The Vancouver boat show just wrapped up and the weather is starting to whisper spring is on its way. You may have just purchased a boat or are contemplating it. This is probably the result of a long-cherished dream of being a boat owner and comes with a substantial investment and responsibility. British Columbia has some of the most stunning landscapes and waterways in the world.
Explore the adventures of boating on the West Coast
Canada’s premier boating areas stretch across the country. There are incredible adventures to be had in discovering BC’s 27,000+ kilometres of coastline. Navigate to Desolation Sound, the northernmost point of the Sunshine Coast, where stunning fjords and abundant wildlife are matched with warm waters that can reach almost 80 degrees in the summer. Visit places like the Princess Louisa Marine Park, that is located along the Sunshine Coast in the Princess Louisa Inlet and is accessible by boat or plane only. The list is endless but we can’t forget the massive lakes of the Okanagan and the Shuswap lakes were voted BC’s top boating destination by BC Boaters.
British Columbians have voted beautiful Shuswap Lake as BC’s top boating destination for 2018 – while Heriot Bay, Princess Louisa Inlet, Montague Harbour and Harrison Lake round out the top-five.
Canada is home to some extraordinary fishing, so take your boat and fishing license, load up on insurance, and head out to catch yourself a big fat fish. Halibut, which typically weigh over 20 pounds, and can even get up to 100 pounds, fits the bill. Found in the deep waters near BC’s Tofino and Ucluelet, they are easiest to catch in May when they are more likely to be found in shallower waters. Be prepared to put up a fight! If ocean fishing is not on the agenda, then there are kilometres of river fishing from one end of the province to another. The Fraser River is the single largest river system in British Columbia, running at 1378 km in length. The main stem and tributaries include all five species of salmon, sockeye, pink, chum, chinook, coho and steelhead. The prize catch and conservation efforts revolve around the mighty sturgeon. There are more than 60 other kinds of fish use the Fraser River. There are very specific rules for fishing in the waters of BC and differ for freshwater and tidal water fishing.
What undersea creatures can you find in British Columbia coastal waters? Giant Pacific octopuses, sea lions, jellies, wolf eels, six-gill sharks, soft corals, huge cloud sponges and ancient sponges, and immense red sea fans. Scuba diving in Canada is considered some of the best available. It’s not to be taken lightly – you will need training and accreditation – but when you are ready, you can use your boat to access extraordinary experiences underwater. Jacques Cousteau named the waters off of Port Hardy the best cold-water scuba diving in the world – the vibrant, colourful ecology is astonishing, and Browning Wall is understood to be one of the best places to observe its beauty, particularly as the water visibility is excellent. More advanced divers will want explore a circuit of shipwrecks through the BC Wreck Trek Passport.
Ride the waves
A popular boating activity in BC is both recreational and competitive tow sports. With our vast system of lakes throughout the province it is a perfect place to learn water skiing, wakeboarding and even newer sports like wake surfing. This new sport is a combination of wakeboarding and surfing. The towboat creates the wave to surf behind! This is a sport where both the rider and the captain need to work in tandem. Check out the Wake Surfing 101 from Powerboat Canada
Lay the foundation for your adventures
As with any adventure, being prepared is important. Making sure that you have the correct documents, such as boating and fishing licenses, and accreditation for riskier pursuits like diving, is key, as is having the correct boat insurance. Find out why insuring your boat under your home insurance is not the best decision. Our pleasure craft marine insurance experts can make sure that you haven’t missed anything. Two new exclusive products available to BC boat owners is Fisherman’s Trophy and Ride the Wave value added coverages. If you looking to have higher coverage for your gear call Reliance. Knowing you have the right boat insurance coverage will let you adventure out on your boat and maximize the fun factor!
BC Fish & Wildlife: Freshwater Licensing
Fisheries & Oceans Canada: Licensing