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Subject: no land in sight - Alegria off to Maui
(Posted on Jul 12, 2016 at 01:00PM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
Our very own Alegria is off on her way to Maui in the 50th year of the VIC MAUI race.  Owner Eberhard Heinzemann and Navigator Tom Wahl are both Cooper instructors who sailed the race in 2014.  The rest of the crew comes from our community here at Cooper and a collection of first time participants. 

After a tricky start in light winds, she's fighting her way back up in the fleet.   Early reports are a couple crew members suffering with some sea sickness... but we're hoping their bodies adjust quickly to life offshore.

Cooper Boating has helped prepare people for offshore experiences for the last 33 years.   We also help people learn to cope with the bucket issue the crew has been dealing with so far!  

Follow her here with hourly updates on position, speed and distance sailed and distance to go. 

The crew is posting to the TEAM ALEGRIA facebook page. 

alegria VIC MAUI 2016
Subject: tale of two cats begins
(Posted on May 2, 2016 at 05:45PM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
Coming soon to a harbour near you: a really great cruising kitty and one absolute lion!

Our F45 is well underway with the interior fully formed.  These are lightweight machines from the mind of legendary designer Ian Farrier.

Latest factory update.


But, check her out with her cousin "Cheekee Monkee" - Kim Alfreds' carbon fibre machine.   It could be appropriate that ours is facing Cheekee's stern - will be hard to stay in front of this magnificent creation.

For interest sake, Kim Alfreds was a big part of the original JIB SET, his father Les having founded the great organization that set so much of our North American training systems in motion.  

There is a certain irony meeting Kim for the first time in the Philippines last year - both boats are destined for Vancouver!

Subject: VICTORIA boat show starts today!
(Posted on Apr 28, 2016 at 09:02AM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
It all starts today - the VICTORIA FLOATING BOAT SHOW in the inner harbour (which certainly beats the other, non-floating... aka sinking... boat show!)

We're down on the Aquila 44 and the Hanse 47 - so we've got monohulls, multihulls and power and sail.  All the bases covered - so come talk about boating courses, charters and club events for this great season ahead!

victoria boat show
Subject: hello humpback ~ mentor sail with flavour
(Posted on Apr 15, 2016 at 06:54AM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
More than we asked for!  A band of merry mentorors and mentorees set off yesterday afternoon for a sail to polish those skills and blow off a few cobwebs. 

mentor sail

Conditions were near perfect... starting off in windier conditions that moderated, there were opportunities to sail the boat and get the most out of it.  Then it got better - while coming in, a humpback whale was spotted off the bow.   Using newly freshened skills, the crew worked to sail closer to their great whale - which moved strategically upwind!

humpback thursday

So, we've all heard about humpday -- but with us you can experience humpback day!  Want to be part of the fun... our community connects via Meetup site.
Subject: WOW ~ quite the EASTER cruise!
(Posted on Mar 31, 2016 at 04:15PM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
What a SPECTACULAR EASTER event!  We had 11 boats - power, sail, monohull and multihull - all cruising the glorious Gulf Islands together.  The rain gods stayed away for almost the entire trip, with the exception of the bonfire.  We did get the bonfire warm enough to not worry about the rain.

corus approaches dock

Corus approaches dock at THETIS.

raven magic

Raven Magic, Unprincipl'd and Simply Dreaming leave Thetis island headed for Dodd Narrows

past commodore peter

None of us could pronounce Past Commodore Peter's boat name, so it was renamed "Eenie Meenie" (tender is Miny Mo)

dinghy dock pub night

The crews of GRYPHON and STRAY CAT contemplate life at sea over dinner at the floating Dinghy Dock Pub (some came aboard tender "Stray Kitten")

that is a fire

While the EASTER BUNNY had some trouble had trouble getting the fire started in the rain (umbrellas come in handy).... the end result was fantastic!

treasure hunt

You can't find a better spot for an EASTER TREASURE HUNT -- a might treacherous however after the evening rains the night before

skipper the kayak coach

"Skipper the kayak coach" watches from the tender as the youngest crew members explore Silva Bay by kayak.

Be sure not to miss the next one:  May LOOONGER weekend flotilla.  Long weekends should be longer... ours is 5 days!  Boats already booked to leave VANCOUVER and SIDNEY locations.


Subject: EASTER: 6 boats and counting!
(Posted on Mar 13, 2016 at 11:33AM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
There are already 6 boats planning to do the EASTER FLOTILLA.  

The detailed plan is now avaialble, get it today on our EASTER page.


Subject: LEAP DEALS!
(Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 08:57AM by Colin Jackson) Tags:

~ Yes, it's LEAP DAY!  We're not sure about that official term, but time is precious & an entire extra day is wonderful. ~ 

take a moment to check out the deals now 

~ We will send you these right away - they are just too good to publish! ~
Subject: EASTER ~ flotilla secrets unveiled
(Posted on Feb 25, 2016 at 08:53PM by Colin Jackson) Tags:

For years now, one of our legendary flotillas has been the EASTER cruise.  We tend to believe that what works doesn't necessarily need fixing, so here's the insights into what makes this thing tick (from ADMIRAL EASTER BUNNY himself):
1) We start by planning the trip so people don't need to toil over the planning.  The highlights of where we are going have been up for a while here
2) People join in a number of different ways.  Some folks have a group - that means join with your own boat, your own charter boat or the boat you just stole (caution with that last one please).   If you don't have a group, join one through the CREW CLUB.
3) We kick off on THURSDAY night with a briefing on weather, communications & some of the details that unfold as the weather sets up and we can more accurately guess the exact flavour.

