Subject: docking tip right out of TOP GUN
(Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 11:00AM by Colin Jackson)
think back to the movie and remember how those f14’s barreled towards the rolling deck of the carrier and came to a sudden halt with the assistance of an cable they call an ‘arrestor’ wire? 
that little piece of imagery can work for you as well
you see boats have gotten wider – especially in the stern – and getting a line off the back corner with some forward pull can spin the boat alongside all on its own
we’ve watched our founder cruising his 64 footer with only his wife aboard and what they work with is basically their own ‘arrestor wire’ ~ two people ~ one gigantic boat ~ 55 years of marriage in tact ~~ how?
let’s say they want to be alongside portside to the dock ~ MR. COOPER gets the port aft corner of the boat safely to the dock and MRS. COOPER steps ashore and ties her one magic knot (well, nothing magic about it ~ just a proper figure eight cleat knot)
once secure, MR. COOPER can put the starboard engine in slow ahead and the boat will pull forward and in alongside the dock ~ it is so effective that if one were to leave the boat this way overnight, providing she has enough fuel, the boat will still be sitting there in the morning ~ lots of time to properly secure the balance of the lines and adjust fenders with ease
this example works for twin engine boats and can be used effectively with single engine boats as well, especially when some rudder angle towards the dock is added to the equation
magic docking ~ be up there with the BEST OF THE BEST!
Subject: NEWBIE itinerary - howe sound
(Posted on Jul 23, 2012 at 05:36PM by Colin Jackson)
for your first trip on our magnificent coast, why not take a routing specifically designed to be simple and straightforward?

the DREAMSPEAKER team put together this great cruising itinerary for people that are NEWBIES (either to boats as skippers, our experienced boaters who are new to our BRITISH COLUMBIA coast)

SAILORS and POWER BOATERS alike can enjoy this routing - reference with your very own GUIDE BOOK
Subject: courses that lead to chartering
(Posted on Jun 6, 2012 at 07:26AM by Colin Jackson)
seems a lot of people look at boats and wonder ‘how can I do that?’

~ and this leads to our favourite question: ‘what courses can I take that will allow me to charter a boat’
the simple answer is ‘any of our  multi-day on the water programs’
complete the CREW & BAY SKIPPER programs and we’d love to see you out chartering the daysailing boats on the bay
complete the cruise & learn and start your overnight charters on larger boats ~~ or step up from BAY SKIPPER by taking CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS
looking to explore more distant harbours and be more self sufficient? ~~ that’s what GUNKHOLING is all about ~ that’s the special name we use to cover the more in depth cruising programs that can lead to CYA INTERMEDIATE or IYT INTERNATIONAL BAREBOAT SKIPPER
we’re really excited to see you progress to chartering ~~ after all, we have an incredible collection of the finest charter boats in the area
sometimes people get through the program and have the certification, but they wonder if there is some ‘middle step’ between courses and chartering all on their own ~ we have three stepping stones to ‘going it alone’:
1)    some people take a skipper / instructor for the first day or two on their charter ~ they jettison this helper (preferably at somewhere they can buzz back home and not middle of the strait) and continue on their holiday
2)    others join a flotilla and have their own family and friends but a resource boat nearby and some ‘good coaching’
3)    others follow an itinerary, especially our fresh ‘newbie’ itinerary from the authors of the DREAMSPEAKER CRUISING guides – complete with some of the most straightforward routes and harbour entrances
~ your instructor will make recommendations, but in general, the size you did your course on and/or what you are comfortable with are the starting points
Subject: what is a YES?? (yacht expo seminars)
(Posted on Apr 13, 2012 at 07:20PM by Colin Jackson)
simply put - we collect experts for various YACHT and CRUISING topics and get them together to kick our BOATING TIPS & TRICKS philosophy to the next level

whether you are just starting out or contemplating crossing an ocean - one of these (or all of them) will amaze you, inform you or get you that AHA moment over something that puzzles you when afloat

at COOPER BOATING, we have to be generalists in order to keep a whole bunch of different boats in top form - but we have a collective team of strategic partners that are the true specialists and yacht experts - from building entire boats to BC boat sales experts who know how to scour the planet to get you the best deal

we have people specialize in rigging,  engines or boat wiring as well

these sessions represent a building wave in shoreside boat clinics - and an opportunity to test drive for some of our classes

everyone wants to share their expertise and make those all important face to face connections to truly make you READY for FUN on the WATER

what does it cost??  we cover all the expenditures but want to do something great at the same time - so please bring something for the FOOD BANK so we can give something back -  from those fortunate enough to enjoy time afloat to those who need a helping hand at this time

in a recent ALBERTA session one participant said "it's like drinking from a fire hose" -- we're adjusting the format to keep these passionate experts to a manageable pace!

