Monday, May 23, 2011

Buying a New Boat

It's hard to believe, but at the turn of the century (doesn't that make 2000 sound like a long time ago), Wayne and I knew next to nothing about boats. In 2001, we bought our first runabout to get up the lake. In the last ten years, we've added nine more vessels of various types to our collection. So why would we want another boat? Size matters. At least when you are out on the chuck (ocean).

Our primary ocean going boat has been the 23.5-foot Bayliner Halcyon Days. We love her, but the large straits and inlets of the Inside Passage have been beckoning, and the heavier seas and stronger currents made us want a more substantial boat before go.

What's held us back? We've been on the waiting list for a larger slip in the Powell River North Harbour for about nine years. Now that the marina is being redone, the wait is over. And Jim, the wharfinger, found us one that we can see from our condo window. How cool is that!

So off we went looking for a new boat. What better place to start than with Geoff at Lake Union Sea Ray in Bellingham. He helped us get our Bellingham boat a few month ago, so we returned for more of his able assistance.

Wayne and I sat down to create a list of mandatory requirements and "nice to haves." A few of the mandatory items were:

28-30 feet in length
command bridge (flybridge)
dinghy and motor
GPS and depth sounder
and a maximum dollar amount we set for ourselves
We searched on both sides of the border using craigslist,, and, of course, Geoff. Because of our good experience with Bayliners, we settled on three models: the 2858 Command Bridge, the 2859 Sunbridge, and the 3058 Command Bridge. To stay within our price range, we looked at boats built in the 1990's with gas engines.

Our search took us from the Pacific Northwest to Vancouver BC. We found several boats that met most of our mandatory requirements and some of our "nice to haves." But how do you know which is the right boat for you? Stay tuned for the rest of the story. -- Margy


  1. A new boat. How exciting. Sure hope you find the perfect one real soon.

  2. Boat shopping! Used to be one of my favorite things. I worked for a very little newspaper called "Boating News" in Vancouver the 70s. (I was most of the staff, actually.)
    One of my jobs was writing a column called "Broadside" for which I'd often check out new boats and review their amenities. Fun! Of course, that was long ago and far away, and I don't know anything any more. LOL
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. A new to you boat - what fun you are having! So great that you have learned so much and are venturing further. What is the fuel going for up that way? Some relatives of ours have a vacation home in Tofino and keep a Grady White there - they said gas is over $7.00 a gallon now.

  4. Lorie - In fact we already did find the boat for us. Stick around a few more days and you'll get "the rest of the story."

    Kay - You sure have lived an interesting life. I'm always finding out new things about you. A boating columnist. That must have been great fun.

    2 Tramps - Yes gas prices are pretty high. Car gas is about $5 a gallon after you do all the conversions and marine gas is just a bit cheaper in most places. It has cut down on lots of summer tourists which has been really bad for the economy in many coastal communities.