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Old 11-10-2020, 15:16   #61
Kom
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Hi Dimitry, and the rest of the group!

I'm new to this too, had the same / a similar idea - interested in buying a similar-sized boat (~35ft) to live on it - but also think it's better to start out living at a marina rather than anchored somewhere. I also have to show up in an office once in a while in Vancouver, and like to be social - so anchoring is not ideal.

It's really quite frustrating to read that there are barely any options to live aboard. But hey, the housing market is not much better here I guess. Maybe there are still solutions?

I just wanted to confirm that I got this right. We "newcomers" are left with two well-defined options.

a) We anchor somewhere close to Vancouver for most of the year. Cheap, but comes with many issues, stress and risks - at least when you are an unexperienced sailor?

b) We find an official live aboard slip. This is pretty much impossible for the next 5-10 years.


What I'm wondering - are there any serious alternatives? is there any way to hop marinas, stay at one for a few weeks / month and then move to the next? Perhaps a combination of transient moorage, slip sublet etc? What would this cost, what are the risks?

If none of this is working, is it generally possible to find non-liveaboard slips in Vancouver?
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Old 11-10-2020, 15:45   #62
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Kom:

Give the entire thread a thorough reading, and most of your questions will be answered.

As for Marina hopping: Yes you can do that, though not likely in the immediate Vancouver area. Crossing the Straits from the Vancouver Island side is a lengthy affair. 6 hours from Porlier Pass to West Vancouver. 7 hours from Porlier to False Creek, so that's out if you are working ashore in Vancouver.

As for any moorage in Howe Sound, you can measure the distance thence to Vancouver by using GoogleEarth. You will go no more than 5 miles per hour ( = 5 knots) in a boat, and you have tides to deal with.

My moorage contract (Vancouver Island Marina) sez that if I'm away for a lengthy period, and I've notified them of it, the marina has the option to use my slip for "transients" (which is what you are suggesting you might be). The marina will charge the transient the per diem fee and credit my account with the half of it.

As a transient at something like fifty bux "per diem" you'd soon wish you'd bought a condo ashore!

One way of the other, in a 35 footer, you need to budget about $2K/month just to KEEP the boat, let alone pay for the buying of it. I've just rented out a very nice 3 bedroom townhouse, just refurbished, considerably closer to Vancouver than 6 hours, for $2K/mnth.

As many have learned: Get some real estate behind you before you get carried away with going sailing. Let the RE PAY for your sailing. You can do that if you have some patience and general nous. You can NEVER make sailing pay for your real estate, i.e. sailing can NEVER secure your old age. Every dollar you put into sailing should be considered money up the flue! If you can afford to light your cigars with hundred dollar bills, go for it. Else be VERY careful!

Some have learned that to their benefit - some to their cost!

All the best :-)

TrentePieds
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Old 11-10-2020, 16:11   #63
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Thanks a lot for the reply - very much appreciated!

The 2,000$/month - I'm assuming you are referring to maintenance, insurance, 'slip' etc? That would match what I learned and calculated myself so far considering I would do some maintenance myself.

I'm not in it for the money. As many of you will likely understand, it sounds like a very attractive lifestyle to some of us So as long as there is a way to do it without being blessed with a filled bottomless wallet, I'm willing to commit, make mistakes, and learn along the way.


Now for marina hopping (is that how you would call it?):
If not full-time in Vancouver, is there a way to split 1/2 weeks in Vancouver 1/2 weeks Howe Sound area? Or would even that be a challenge in terms of slip availability?

If not, what is a more realistic split? I would prefer not having to cross the strait frequently, but it might be an option once a month or so to stay for a week.
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Old 11-10-2020, 16:46   #64
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote: "...I would prefer not having to cross the strait frequently, but it might be an option once a month or so to stay for a week...."

I get in among the Gulf Islands MORE quickly by driving from the eastern end of "the Valley" to Tsawwassen and hopping the ferry for Duke Point, then driving to my marina, than I can get there in my own boat from West Vancouver :-)

The savings in moorage, having replaced moorage in West Vancouver with far superior moorage on "the Island", pays for no less than a dozen return fares per year on the ferry. This is for a "regular" car within the dimensional restrictions. A full size van will fit within those restrictions, though not if towing a trailer.

