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Vancouver nestled below the snow covered Coastal Ranges

Last week we visited the Vancouver Boat Show. Canoe Cove is right next door to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal so it was only a short walk to hop on the ferry and enjoy the ride. It was the first bright sunny day that we’d had for a while so we really enjoyed the passage through the Gulf Islands and across the Strait of Georgia to “the Mainland”. It was impressive to see the snow-covered peaks of the Coastal Range of the Rocky Mountains with Van City nestled at their foot on the shore. However my abiding memory of the journey will be the queue for the canteen. It stretched through the door, along the corridor to almost halfway up the boat, and did not diminish for most of the trip! As it has a monopoly on this ferry route I guess they can deliver bad service and get away with it.

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The permanent queue at the Coastal Cafe on the ferry

The Boat Show was in the False Creek area with an indoor part in the BC Place football stadium and the outdoor part down at Maritime Market Marina on Granville Island. We headed for the outdoor part first, taking one of the cute little water taxis across the water to the market. There was a good size collection of pristine sailboats and motorboats to have a look around; we went onboard yachts of a similar size to ours (Jeanneau, Beneteau, Hunter and Bavaria) and also checked out the swanky motorboats to see how the other half live!

Neil at the helm of the Nordic Tug

Neil at the helm of the Nordic Tug

Happily we saw nothing which suited us better than Distant Drummer! None of the yachts had an aft cockpit, they must be out of fashion which is a shame as we love our big aft cabin. The layouts mostly had three cabins with entrance to one of the quarter berths through the galley. The galleys were often L-shaped with nothing to stop you sliding across the boat when you are on the “wrong” tack. Lastly, and most strangely, we noticed that on many of the motorboats the helm was positioned too low to be comfortable when seated in the super comfy captain’s chair, unless you are an orang utan of course.

Rumba - definitely the sexiest boat in the Show

Rumba – definitely the sexiest boat in the Show

There was one gorgeous blue retro speedboat built by Riva Yachts, with a cabriolet-style bimini which could be raised and lowered at the push of a button! The boat we liked best was a Nordic Tug (built in USA). It was solid with a great layout and the bridge had a big bench seat for passengers to sit and enjoy the ride.

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Inside the Vancouver Boat Show

We had lunch in the food hall at the Granville Island Public Market then hopped on a bus to BC Place for the indoor show. The centre of the stadium was packed with yet more motorboats of all shapes and sizes, the cumulative value would have been quite impressive, even at Boat Show prices! In the outer ring stands promoting anything from boat parts and outboards to magazines and marinas were plying their trade. It was interesting to look around but we found, in the end, we didn’t really need anything! Neil collected as many freebies as possible and then we decided to get a beer before we began the long trek home.