, respectively) and half somewhere else, like Gambier island. I have lots of questions, like:

1. What is the best anchorage that's close to False Creek and has good cell phone coverage?
2. What are the unexpected problems with this lifestyle?
3. How bad is it in winter?
4. What non-obvious extra equipment will I need on the boat? (enough solar panels / other electricity sources, heater, insulation, what else?)
5. Does it happen that sometimes you need to dock at a marina for some reason? where do you go in that case?

I'd appreciate if you could find 15 min to just talk to me over skype, this is a big decision for me (my first boat at the same time) and I want to get it right. If you're not too scared of covid, we can meet and I'll buy you a beer ;-)


(similar questions have been asked a few times, and I looked at the replies, but that was years ago, so I still want to hear more about more recent experience)
Before you go buying a boat for live aboard purposes, you should arrange to spend at least a couple of nights on somebody else's boat. You didn't mention any sailing experience so I'm wondering if you could stand this. The 35' to 40' is a good idea for live aboard. People do it on smaller boats but in my experience on a 30'er, there's no way in hell I'd consider living in such a small space for more than a week.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:42   #25
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Oh I definitely have stayed on a boat a couple of nights, the longest was about a week. See my last comment here for sailing experience. Yes aiming for 35-40 feet range.
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Old 05-10-2020, 14:01   #26
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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Thank you Stu, I'll make sure to get that Wagoners then!
Here's the link to their E-books:
https://www.waggonerguidebooks.com/waggonerebooks.html
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Old 05-10-2020, 16:39   #27
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitrytoda View Post
I'm looking for somebody who lives aboard their boat in or around Vancouver and does not have a permanent slip in a marina. Hopefully you could share your experience and maybe let me pick your brain a little.

I want to buy a sailboat and live aboard in Vancouver for free. Of course that would be too good to be true. So I aim to spend half the time anchored in False Creek (14/30 and 21/40 days in high and low season, respectively) and half somewhere else, like Gambier island. I have lots of questions, like:

1. What is the best anchorage that's close to False Creek and has good cell phone coverage?
2. What are the unexpected problems with this lifestyle?
3. How bad is it in winter?
4. What non-obvious extra equipment will I need on the boat? (enough solar panels / other electricity sources, heater, insulation, what else?)
5. Does it happen that sometimes you need to dock at a marina for some reason? where do you go in that case?

I'd appreciate if you could find 15 min to just talk to me over skype, this is a big decision for me (my first boat at the same time) and I want to get it right. If you're not too scared of covid, we can meet and I'll buy you a beer ;-)


(similar questions have been asked a few times, and I looked at the replies, but that was years ago, so I still want to hear more about more recent experience)
Hi there,

I did the False Creek shuffle last winter. This winter I chose to stay up North, but I'll answer your questions as best I can based on my choices:

1. What is the best anchorage that's close to False Creek and has good cell phone coverage?
>> I stayed in English Bay on the weeks I was out of the Creek. Cell phone reception was just as good as False Creek, no issues there. Many people don't like English Bay b/c of the swell. I was usually sea sick for the first 3 days of my 2 weeks out, but after that I was used to it. I found English Bay really peaceful in the winter compared to False Creek. I was also able to pick up VanWifi at Kits pool when anchored in English Bay with my Wifi Booster. I know some of the other liveaboards anchored in Plumper Cove on their 2 weeks out. You're able to anchor quite close to shore there, but the swell can certainly pick up there as well.

Howe Sound can get pretty windy (up to 60 to 70kts) in the winter. You might get some responses from people with different experiences, but you run the chance of getting stuck there in really challenging winds.

I think many liveaboards head over to Jericho or Spanish Banks somewhere, but I am not sure exactly where.

2. What are the unexpected problems with this lifestyle?
>> I guess that depends on your perspective and what you consider a problem. I was prepared for living on anchor, so I didn't really have many problems. My biggest issue in False Creek was many (not all!) of the liveaboards (and tourists in summer) didn't have proper ground tackle for the sometimes 35 to 40kt NW winds that came through there. 4 boats over a period of about 3 months dragged into me. These boaters often do not have insurance and may disappear without taking responsibility, especially if your boat is damaged. I had one guy disappear and got stuck with a $300 bill. Watch carefully when the regular liveaboards come in and drop their anchors, mentally log what anchors they use and how much chain they drop, get to know which boat is more likely to drag and plan where you anchor wisely.