And let's face it: Crossing The Straits because its something you have to get out of the way to get to do something you WANT to do is a royal pain. Crossing The Straits in your own boat is even more of a pain if its something you MUST do to get to some place where there is something you HAVE to do. :-)!

On a lot of summer afternoons you have to motor because there is NO wind. On a lot of winter afternoons you get miserably wet and cold, and in a baby boat, even a 35 footer, it's a helluva job to get dried out and warm again. Not conducive to looking and performing your best in a business meeting!

Today, the air temp is about 10C out in the Straits. It's raining cats and dogs, and the wind is about 20 knots from the east a point north. Coming out of Porlier, bound for the bell boy at Point Grey you'd be stapped down hard and pounding into about a two foot wave. The tidal current mid-strait is probably a knot and a half at maximum flow. That should set you up for a nice bit of roast turkey :-0!!

The only drawback (for me) in leaving the boat in a distant marina is that my workshop (obviously) is at my home, so I can't just "pop down" and use the power tools to do maintenance. But there are ways of working around that since the advent of serious battery powered tools. Corded tools are fine while you are on 30A service in the marina, but you contract will forbid you to "do repairs" while in the marina. But dockmasters can often be bought :-)

Coming to Vancouver "now and then" often means use of public transport to get around. Downtown, that's fine. Downtown to either of the universities is also fine. But if you need to go to, say, an industrial location in Port Cocquitlam or Annacis Island, not so much. BIL coming from Saltspring used "Go"-car rather than bring his own vehicle, tho I gather that that particular car-share outfit is no longer operating. There must be others.

TP
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Old 11-10-2020, 17:08   #65
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Okay let's forget about the idea of hopping between VI and Van on a regular basis

For a non-liveabaord situation like yours probably not too bad of a choice. In addition to the 'nicer' marinas over there you are located much better I would think. Gulf Islands are lovely and it sounds like you found your ways around the obstacles, quite jealous!


Still, would hopping between Vancouver and Howe Sound / Sunshine Coast work you think? Somewhat of an even split, whether that means 3 days at each location or a week here and there. Both could work - I'm in the arts and do have to show up here sometimes - not very formal though.

Or in other words, how likely is it to get a temporary slip in Vancouver any given day? How does that change as we move towards Bowen, Sunshine Coast? Maybe even Squamish?

And also, how likely is it to get an annual/permanent non-liveabord slip in Vancouver for a 35 footer? And how does this change as we move towards the Sunshine Coast etc?

Sorry, still a lot of questions. Brainstorming and not wanting to give up that easily!
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Old 11-10-2020, 17:44   #66
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

A silly question maybe but where people do all their repairs?

If marinas do not allow not only liveaboards but "owner repairs" too, then where is the supposed official place to work on your boat? Maybe not a lot of people live on their boats, but everybody has to repair this or that every once in a while.
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Old 11-10-2020, 19:25   #67
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

You are right to continue to explore, and it is good to do it openly in this forum because we get a lot of people "just looking in" who can benefit from exchanges like the one we are having now.

It is always the case, and ever shall be, that "money talks". Obviously if you were admitted to membership of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club finding a permanent slip would be easier. Half a century ago I was informed anecdotally, that the initiation fee was a thousand bux for each year of your age. If that was true, then, and if it were still true today, CPI adjusted, I'd be able to buy half a dozen 35 footers for that money :-)! And I'd have a slip for one of them. Annual dues, I was informed then, was 1.5K p.a.

But if you are not in that league you'd have to cut your coat to suit you cloth. There are, I am informed, waiting lists at every marina within Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound. I don't have enuff years left to bother with waiting lists, though I would think that Heather Street Marina and False Creek Marina would both be on my list if I were 50 years younger than I am.

Shelter Island is a current possibility, I think, and as I said elsewhere, improvements have been made in recent years. The "freeway" (Hwy 91) is less than a mile away and takes you right into the Vancouver City Centre, either via the Knight Street or the Oak Street Bridge across the river.