check out the next one 

Subject: think of a battery like a JERRY CAN
(Posted on Apr 3, 2012 at 08:21AM by Colin Jackson)
when charging batteries, remember how we fill a jerry can and understanding is easy

we just returned from a series of YACHT EXPO SEMINARS and our good friend JEFF COTE with PACIFIC YACHT SYSTEMS shocked the groups with little known facts about batteries and marine electrical

one participant said it was hard to start asking questions because his brain was completely full and the quality and quantity of great information at the event was LIKE DRINKING FROM A FIREHOSE

to take a quick note from JEFF'S ELECTRICAL 101 session, think of topping up the batteries as you would filling a JERRY CAN

when filling one of these, you can initially open the nozzle right up and fill quickly - think of this as BULK CHARGING

as you get past 85%, one needs to slow down or it will spill everywhere - this is ABSORPTION CHARGING and trickier to do when you are out cruising, so some cruisers will bring the batteries up to around 85% and then start using them again

topping off a near full battery - replacing the gas that evaporates so to speak, is called FLOAT CHARGING and newer battery chargers are able to do this without damaging the batteries - what JEFF called not killing the batteries with "DEATH BY 1000 PAPER CUTS"

for more helpful tips - check back or check out the PACIFIC YACHT SYSTEMS BLOG
Subject: Changing to Catamarans
(Posted on Dec 27, 2010 at 10:47AM )
For many years we watched sailors switch over to power vessels and thought it might be an unstoppable trend.  Then came a period of time in 2008 when fuel prices came close to doubling inside 6 months.  The tidal wave of sailors moving towards power vessels in both courses and charters ebbed.  At the same time, a new trend picked up - one towards catamarans - and why not?  When compared to a trawler style power boat, these boats go the same speed under motor and can go faster than a trawler in strong winds.  There is nearly twice as much room and the visibility is excellent. They also use a fraction of the fuel and the ride is very comfortable in a wide range of conditions.

A few pointers if you are joining the crowds that are heading towards catamarans:

1) Handling - take a course or arrange private instruction at the time of your charter or separately.  These boats are easy to handle and most people pick it up quickly - but it is different and therefore not automatic.  Don't be fooled by their size - moving a pair of engines far apart makes for quick work of turning and once you have the hang of it, you'll have trouble going for anything else in the future.

2) Moorage - book the boat early and then call ahead for popular times in our top marinas.  These boats don't exactly tuck well into corners of the marina.  Every marina has spots suitable for catamarans, but you need to plan early to make for easy work of your evenings ashore.
3) Sailing - because the boats don't heel, it is important to reduce sail as the winds pickup so as not to strain the rig excessively.   Watch the wind strength and were there are forces that would normally cause excessive heeling, take those to mean it is time to shorten sail.

4) Anchoring - as the windlass is positioned at the forward end of the bridge deck, it is important to transfer the load while anchoring to the bows with the use of an anchoring bridle.  Our crew will be pleased to show you how to do this.

Featured here is the Lagoon 400 - and you can book onto Amritha - this new model available out of Port Sidney - but act soon to avoid disappointment. 

Be sure to contact the office for the article written by our Lagoon owner who took his vessel to Alaska.  It is a great read.

Subject: Gifts for your favourite boater - gift giving is SOOOO easy!!
(Posted on Nov 25, 2010 at 08:37PM )
Giving the gift of boating is so much better than socks.  Socks, however, are great if you are going to be boating in the very near future - it is a little cold these days! 

We've got some great ideas for gift ideas ranging from the introductory HELLO SAILING fun sails
 - for as little as $84 up to a full selection of live aboard adventure programs.    
Our modular format CREW program is a great option for those wanting to start sailing here in English Bay  - $399 provides two evening sessions followed by a weekend of fun on the water and includes the Please Craft Operators Card 

For folks already well underway on their courses, clinics like DOCKING, ANCHORING and SPINNAKER SAILING are only $199 each.  

Gift Certificates can be applied to any of our courses or charters. Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect option for your current or future boater!

This is the BEST PART - you don't need to leave the comfort of your home, office or car (well for safety purposes, at least pull over).  Our gift certificates have serial numbers and can be E-MAILED right to you -- and forwarded on to the recipient.  . It's the green gift alternative.  Wrapping is so much easier this way! 

(Posted on Oct 11, 2010 at 03:33PM )

We're very excited about being in the GUNKHOLING business moving forward.  It's both one of the best things to be part of and probably the item that tends to elude many people on a quest for fun on the water.  If you want to know more about GUNKHOLING, look no further - we are going to have lots of fun together.

GUNKHOLING, according to Wikipedia is a boating term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. Because of the slow pace, this type of cruising is best enjoyed by those cruising by sailboat or trawler. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays.