4) We shove off together from either VANCOUVER or SIDNEY.  For the VANCOUVER boats, we tend to see the start of the SOUTHERN STRAITS race, where silly people head off to sail into the night while we bask in the comfort of our warm cruising boats. There's a lead boat to help shepherd the group through passes and away from known hazards.  
Your leader will be dockside to help catch you & known to jump aboard to help with your first docking of the season if required.  EASTER is a great event to blow off those 'boating cobwebs'.
After arriving at THETIS island where we all enjoy dinner ashore at a funky restaurant.  We always love when the musically adept take to the piano.  We love it more when the not so musically adept take to the piano. 

dodd narrows conga line
5) Cruising north, a legendary 'conga line of boats' forms near DODD NARROWS so we can head through at a prescribed time (in your trip plan).   Once the fleet is through, people tend to explore NORTHUMBERLAND CHANNEL, where sea lions are known to bask on the log booms just south of NANAIMO.  Our destination is the marine park at NEWCASTLE ISLAND.  From there, a task force is dispatched to prepare for the evening bonfire.  We regroup at the DINGHY DOCK PUB - the only floating pub in the region.  There's a family friendly side for our younger folk.

6) Sunday morning is the EPIC all ages treasure hunt.  We've had explorers from 8-80 yrs of age.   Come learn about the 'that's not chocolate' standing joke & enjoy exploring an abandoned quarry full of treasure.   From there, we set off to SILVA BAY for a final evening of fun before heading back home on MONDAY.


*For those unable to do the 4 days (those not working with banks, schools, government offices & the underemployed/retired), know we often have a few boats head home from NEWCASTLE directly.
GET ABOARD TODAY... all starts by contacting our office!

Subject: CRUISE here and eat like a KING!
(Posted on Feb 25, 2016 at 07:56PM by Colin Jackson) Tags:

by CREW member MAX

Not many people know but there is a world class dungeness crab, spot prawn, and salmon fishery right outside of our Granville island and Sidney charter bases.

Chances are if you have talked to me on the phone you know that I spend many of my off days out on the water setting crab and prawn traps and fishing for salmon right here in our local waters.  Not only is it a great way to get out on the water but it has been a fantastic source of food over the past year.  Make sure to get your tidal fishing license online and check for any recent fishing closures and you will be good to go! 


Opportunities for harvesting crab abound right here in English Bay as well as up into Howe Sound and over in the Gulf Islands.  General rule is if you can find a sandy ledge in about 40 feet of water you have a good chance of finding some crab!  Bait choices can vary; there are pellets you can purchase at almost any gas dock however I have found that nothing works better than a salmon carcass.  These can be purchased right here at the Granville Island Market.  Set your traps and let them soak for a few hours for best results.


Spot prawns are plentiful in Howe Sound as you can see from my fish well filled with over 20lbs of them! And from just one set!  Finding them can be trickier than crab but when you locate them get ready for some good eating.  Best places to look are in Howe Sound in depths of 200-300 feet alongside some deeper water.  Make sure you have some willing hands as hauling up these traps can be tiring but if you ask me there is no better reward than a pan of prawns sizzling in butter and garlic to make you forget about your sore arms.  Very effective bait for these guys is the same pellets used for crab trapping.  Same idea as crab set the traps and let them soak for a few hours and then get ready for good eating!  

max with his fish

By far the most sought after fishing in Vancouver’s waters is for the mighty chinook salmon.  There are fishing opportunities available for these beauties year round as well as many smaller species of salmon that make their way into our waters every year.  Fishing for them is generally done with downriggers and specialized equipment however one very effective way of catching these fish with minimal gear is to drift fish for them during the summer Capilano Run.  All you need it a rod and some bait and you can join in the fun!  Either take your boat down to the mouth of the Capilano River off of West Vancouver or anchor and zip over in your dinghy and then it is as easy as hooking a piece of herring onto your line and lowering it down to the fish waiting below.  During the months of August and September and as early as July thousands of fish come into the area as they prepare to swim upriver so get out there after them!   


Subject: the flotillas are coming, the flotillas are coming
(Posted on Feb 17, 2016 at 08:33AM by Colin Jackson) Tags:
One of the very special things we do around here is build events that people can just PLUG INTO.  Doesn't matter if you are good or not.  Doesn't matter if you have done these over & over or are out for the very first time.  

We organize where, why & how.  Members book in & we draw from an inventory of boats at great prices to take the booking risk away.  Not sure how many or nobody to cruise with?  No problem.  We got you covered.


Oh, ya, these events are lots of FUN for everyone ranging from NEWBIES to OLD SALTS.

Browse the schedule & join today!

desolation sound