Eastern parts of the Metro Area are reached by turning east, rather than west on Hwy 91 as you enter it from SIM. Doing so takes you into New Westminster and the industrial areas north of the river. 22nd Street Skytrain Station is where you would park your car if you chose to go that way to Burnaby (Metrotown and Lake City) or Downtown.

"The Valley" including all the new industrial areas in Langley is accessible by turning east on the #91 and crossing Annacis Island on it, proceeding to the interchange with Hwy 10, turning east and following #10 right into Langley. Heck, from there you needn't stop till you get to Canmore. Or even Twanna.

Blimey! I've just convinced myself that SIM is nice and central :-)! But it IS about 10 nautical miles upriver from Sands Heads where the Mighty, Muddy Fraser debouches into the Straits. In a boat doing 6 knots when going full bore, "coming home" when the MMF is in spate and flowing 7 knots would be a tad tedious :-)!

TP
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Old 11-10-2020, 19:57   #68
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Dmitry:

WRT repairs: As I said, Dockmasters can often be bought. I also said in an earlier post that it helps - in that regard - if you "speak navy".

For some time into the future you, as a newb, might have to swallow hard and acknowledge that you'd be the "new boy" in the marina. How much slack a marina, specifically a dock master, will give you depends on his assessment of your competence as a boater, your ability and willingness to "fit with the crowd" and on your ability to be unobtrusively helpful around the docks.

Most people pay professionals to do what needs to be done. This year I decided not to haul because of travel restrictions. Hauling and obtaining bottom paint from the yard as well as zincs usually comes to something like $800 when I do the painting. Which they'll let me do because they know me. They do the power washing and crud disposal. If they did the painting, the bill would be somewhat over $1K and I would not have the opportunity to survey and inspect. This year I had a diver go down were she lies and change the zincs. The bill was $250 as I recall. I need to change the snaps on the window covers for my deck house windows. The bill would be around $500 if I didn't do it myself, but I've configured my saloon so I can do that kind of work quietly when there is no-one around. The tool I need to do this job - half a hundred snaps or so - costs four hunnert bux and I'll likely never use it again, so I'll have to toss a coin to make the decision twixt having it done or doing it myself.

Three years before MyBeloved and I bought the boat for the price of two cases of moderately good wine, the PO, who was clearly exceedingly weak on the fundamentals, had spent $40K on a new rig complete with mast furling main. Money up the flue. Mast furling main for Sunday sailing in the Salish Sea? You gotta be kidding! Certainly at your stage, stick with hank-on headsail(s) and slides on the main. Then you, yourself, can do a great deal of any repairs to the sails and the rigging that you will ever need. The skill to do it are NOT complex and the materials are quite inexpensive. On a 30-footer Sunday sailing in the Salish Sea you don't even need sheet winches. Nice to have, but you don't NEED them :-)

Maybe, when and if you get a boat, I'll come with you out in the Bay some afternoon and show you why you don't need them. It's all in your deckhand's technique. :-)!

TP
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Old 11-10-2020, 21:16   #69
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
You are right to continue to explore, and it is good to do it openly in this forum because we get a lot of people "just looking in" who can benefit from exchanges like the one we are having now.

TP
Yes, buying myself in unfortunately is not an option for me :-)

Do you know roughly how long it takes to get a permanent slip (not live aboard) in any of the Vancouver 'downtown' or North Van marinas for a 35 footer? Or alternatively for something smaller?
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:49   #70
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Haven't asked any of them for years for the reason stated. Seven-eight years ago I asked Burrard Civic. The answer (then) was "about five years". Can't have gotten any better! The scuttlebutt I hear is "anything up to nine years".

When we bought TP I was being my usually enthusiastic self while negotiating with the broker. "Nah", sez I, "It all depends on finding a slip, donnit?". "Well", sez he, "we could prolly accommodate you temporarily". I sez: "How long is 'temporarily', then?" He sez: "We've got one guy whose been here thirty two years". So I grumbled some more about "extortionate pricing" and such, but I was under orders from MyBeloved to "give the man a cheque", so what could I do?

Well, the "temporary" accommodation was at a marina that was, literally, sinking under us. As third year came upon us, I sent the owner a registered letter with a cheque for ONE month's moorage and a note informing him that when I saw the improvements he had promised us for two years begin to happen, there would be additional cheques coming. One day, as MyBeloved and I sat in the cockpit, he staggered by on the pontoon - which was listing maybe 20 - and failed to respond to my greeting. So we pulled out without further ado.

