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Prepare For Your Charter

All information below is provided in hopes to assist with Good Preparation prior to your charter.

The materials listed is used by our staff and have proven to be very helpful. This information is intended for all crew on board, you don't need to search, its all here  for the cruising area in PNW.

The apps will make your route planning a breeze and for a quick and efficient orientation upon your arrival.


If you need assistance, feel free to contact our office.



Island Cruising


Be sure to plan your routes, it pays to be prepared.  

Please account for tide depths for entry and exit to the marina. Ask our staff for more information. 

Beat the pressures of early start and pre-board the night before, giving you options with tides, orientation and presentation of route plans. 

We are close to the Victoria International Airport and to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.

Ask about provisioning. 


Marine Conservation

 Island Cruising


Please review the marine protection zones on the government website and abide by the restrictions. Clearly marked on Navionics. 


Have knowledge of the local cruising area and anchorages.

You may be fined for not complying with these restriction. 

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Plan Your Route


 Island Cruising


Before arriving at our base, please prepare for your charter. One of the best ways to be prepared, is to have knowledge of the local cruising area and anchorages.

Under Canadian law, the skipper is required to conduct his Pre-departure checks

Dreamspeaker Cruising Guides are ideal for getting the inside scoop on the must-see sights and local amenities. All of our yachts are equipped with a copy of this cruising guide for the sailing area.

Contact Island Cruising to order your Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide.

Hassle free Power cruising 


NEVER cruise through seaweed


  • Take out the tools when the engine overheats

  • Remove all the raw water piping and find all the seaweed

  • Take out inflatable pump and blow intake piping blockage out. 

  • Open back of the cooler and remove impeller pieces

  • Open raw water pump, remove damaged impeller, and all the pieces in the ports

  • Replace impeller and coat with dish wash soap.

  • Everything assembled and you under some hectic pressure from crew.

  • OPEN raw water inlet valve. 

  • start engine and run for 10 sec at 2000 rpm and check exhaust cooling flow

  • if flow is good, inspect muffler connections of exhaust piping for water leaks, tighten clamps in necessary, come back and check again before you flood the boat.

  • When you have inspected complete engine system, oil level, coolant levels. 

  • Run engine at maximum 1500 rpm for an hour while continuously checking that all is good.  

No desire to deal with the repair.....!!! shut the engine down before entering seaweed areas. 

Essentials when starting engine 


NEVER get distracted while checking engine systems 



        Take out the tools when the engine overheats

  • You should be doing your engine checks which include oil level, a quick over view for leaks, loose wires and exhaust leaks every morning and every 2 hour of run time

  • Start engine and run to 1500 rpm, check exhaust for raw water flow, record your inspection of raw water flow.

  • The sound is well suppressed if the water is flowing....very noisy if no flow.......sounds like a straight through exhaust on a car...BAD.   

  • Water should squirt out exhaust in burst's as the water lock muffler dispenses the cooling water.

  • If you have no flow, check water strainer seal. Its a common mistake to drop O ring seal during strainer cleaning

  • You have cooling.......important

  • Island Cruising staff cannot and will not be checking the cooling water flow while you are sailing, its your duty as the Captain to

  • Keep boat safe

  • Keep crew safe.......check cooling water 

  • Do not run engine with debris in water, shat down and drift through, it saves your charter 

  • When you have inspected complete engine system, oil level, coolant levels. 

  • Run engine  while continuously checking that all is good.  


Bow thruster 


Only operational with engine running

  • Press both buttons together until beep.

  • press button to the side you want vessel to thrust to.

  • do not run for more than 15 secs

  • rest for 5 sec then press again.

  • this electric motor will over heat and burn out with abuse.

  • Shuts down automatically.

Bow thruster.jpg

Electric winch - Raising the main sail


Only operate with engine running

  • Release main sheet & boom vang clutches

  • Hook up main halyard to sail head

  • Open both reef line clutches

  • start raising the sail with buttons

  • watch reef lines, may need to pull through to sail.

