Where to Launch

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    Where to Launch
    Phil MacIntyre, Tue Apr 28 2009, 12:51PM

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a launch site on the mainland? I would also need to park my truck and trailer while sailing. I plan to head across the strait to the Gulf Island for 2-3 weeks.

    Phil MacIntyre

    Re: Where to Launch
    Liverpool Lou II, Tue Apr 28 2009, 07:53PM

    It depends where do you live and where you want to sail. If you are going for a day sail than launch at Vanier Park (beside Burrad Civic Marina) in Vancouver. Good point to start towards North part of Golf Islands. There is always Crescent Beach Marina if you do not mind powering “forever” until you are out of bay but it works if your destination is South part of Golf Islands. There is also launch ramp in Port Coquitlam if you want to go Indian Arm.
    Many other choices too, such as North Vancouver etc. My favorite was Vanier, because it is closest to me.


    Re: Where to Launch
    NautiMoments, Thu Apr 30 2009, 05:41PM

    If you want to go to the gulf islands, likely Crescent Beach is the best given that you will want to park for a couple weeks or so unless someone else knows of another marina. Vanier is not really a long term parking facility.

    Re: Where to Launch
    Phil MacIntyre, Fri May 01 2009, 08:21PM

    I looked up Crescent Beach and found it. They have a launch and a marina, and some place you can park too. They charge $9/night to park, and $12 to launch. That must be the going rate. Okay. I don’t mind paying to keep my truck safe and sound while I’m gone sailing.
    It looks like there is a pivoting bridge in the way. I’m not sure how that works, but they must have some system worked out to accomodate sailboats.


    Re: Where to Launch
    Windchime, Tue May 05 2009, 08:10PM

    Hi Phil

    We launch out of Crescent Beach, so here are a few tips.

    The Good:
    > They just installed a nice new dock, so it is much safer and easier to
    > Large gravel parking lot to rig and park.
    > Canadian Customs clearing point.
    > Only Canadian fuel on Boundary Bay.

    The Not so good:
    > You need at lease 6 feet of water to launch as the ramp gets
    extremely steep at the end.
    > A construction project upstream resulted in 2 feet of silt in the marina
    last year. Scheduled to be dredged Jan 2010.

    > The marina is at a pinch point where the bay meets the river at a
    corner, so the current can swirl and be a factor.
    > The good weather North-Westerly can collect speed over the open
    > The swing bridge stays in the open position unless servicing train
    traffic. There are 2 Amtrak’s a day, but lots of commercial traffic.
    They monitor VHF 66 or three blasts on the horn and they will open
    for you.
    > After you clear the swing bridge, the dredged channel out is narrow
    at low water, so stay close to the day marks and follow the RRR rule.
    > Blackie Spit is an environmentally sensitive area, so respect the
    no/low wake until you get past the pier.
    > Once past the pier, the sandbar to the south extends farther out than
    you would think, so be cautious if you head south before the second
    to last day mark. Even at high tide you only have about ten feet of
    water a mile offshore.
    > If heading west to the Gulf Islands via Active Pass, be cautious of
    the rocks a-wash at Point Roberts. Safest passage is to keep the
    bell-buoy to starboard.

    Hope this helps, stay safe.

    Re: Where to Launch
    Phil MacIntyre, Tue May 05 2009, 09:45PM

    Yes, that helps a lot. Your details about launching and navigating away from port will be quite useful for myself or anyone else using Crescent Beach.

    > You need at lease 6 feet of water to launch as the ramp gets
    extremely steep at the end.

    I was trying to figure out if there is or is not 6 feet of water on a regular basis. Is this affected by tides, or river flow?confused.png

    Thanks for your advice.

    Re: Where to Launch
    Windchime, Tue May 05 2009, 10:05PM

    Hi Phil,

    All the water level at Crescent Beach is dictated by tidal height as there is minimal spring run-off. Some of the current is from the river, but not very much.

    The most accurate way of predicting tide levels and currents at a particular place, is to calculate using the Canadian Tide and Current Tables 2009 Volume 5 (Juan de Fuca Straight and Straight of Georgia). Crescent Beach is a Secondary Port – Index #7579.

    If unfamiliar with doing these calculations, a fast-glance can be at this web address. http://www.dairiki.org/tides/daily.php/cnt Note that you can change the tide and current reporting centers.

    Glad to help,

    Re: Where to Launch
    Phil MacIntyre, Wed May 06 2009, 01:01PM

    Okay. I did not know that the tides affect the Crescent Beach launch more than the river flow does. Now the 6 ft of water required to launch makes sense to me. idea.png
    I do have a current edition of tides and current tables, but thanks for the website anyways. But finding it will be easier with the index #.

    Thanks again.

    Re: Where to Launch
    wander’n star, Wed May 06 2009, 08:12PM

    Two other options:

    Blaine in Washington. $5.00 to launch with free parking.
    You have customs to deal with…

    Secondly, is Macdonald Beach in Richmond. It’s on the north arm of the Fraser. Season passes are available with the City of Richmond.
    Boat launch Link:

    It has a birds eye view of the launch

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