Make of that what you will.

The marina has since been sold under duress from the municipality who owns the water lot. Improvements have been made, and the moorage, which was already dear, has gone up by half, I'm told.

Buying "mooring rights included" is not, I believe, often possible, but bear my story in mind when you make an offer.

TP
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:38   #71
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Dmitry:
WRT repairs: As I said, Dockmasters can often be bought. I also said in an earlier post that it helps - in that regard - if you "speak navy".

For some time into the future you, as a newb, might have to swallow hard and acknowledge that you'd be the "new boy" in the marina. How much slack a marina, specifically a dock master, will give you depends on his assessment of your competence as a boater, your ability and willingness to "fit with the crowd" and on your ability to be unobtrusively helpful around the docks.
TP
Unfortunately navy is not among the many languages I speak :-(
I understand that it helps to have been around the marina for a while and made friends with people there. However that would only work if first you buy a boat in a perfect state that does not need any repairs right away, and hopefully by the time something major breaks, you're not such a new boy anymore.

But what about buying an old boat in the need of a refit? I believe quite a lot of people do that and then do the work themselves. Does it mean they are all old salts with old slips in their marinas and that is their fifth boat?

Also, marinas forbid repairs to avoid noise, debris, dust etc. But even if I pay a professional to do that, he will also make all those nasty things! is it because if the professional provided by the marina for a fee, then they do not care as much? or the professional will haul it out and do the works on the dry every time? Can I do that too?
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:10   #72
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Dmitry:

Yes and no. No boat is ever in "perfect" condition -whether old or brand new out of the yard. Where do you draw the line twixt "tidying up" and "repairing" :-)?

I am not aware of any "kick-back scheme", or anything approaching it, existing in regard to what professionals can work in what marinas. The key point is once garnered from the medical profession: "Do no damage!". I have mentioned that dockmasters are sensitive to your deportment, i.e. they will be agreeable in proportion to their perception of your competence and to your tidiness. If, whenever dock crew walks by you boat, they find your mooring lines cheesed down in seamanlike fashion on you own deck, rather than on the pontoon, the falls properly coiled and hung, the heaving line neatly secured to the pushpit in a proper lamb's ear, the marina's dollies always returned to their stand promptly, etc, etc. you will be a welcome client and, contract clause notwithstanding, you may be suffered to do such things as rubbing down and varnishing your woodwork and, unless there are municipal water restrictions in place as is often the case on VI and in the Gulf Islands, you can wash you boat alongside and wash its sails on the pontoon if necessary.

I have modified my dinette table so it can be used as a small workbench for simple joinery tasks. I am building a new navigation station and "engineer's control panel" by rough-cutting the components in my shop ashore, and then fitting them and finishing them by using the dinette table in its workbench configuration. Not much progress this year due to the travel restrictions and sundry shore side tasks compelling my attention.

But you are in IT, and by your own statement you are a complete novice as a seafaring man, so what precisely is it you anticipate having to do to a boat? Are you letting yourself get confused about what is basic and essential, and what is not, by reading glossy magazines and posts from people who are in an entirely different league qua sailors?

If you take my advice and stick to boats with hank-on sails (rather than roller furling sails) you'll find that the sails last for a long, long time in our kind of climate where their deterioration due to the sun's UV light is so much less than it is where the coconuts grow. You will find that there is very little rigging work to do when you don't have all the complicated, damage prone, corrosion prone gizmos that are intrinsic parts of all the "labour saving" devices touted in the glossy mags. In the Salish Sea no boat in the hands of a competent skipper needs roller furling. "Reefing" by partially furling is good neither for the sails nor for the boat's performance. "Frozen snot" hulls also last forever in our climate. Keep a good coat of wax on 'em, and that's really all you need to do. Bottom painting obviously requires hauling, but once in three years is sufficient if you reach down with a scrubber now and then to knock off the slime and the baby barnacles. Know the consumption rate of your zincs for the the water you are in, and if you are not a diver yourself, hire one to change the zincs where you are lying.