  • watch that sail battens don't get caught on lazy jacks

  • when sail is 2' from top, use winch handle to take up taking care of luff tension.


Safe anchoring 


NEVER drop anchor without checking the ground tackle


  • you could drift onto rock, lose ground tackle and much more

  • Download an anchor watch app

  • Check all connections

  • Check D shackles...!!!

  • Count the markings....8m intervals 

  • Inspect Rode to chain joint  ....!!!! 

  • Bitter end tie to boat...!!!

  • Swivels....!!!

  • Don't let untrained crew carry out this task, its your duty as responsible Skipper

  • Dropping and raising anchor requires skill, be sure its done with safety in mind and you can sleep safely. 

  • Access the required amount of ground tackle for the change in tide and depth conditions, including expected winds

  • Activate the anchor watch app and test it

Anchor Watch App

For your IPad or mobile phone  

Your anchor watch for a peaceful night's sleep

Crew duties before Cruising


NEVER START the engine until you have done passage planning.....everyday



  • you could run aground, experience winds and seas beyond your skill level.

  • Download Navionic app, see below........

  • Auto routing has many mistakes, do the route plan manually.

  • Identify all hazards, rocks, ferries, overhead, underwater.....Marine Protection areas ....and more 

  • check weather predictions  ....!!!! 

  • Know tidal currents and depths for the full passage...!!!

  • Do this planning with all crew that may take the helm

  • Unskilled crew don't know what to look out for, do this task yourself, its your duty as the Skipper

  • Take careful note of the Marine Protection areas and be warned you will incur fines for transgressions 

Social Media


 Island Cruising


Enjoy 2 free days of kayak rental by doing


  • a review on our website

  • Post some image on Instagram of your teams voyage to the charter base..... some excitement

  • and a comment on Facebook. 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Day of Arrival


 Island Cruising


You can head for the Marina, please stop at the office to complete your check out paperwork and provide your damage deposit. If you are pre-boarding after hours,  contact the office prior to your arrival to arrange access to the vessel and marina. Your cruising starts at 9 AM and you must be off by 9AM to ensure we can prepare boat on time for next client. 


After completion of the paperwork you may access the vessel on our docks at the Marina. Be sure you understand all requirements, including return activities


To prepare for orientation, please have your itinerary ready, along with the first day of PASSAGE marked on a marine chart, including tides, wind, major hazards and restricted zones and timing of your exit and entry of docking. 

Review our guarantee prior to leaving the docks 

Major Hazards




Running aground can be expensive-expensive enough for a couple

of local charter companies to compare notes about groundings, the

findings are startling.  Almost all of their accidents occurred repeatedly

at one of 9 places in the Gulf Islands.  The most notorious No Go "keel-biting" rocks lurk in the waters around

Enterprise Reef, Porlier Pass, Clam Bay, Danger Reefs, Pylades Island, Ruxton Pass, Pirates Cove, Rogers Reef, Silva Bay and Gabriola Reefs.

In most cases, the navigational errors were identical.  Most accidents

occurred at or near low tide and the skipper was "cutting the corner"

rather than navigating mid-channel or were not present on deck at the time of the


Here are the locations, dangers, navigation aids, and a cautionary note for each site.  Bear in mind that the cautions are merely admonishments - you must use current charts and publications for your navigation.

Comox Charters


Please note that there are some things to pay 

close attention to during your charters through


Double click on the map to the left to view 

the image on a larger scale.

During charters through the Comox Bank, make 

sure to keep the line on your left while 

travelling out of port, and to the right while 

travelling in. AND you need a 2m tide and

calm condition during the crossing of the bank!!

Make sure to review the varying depths and leave 

a two meter tide during your journey. 

If there are rough waters, please allow a minimum three meter tide to make up for the swells.

Charters​ entering into USA


Please prepare for your entry into USA note:

You will need to enter

  • at the closest port to fully comply with the

  • USA customs requirements.

