West Coast of Vancouver Island

For a List of the CURRENT Closed or Open status of MARINAS, MARINE PARKS, AND BORDERS

Kiixin - Bamfield

The Huuayaht First Nations is once again offering tours to the Native village remains of Kiixin (a National Historic Site), located between Bamfield and Pachena Bay. The Float House at the East Government Dock in Bamfield will be open as the Kiixin Visitor Centre from 10am to 4pm. Tours of the Kiixin site run from June 15 to September 15, daily. Advance reservations are recommended. For more information go to www.kiixin.ca or email info@kiixin.ca.

The Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses now owns the East Bamfield Public Dock, The Market & Café, and “The Motel & Pub.” Moorage is paid at The Motel.

West Bamfield Public Dock add: Wharfinger contact phone number is 250-735-8243.

Newton Cove Resort

Newton Cove Resort at the head of Espinosa Inlet is a fishing resort. Moorage and fuel are no longer available to transient boaters and are only available for resort guests.

Tofino Harbour Authority

Online contact for the public docks, including the “Crab Dock” is info@tofinoharbour.ca; website is www.tofinoharbour.ca


The 52 Steps Dock in Ucluelet is a seasonal CBSA Customs reporting station from June 1 to September 30. This is the only Canada Customs reporting station on West Coast Vancouver Island. Because this is a seasonal reporting location, not all offices and agents are aware of this reporting station.

Sooke Basin

Two floats at the east end of the boardwalk provide dinghy access for a lovely walk into town for supplies; located near the Harbour Authority Docks. Harbour Authority Docks have side-tie space for transient boats on the outside float.

Barkley Sound, Ucluelet

The 52 Steps Dock serves as a customs clearance for West Vancouver Island, also offers ample side-tie moorage, managed by the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour (250-726-4241).

Thunderbird Marina

 Thunderbird Marina: Marina contact phone number is 604-921-7434

Barkley Sound, Port Alberni

New fuel dock with gas and diesel and side-tie moorage when available; designated as Tyee Landing, managed by Port Alberni Port Authority (250-723-5312); fuel dock (250-730-3835). Docks accommodate sport fishing boats with a few spaces for cruising yachts; reservations accepted. 

Bull Harbour

Boaters may now tie-up at the Tlatlasikwala First Nation dock in Bull Harbour for a fee, contact the Band on Ch 6 or 16; payment instructions will be provided. The second float in mid-harbor, detached from land, is also used for moorage. No charge to anchor in the Harbour. Leave the harbor entrance clear for floatplane landings and departures. All of Hope Island is private property so visitors are not permitted to go ashore.

Nootka Sound Resort

Nootka Sound Resort in Galiano Bay on Tlupana Inlet is a fishing resort. Moorage and restaurant services are available to resort guests only.


New phone number for Zeballos Small Craft Harbour is 250-761-4333

The Ahousaht Stewardship Fund supports safety services, trail maintenance, and visitor information; you may be asked to pay a voluntary fee when anchoring, collected by the Ahous Guardian vessel, effective for 2018.

Clayoquot Sound, including the charming town of Tofino, is one of the cruising highlights on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. One of the main attractions in Clayoquot Sound and a renowned boating destination is Hot Springs Cove. Visiting Hot Springs Cove is a special treat for many boaters. Hiking the 2 km (1.2 miles) boardwalk, still carved with boat names, is as interesting as the hot springs themselves. When visiting the cove, most boaters anchor out and take their dinghy to the park dock to go ashore.

Ahousaht Stewardship Program

While Hot Springs Cove is a major attraction in Clayoquot Sound, numerous other harbours and coves are worth a visit and are often overlooked by pleasure boaters. Anchorages throughout Clayoquot Sound offer perfect anchoring depths, scenic mountain views, and seclusion. Most of these anchorages, including Hot Springs Cove, are within the Ahousaht First Nations territory. In cooperation with the BC Provincial Government, the Ahousaht Stewardship Program has been established to help economic development. Donations to the Stewardship Fund are on a voluntary basis; boaters are encouraged to support the Fund by paying for an anchorage fee or permit while in Ahousaht waters. Monies collected provide funds for trail maintenance, data collection, cultural education, and emergency services for pleasure boaters who may need assistance. The Fund is also intended to help develop new opportunities and is run by the Maaqutusiis Hahouthlee Stewardship Society.

How to Purchase Your Permit

Permits can be purchased at the Ahousaht First Nations Office in Tofino and at most Tofino businesses. When anchored in Ahousaht waters within Clayoquot Sound, you may be approached by the Ahous Guardian vessel inviting you to purchase an anchoring permit, or they may ask if you have already donated and have a receipt. As a convenience, you can fill out the form and make your donation directly to the uniformed First Nations Representative aboard their vessel. A receipt will be provided for your permit fee/donation. The suggested amount is $10 per day, per person; or $40 per day for a group of 4 or more people.

A Misunderstood Program Revamped

The program first began in 2016, and its first incarnation was misunderstood as a required fee program instead of a voluntary donation program. The program has since been revamped for a more professional approach with trained Guardians. Ahousaht Stewardship Guardians who are ready to welcome you, provide cultural education, and provide assistance as needed. Look for a friendly visit via their bright yellow Ahous Guardian vessel. The Ahousaht believe in protecting the natural world, referred to as “our hahoulthlee,” for the enjoyment of all living beings through responsible stewardship and future land-use planning.

This Stewardship Program was first brought to the attention of boaters in the 2018 Waggoner Cruising Guide and the Waggoner Team continues to follow developments of stewardship programs for our readers.

~ Lorena and Leonard Landon, Managing Editors, Waggoner Cruising Guide