We hold that gunkholing embodies the ultimate cruising lifestyle - it's one of those rare experiences that is best enjoyed slowly and deliberately. Gunkholing is the type of cruising that makes our coast one of the best locales on the planet.

Some prefer to conquer oceans; we thrive on a good cup of coffee in a peaceful anchorage or quaint marina. Some would spend days and days aboard; we prefer a shoreside adventure such as a hike under the canopy of our coastal rainforest.  Some brandish their swords as they battle other boats on a race course; we prefer to raft up to our fellow boats and make a few new friends.

The magic of gunkholing is really a collection of small experiences that weave together into the fabric of our boating community.  It is impossible to fully describe what one gains by embracing the gunkholing lifestyle with a passage of words, but here is a small sample of the threads that combine to provide the allure of this pastime:

 >  The satisfaction of piloting your boat into an unfamiliar harbour by making
reference to the local charts and publications

>    The joy of kids exploring tidal pools

>    Flashing the barbeque up after a day of cruising from one island to the next.

>    Beachcombing poker - win or lose those treasures found earlier in the day

>    Sitting back and watch an eagle dive for her dinner right next to you

>    The playful banter as we line up at the pilgrimage to the shoreside showers with a towel and kit in tote

>     The camaraderie of flotilla cruising

 >    Watching the best in people come out as they assist with docking, mechanical challenges and tips as to the best spot to catch shellfish, take a dip or find the elusive baked goods

>    Sharing the waters with orca whales, dolphins, harbour seals and sea lions

The term originates from that spectacular gunk that oozes off an anchor as it breaks the water.  We

know it to mean so much more.  Won't you join us so we may properly introduce you to GUNKHOLING?

Subject: Lost your PCOC? Need your PCOC?
(Posted on Jun 24, 2010 at 01:32PM )
Boaters operating motor driven craft now need their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC).   If you need to get one, please contact our office or browse our courses.  If you had a PCOC and have lost it, please note that all PCOC's issued by Cooper Boating originate from the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA).  Here is the link to their page that allows you to get a replacement PCOC.
Subject: tell me more about: BAREBOAT
(Posted on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:01PM )
After all these years doing bareboat charters, now is a great time to take a look at what has stayed the same and what has changed.   Perhaps most importantly: what is a bareboat charter?   

Bareboat charters certainly don't derive their name from the inventory and options aboard - that has grown on the boats from a half page under a piece of plexiglass screwed to the bulkhead of boats with virtually no "toys" back in 1983 to Cooper Boating's current multi-page document that includes many features that make the bareboat charter far less than bare on the equipment side of the equation.

The term bareboat charter refers to the legal arrangements in place to access the boat.  You are well served to think of a bareboat charter as one where you are, in effect, the owner of the vessel for the charter period.  As a bareboat charterer, it is your responsibility to arrange for the running of the boat including its safe navigation, the insurance, the fuel, the destinations and so forth.  When looking at current regulations, it is clear that any influence of the actual vessel owner should not take place.  A bareboat charter of a pleasure boat is one where the charter client is using the boat for pleasure (non commercial application) and has complete control of the vessel as if they were the owner.   

In fact, we embrace the concept of being the owner for the duration - nothing on our boats says they aren't yours.   You don't rent a Ferrari and want a rent-a-car sticker on the back... so we embrace that concept and have had clients actually end up debating with others who 'don't believe' that the boat they are on could be a charter boat.   We love that, but let's get back to the discussion of this word 'bareboat'.

A charter agent like Cooper Boating can coordinate many of the items such as insurance and crew as required, but it will be on your behalf, not the actual owner of the vessel.   Should you not meet the competency requirements and require someone to be aboard to help you, those arrangements are on your behalf and do not involve the vessel owner.  If you delegate skippering or navigating or any other aspect of running the vessel, the responsibility for those assignments does come back to you as the charterer.

In Canada, you are welcome to buy a boat, and, providing you have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) - you are welcome to operate the vessel with that alone for non-commercial applications.   It may be more difficult to insure the vessel with just a PCOC as the insurance company will want to know that you are an acceptable risk when operating the boat.  They will want to see experience and training on the size and type of vessel you own.  Chartering is similar - as agents we work to confirm you are properly insured when operating the boat.  We work to fill out any requirements stemming from holes in your boating resume.

All the vessels we operate through Cooper Boating are offered on a bareboat basis.   We do not offer a skippered charter or passenger arrangements.   Some charters add crew or skippers, but it is important to understand those people are NOT working for the vessel owner. As with many topics, one can go deeper into the workings and background - Wikipedia discusses further the concept of a bareboat charter (also referred to as a demise charter).  Our agents  would also be happy to help you further as you book your spectacular boating holiday.