  • Rouche Habour

  • All crew will require a passport

  • Only skipper may exit vessel at dock until cleared

  • All food restrictions need to be complied with

  • Have all documents required for customs agents

  • Ask about exit and load the Roaming app

  •  aware of our service radius, no entry limits...

If there are rough waters, please allow for wave height to make up for the swells.

USA entry.jpg

Navionics App


For your IPad or mobile phone   


Download this app and you will be able to do route planning at home with the family for your next charter. You can review tides, wind, distances, and info about marinas or anchorages. No data required if your IPad is a 3g/4g model. 

Paper charts are aboard all yachts for the cruising areas. Review the hazards below. 

You may not move the yacht without a detailed route plan !  -  tides, wind, currents and hazards on route, no exceptions  

Have FUN, but be careful in cold water sailing. View our video

On the water Video of the Hazards.  Beautiful but requires caution and a good skipper. 

PredictWind App

For your IPad or mobile phone   

PredictWind is the only company in the world that runs their own global weather model at 50km resolution with two sources. In addition, 1km / 8km resolution forecasts are generated for popular regions around the world.

Anchor Watch App

For your IPad or mobile phone  

Your anchor watch for a peaceful night's sleep

Safe Boating Guide


Download the new Safe Boating Guide today!

Welcome to the SAFE BOATING GUIDE. Transport Canada publishes this resource to make sure that you know the regulations that apply to boating and learn more about safe and responsible boating practices. 

Download the new Safe Boating Guide today!


Pleasure Craft Operator Card


Proof of Competency:

Everyone who operates a power-driven boat in Canada needs proof of competency — something that shows they understand the rules of the road and how to safely operate a boat. The most common proof of competency is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can get one by passing an accredited boating safety test.

Proof of Competency:

Non-Residents of Canada may demonstrate proof of competency by providing proof of competency from their own country or by completing a Rental Boat Safety Check List


The Canadian Aids to Navigation


The Canadian Aids to Navigation System is comprised of a mix of visual (lateral and car- dinal), aural and electronic aids to navigation. Visual aids are short range aids to navigation including buoys, daybeacons, daymarks and lights. In Canada, a combined Lateral-Cardinal system of visual aids is used.


Safe operation of a dinghy

Please take the time to know the outboard systems:

  • the safety kill cord

  • the fuel shut off

  • the choke

  • full on-board fuel tank for the commute

  • what about water in fuel, how how to drain carb



Check out this YouTube video on how to carry out safe operation of the dinghy.


Understanding reefing

Don't leave it too late in gusting winds

  • watch your apparent wind

  • prepare crew to assist 

  • be sure your have room to head to wind

  • Release the boom vang

  • Release the main sheet 

  • commence the reefing 

  • check for chaffing

  • re-tension halyard, vang and main sheet



Check out this YouTube video on how to carry out safe reefing of the main sail.


Charter Inventory List

  • Curious about the luxuries on board?

  • Here are inventory lists to assist 

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Every Charter Includes

  • ​Sleeping Bag 

  • Bed Linen & Towels

  • Dinghy & Outboard engine

  • Wet Weather Gear on most vessels

  • PFD's (adult sizes only) - Ask about Child sizes

  • Safety Harnesses

  • Starter Package

  • Ask about bedding options

International Proficiency Certificate


Is it required?

ASA strongly recommends you apply for an International Proficiency Certificate if you are chartering in the Mediterranean as well as the inland waterways of Europe and Northern Europe.

Who can get one?

Only sailors who have been certified through ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising can get the International Proficiency Certificate by completing the application online .  The IPC is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

The IPC is accepted in the following countries:

Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom & Turkey.

Raising a Cruising Chute

Check out this YouTube video on how to raise a cruising chute.


Communication at sea


In today's world of communication, it's best for you get in early. InReach offers you a great tracking and text program for very reasonable pricing. Allow family and friends to track you from home and text them from the most remote locations


Iridium Phone

Somewhat more expensive with full internet connectivity coming soon. 



We have compiled a list of a few YouTube video for you to review about     NAVIGATION 

Navigation Video
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