So, all in all, it comes down to the marina having to feel secure that you are competent to deal with stuff that can be highly toxic and tools and equipment that can be very dangerous, and that you know enuff not to get in other people's way and expose them to danger.

As for complete refits: Well, sure. It can be done, but there is more to it than you may imagine. Marinas are loath to permit it due to the high proportion of "projects" that the owner cannot bring to completion, either because he lacks the money or he lacks the skills. There is a history of marinas and yards then finding themselves with an abandoned hulk on their hands. That is what had been happening at SIM for many many years. As I said - I think it's better now.

TP
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Old 12-10-2020, 11:44   #73
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Boat Work:

There is inside work and outside work. In the 34 years we've had boats and been in marinas, I simply cannot think of ONE case where ANYONE in any of the marinas I have been in or even visited has EVER done major fiberglass work on their boats while in their own slips.

Think about it. NEVER.

So, I ask, what kind of work could anyone possibly try to do that would upset a harbormaster?

Woodwork? Either do NOT sand (thus pissing off your neighbors) or use other means of stripping old finishes.

Fiberglass work? What kind of major work would any boat require, other than an accident? And that work would be done in the yard, not at your slip.

So exterior work should consist of simple cleaning. That's one reason hoses are on docks.

Interior work? Electrical, mechanical, plumbing and engine work are ALL done down below, right? So who knows whether you're napping, eating or changing your transmission fluid.

It seems reasonable to not begrudge anyone doing maintenance down below.

And any boat that needs more than this kind of work shouldn't be purchased by a newcomer anyway.

I just present this as an answer to dmitry's question about

Quote:
But what about buying an old boat in the need of a refit?
What kind of slug of a boat are you thinking about?
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Old 12-10-2020, 11:56   #74
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

Quote:
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Dmitry:

But you are in IT, and by your own statement you are a complete novice as a seafaring man, so what precisely is it you anticipate having to do to a boat? Are you letting yourself get confused about what is basic and essential, and what is not, by reading glossy magazines and posts from people who are in an entirely different league qua sailors?

<...>

As for complete refits: Well, sure. It can be done, but there is more to it than you may imagine. Marinas are loath to permit it due to the high proportion of "projects" that the owner cannot bring to completion, either because he lacks the money or he lacks the skills. There is a history of marinas and yards then finding themselves with an abandoned hulk on their hands. That is what had been happening at SIM for many many years. As I said - I think it's better now.

TP
Well I may be a novice now, but I will gain experience eventually. Everybody is always talking about how much work it is to maintain a boat, so while I personally have little idea of what exactly will have to be done, I suspect there will be enough. And I will have to learn to do it as some point, if I want to do offshore cruising one day (and I do), so why not start now. Otherwise it is a vicious circle of "I don't know how to fix boats -> so I don't try -> so I keep not knowing".

Complete refit may be too strong of a term, I'm not gonna buy an empty hull. But for example, the Parallel Dreams boat that somebody suggested to me here has been on the dry for the last 6 years, so if I buy something like this, there will definitely be work right away before I can sail or live on it (I'm not buying that one in partuclar BTW, sounds like it does not really sail with less than 10 knots of wind, but something like it in terms of condition - maybe).

Anyway, thank you for explanation, this part (maintenance) looks less of a concern with everything you say. I think my adjusted plan now would be to find a non-liveaboard slip at a marina at a reasonable distance from where I live, get a boat, live in an apartment (thus sucking up double cost of rent+slip), gain more experience and then eventually transition to living on the hook full time.

Another thing I'm thinking is that for this initial period I don't necessarily need a huge 40 feet boat that I'd like to have if I were to live aboard full time. Something like 25' would be quite enough to sail and get experience, much cheaper to buy and easier to get a slip for.. BUT as everybody says, once you buy a boat, you can forget about that money. So I need to do some calculations to understand how savings on cost of ownership of a 25 vs 40 footer over a year or two compare to the cost of the 25 footer itself.
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Old 12-10-2020, 12:12   #75
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Re: Liveaboard around Vancouver without a slip

The easiest way to get a slip in Vancouver is to buy a boat that comes with one. These pop up once in a while although they tend to be on the pricier side... still I have seen some from the low $100.000's.
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