I also found that some liveaboards anchored much too close. The first few times this happened I didn't re-anchor somewhere else and regretted it. After one night of fending off a sailboat til morning while the owner slept like a baby if someone anchored too close, I always moved somewhere else (this will happen a lot unfortunately!).


3. How bad is it in winter?
>> I actually quite enjoyed living on anchor in the winter in Vancouver. English Bay was tough at first, but I got used to it. If you have a good heat source and a generator and/or mutliple solar panels you'll do fine. Anchor west of Heather Marina and with a good Wifi Booster you can pick up ShawGo or VanWifi. Groceries, propane and fuel are all very close and easy to get to without a car.

Make sure you have a nice heavy Bruce or Rocna and all chain if you can and your boat won't move. It's nice and sticky west of Heather (in front of Charleson Park).

4. What non-obvious extra equipment will I need on the boat? (enough solar panels / other electricity sources, heater, insulation, what else?)
>> Last winter I only had 1x 100W panel and it wasn't enough. This winter I have an inverter generator and added 2 more 100W panels. You will absolutely need a wood or diesel stove. My boat has no insulation and my wood stove kept my boat dry and warm all winter while in False Creek/English Bay.

A dinghy/outboard, in my opinion, is very important along with a solid locking system. Having no outboard in English Bay would be tough. Even in 20kt winds the chop can get pretty big out there.

Always, always, always lock up your outboard, dinghy etc. to your boat at night and at the docks (Granville will let you tie up your dinghy all day, but other docks like David Lam and Stamps Landing have 3 hr time limits - Stamps Landing does checks, but David Lam not so much).

You'll need some good rain gear and rubber boots. Moving from your boat to the shore can get super wet. Your rowboat/dinghy will always be full of water.

Best thing I bought for the winter was a folding outdoor wagon from Canadian Tire. It was great for lugging groceries, propane and wood to my boat.


5. Does it happen that sometimes you need to dock at a marina for some reason? where do you go in that case?
>> If you run into any problems (lose an anchor, BIG winds etc.) and you need a dock Granville Island public docks allow you stay there for 3hrs max. They are pretty strict about that. If there are really big winds you can stay there until the winds die as it's considered Safe Harbour. I did that once. I knew 45kt winds were coming so I pulled anchor at around 7AM and grabbed a spot right before the winds came through.

If you are willing to pay for a spot Fisherman's Wharf will often have transient moorage on D dock.
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Old 05-10-2020, 17:00   #28
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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Originally Posted by dmitrytoda View Post
Wow it will take me a while to digest all this!

As to my sailing experience, it is not huge but not zero either. I did a Basic Cruising course on the Great Lakes, then Intermediate Cruising here in Vancouver / Howe Sound two years ago, and skippered twice on short charters in the Great Lakes again. The biggest boat I sailed was 39 feet.
If you're just going to be going from False Creek to English Bay/Jericho it's unlikely you'll be doing any sailing. You might find anchoring a bit challenging at first (or maybe not... maybe you're a quick study!), but like anything in life... practice makes perfect! You'll have expert anchoring skills by the end of the winter .

You'll do fine living aboard on anchor!
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Old 05-10-2020, 17:04   #29
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

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You mean the cruising guide? No.
Does it have any liveaboard-specific information? Just finding a second anchorage in not a big problem, Gambier island would probably work. I'm interested in personal experience because I'm sure there are questions it doesn't even occur to me to ask. Like I just came up with another one:

6. Say I want to go away for a few days, maybe a weekend trip to the Rockies - do I just leave the boat anchored and hope nothing happens?
>> I wouldn't recommend leaving your boat anchored for long periods of time in False Creek/English Bay without someone checking it regularly. The chances of your boat getting vandalized in English Bay is high. False Creek, a little less likely.

Last winter there were boats anchored in False Creek for weeks at a time without anyone checking them and they were fine. If you do leave your boat make sure you have full confidence in your ground tackle as the winds/current can really pick up at times.
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Old 05-10-2020, 17:06   #30
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitrytoda View Post
You mean the cruising guide? No.
Does it have any liveaboard-specific information? Just finding a second anchorage in not a big problem, Gambier island would probably work. I'm interested in personal experience because I'm sure there are questions it doesn't even occur to me to ask. Like I just came up with another one:

6. Say I want to go away for a few days, maybe a weekend trip to the Rockies - do I just leave the boat anchored and hope nothing happens?
I just read someone else's comment about sewage. In False Creek that is the least of your worries. Burrard Marina and Heather Marina both have pump outs that are incredibly easy to access. That won't be a concern.
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