A Travel Site for Boaters

Suncruiser West Coast - - Contents -

Boaters are a spe­cial kind of trav­eller. The fact that we travel on wa­ter sets us apart from the ma­jor­ity of trav­ellers who use cars, mo­tor homes, and buses. Our des­ti­na­tions are limited to coast­lines and is­lands. On the other hand, we can go places rub­ber tire trav­ellers can­not.

Our travel is so highly in­flu­enced by weather, we of­ten can­not be cer­tain we will cover our route as planned. We rely on weather re­ports, good judge­ment, charts and guide­books and we know that a shel­tered an­chor­age is all we need. We share a need with all trav­ellers for help­ful travel in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, when we visit the web­sites or read the travel guides for des­ti­na­tions, they are not as help­ful as they could be. They are ori­ented to the land trav­eller. Of­ten, it ap­pears that the boat­ing trav­eller is in­vis­i­ble.

A few years ago, Des­ti­na­tion BC, the Pro­vin­cial tourism or­ga­ni­za­tion, rec­og­nized the spe­cial needs of boaters and for travel in­for­ma­tion tai­lored for them. In 2015, ahoybc.com was launched.

Novel, be­cause there is only one other place in the world with a des­ti­na­tion travel web­site de­signed for boaters. Take three guesses where. (an­swer at the end)

AHOY BC is de­signed as a first level travel plan­ning tool. It presents BC’S coast in three re­gions and 11 sub-re­gions, lur­ing you with vivid pho­tog­ra­phy and videos de­signed to help you vi­su­al­ize and plan your voy­age. Boaters can vir­tu­ally ex­plore the re­gions of the coast and let them cast their al­lure.

Boaters need to plan where they will moor and where they can re-fuel and re-sup­ply, es­pe­cially when vis­it­ing re­mote re­gions. A search­able map al­lows skip­pers to search for what they need. Se­lect fuel, gro­ceries, pump out sta­tion and liquor, for ex­am­ple, and only mari­nas with those items ap­pear on the map. Travel plan­ning made easy.

In­for­ma­tion on things to do in ev­ery BC coastal com­mu­nity is pro­vided from a boater’s per­spec­tive. Ma­jor marine cen­tres, like Nanaimo and Pow­ell River, have maps of the wa­ter­front show­ing ev­ery­thing of in­ter­est to boaters. Sug­ges­tions for cir­cle tours and con­nec­tions to BC Marine Parks and Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences help cre­ate an un­for­get­table voy­age.

The “For the Skip­per” sec­tion pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on safe boat­ing, fish­ing reg­u­la­tions, bor­der cross­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and re­spect­ful travel in tra­di­tional First Na­tions ter­ri­to­ries. As­pir­ing boaters will find in­for­ma­tion on learn­ing to sail and boat char­ters.

Ahoy BC is con­tin­u­ing to add con­tent. Soon, the Van­cou­ver Is­land West, Dis­cov­ery Is­lands and Broughton Archipelago sub-re­gions will have ex­panded ser­vices di­rec­to­ries, 20 best an­chor­ages, and cul­tural and culi­nary tours.

The AHOY BC goal is to be a one-stop in­for­ma­tion source for dis­cov­er­ing the BC coast and plan­ning a route and des­ti­na­tions. The web­site is not in­tended to re­place guide­books and charts and both are rec­om­mended once a route is planned.

If you said “Scot­land,” you were right. Now there are two places on Earth with travel plan­ning tools de­signed for boaters.

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