After our crossing to the Pacific Coast with a lot of mileage and severe weather, we where in need of some maintenance and repairs, spare parts and improvements.
James Conan, ronan.associates-at-gmail the Canadian representative of the Seattle Seawind dealership contacted us and helped us with all kinds of contacts, advice, arrangements etc. Thanks James
James arranged a meeting with Philbrooks Boatyard (PB) in Van Isle Marina at Sidney B.C. Our liancé, project manager is Daniel Thompson, daniel.thompson-at-philbrooks-period-com, who talked us through our wishes, helped us with the planning, did the estimates and introduced us to a lot of his fantastic colleges etc. etc. A few tips and tricks to maximize the experience:
- Prepare your work list in advance and send it to Daniel at least two weeks before arriving in Canada,
- Make sure there is room in the PB planning, so if you arrive at Van Isle Marina, they can start right away,
- If you want to apply for the work to be tax free, (12% in summer 2023)
- you need to be a non-Canadian vessel;
- Van Isle Marina must be your first port of entrance, yes there is a customs dock;
- ask PB to obtain the waiver before starting any work,
- Any expertise not available, like a certified gas technician, will be arranged by PB;
- You can ‘shop’ at the PB supply room. Marcus, the guy in charge, is a walking encyclopedia, well connected to any supplier. He managed to find my a few exotic Lewmar parts, busses for my water pump, soft cradle for my outboard etc etc.
- It helps if you are on board and helps with the jobs, to build up your own knowledge, less hours and expectations-execution, results close to each other.
We like the Canadian way of doing things. Knowledgeably, skilled, no language barrier, hourly rates are better than US WA rates, good work ethics, friendly.
We like Sidney B.C because their are 2 Chandleries, A Yanmar dealer, UK sails for a repair and Blackline, also a Boatyard with a rigging department to help us with some issues.
We liked PB for their work and reasonable docking prices. We did some extra projects.
We like Sidney B.C. because Victoria Int. Airport is extually in Sidney, easy bus right to Victoria, shops, grocery, a few nice restaurants etc. And the summer weather in B.C. is top. For us none US/Canadian buying a local (prepaid) SIM made everything so much easier in communication. From calling a cab to a reservation.
It’s a great place to start some motor-sailing the famous Gulf Islands and surroundings.