COOPER BOATING news ~ latest information about boating in BC
Subject: WOW ~ quite the EASTER cruise!
(Posted on Mar 31, 2016 at 04:15PM by Colin Jackson)
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)
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)

~ 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)

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)

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)
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

(Posted on Dec 31, 2015 at 12:26PM by Colin Jackson)
Great courses depend on great instructors.  

The story of our past chief instructor ALAN BOREHAM, & how he came to be one of our finest instructors started an the unlikely place - KITIMAT, BC.  

As we ring in a new year, we love his philosophy that "while pain is inevitable,  suffering is optional".  

Spend 10 minutes with ALAN here: 

Those small decisions will change your life - big time!

Subject: A Gift of Adventure!
(Posted on Dec 21, 2015 at 12:30PM )
The BEST gift to give someone, is a gift that will last them a lifetime!
Buy a Gift Certificate today!

YOU know how valuable, refreshing, and freeing your time is on the water- this year, share that joy with your friends and family with a gift that gives access to boating lessons, charters, and clubs.             

Grow your crew!


Gift Certificates are available in any denomination.
Available in person, or by phone- Gift Certificates can be printed, or emailed instantly!

Christmas hours
Open 9-5pm 7 days a week with the following exceptions:
Dec 24    9am - 1pm
Dec 25    Closed
Dec 26    Closed

Subject: SHARE YOUR ADVENTURE ~ story and photo contest
(Posted on Nov 26, 2015 at 04:55PM )
SHARE your boating adventure for a chance to WIN a $2,000 gift certificate from Cooper Boating!
Submit your favourite boating adventure photos & story, and you could WIN $2,000 to spend on charters, courses, or club memberships in 2016 at Cooper Boating!
Contest details:
We love hearing about your awesome boating adventures when you’ve finished a class or a charter with us- and we really want to share your story with everyone!   
Tell us about great destinations, and the journey getting there.  We’d love to hear about what you saw, what you dined on, that funny thing that uncle Bob did, and just how big that fish was you caught!
Winner will receive a $2,000 Gift Certificate from Cooper Boating for use in 2016, and their entry will be featured in Cooper Boating’s February 2016 Newsletter, and on
In addition, one runner up will be chosen, and will receive a 1 year membership to the Crew Club - a $500 value! 

Dates and deadlines:
Deadline to submit is December 31st, 2015.
Winners announced Friday, January 15th. 2016.
How to submit:
Submit 2 - 10 photos, and your story of 500 - 1000 words by December 31st, 2015.
Submissions will be accepted in word or rtf document only, photos in JPG.

Email your submissions to and put YOUR NAME & CONTEST ENTRY in the subject line.
Judges & the small print:
Winner and runner up will be chosen by our staff judges: Colin Jackson, Nancii Bernard, Dawn Dexter, and Jeny Cassady.
Entry in the contest constitutes your permission to Cooper Boating all rights to edit, and use the entry or parts of the entry in any marketing or publicity of Cooper Boating and Cooper Boating related business.

Subject: Filling the Food Bank
(Posted on Nov 23, 2015 at 02:25PM )
We would like to extend a great big THANK YOU to everyone who attended
Cooper Boating's Yacht Expo Seminars this past weekend! 

Not only did we have a great bunch of seminars, but we also collected an impressive amount of groceries for the         Vancouver Food Bank!


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