Marina Services - Docks
The docks at Thetis Island Marina are oriented in a general north-south direction, to take advantage of the prevailing winds. Most often the wind is from the south, but for perhaps 20 % of the time we will get a north wind.
Neither wind direction is likely to create any substantial swell, as the harbour is very well protected, but often the north wind will blow a bit stronger due to an acceleration effect from the local hill to the north. There is a short fetch when wind comes from the north, so even with significant breeze, there is little or no wave action.
The bottom of Telegraph Harbour is predominantly sand and mud, with few obstacles or rocks. There is a relatively flat bottom throughout much of the harbour, with little difference in depth up to the marina. Each year there can be some local shoaling due to shifting sands in the harbour, particularly to the north of the marina.
The dock attendants will provide you with guidance and local knowledge to ensure safe entry and exit, and will take your vessel’s draft into account when assigning a moorage spot. In general, smaller boats will be inside, nearest the shore, while the outside docks are reserved for larger vessels It is always prudent, as skipper, to keep a watchful eye on depth, but bear in mind the last survey of Telegraph Harbour was over 40 years ago, so soundings on your charts likely do not reflect current conditions.
While enroute, or before departure, check the state of the tide for your anticipated time of arrival.
The tidal reference port in the Canadian Hydrographic tide tables is Fulford Harbour, on Saltspring Island. Most electronic versions of the tide tables give you alternative reference ports, with the closest being Preedy Harbour, which is just to the west of Telegraph Harbour. If in doubt, just ask, and we will be happy to assist.
As with most marinas in the Pacific Northwest, we monitor VHF channel 66a. Voice callsign is “Thetis Island Marina”.
This is a recommended “low power” frequency for marinas, so calling at great distances for a slip assignment may not get a response right away. It is better to call as you enter Telegraph Harbour, and we can then give you the information you need to be able to deploy fenders and dock-lines on the appropriate side of your vessel in adequate time.
The marina has over 3000 feet of docks, made up of long fingers, each joined in the middle to the main access dock to the shore. The fuel dock is located at the seaward, or outermost end of this central dock, and this is where you will find dock attendants, vessel registration, gasoline, diesel, oils, water etc. A diagram of the dock layout can be found in most up-to-date cruising publications such as The Waggoner, Docks and Destinations etc. If you have internet access, a general orientation can be obtained through Google Earth satellite imagery.
Note the length of the fingers, which makes is necessary to have minimum spaces between boats to optimize occupancy. It is always appreciated when skippers move their vessels up close astern of the vessel ahead on arrival, as it saves a move later. When coming alongside the docks, a mid-ship line is often the most effective for the dock attendant to receive first, followed by bow or stern, whichever is up-wind. It is normally safest and most efficient if engine inputs are ceased once a line is ashore, and the dock attendant can then secure your vessel temporarily until you, as skipper, can get shore and inspect and finalize your tie-ups later.
We have several dinghy docks near the ramp, close to shore.
- If you wish to use your dinghy for local excursions or whatever, please move it to the dinghy docks where it will be readily accessible for you.
- Please, no dinghies along the main docks. For those who are visiting the marina by dinghy, just inquire at the fuel dock and the dock attendants will assist you in where to tie up.
- We do not charge a fee for short-term tie-ups of dinghies for those visiting the store, pub, restaurant etc. If you are going to Chemainus, and leaving your dinghy unattended, please talk with the dock attendant before doing so. This allows us to keep track of dinghies and ensure their safety on your behalf.
The end of the G/H dock is a float plane dock for arrivals and departures of regular as well as unscheduled flights. The float plane reserved area is marked by red and white painted lines. Please do not tie up to this dock within the red/white painted area at any time unless you have the dock attendant’s specific direction to do so. Under normal circumstances, this area will be reserved during the hours of daylight for floatplanes.
A frequently asked question is “how big a vessel can we accommodate?” To date, the largest we regularly accommodate is about 120 feet in length, although the average size of our visiting boats is certainly smaller.
- There is 15 and 30 amp shorepower on certain docks, and 15 amp only on others.
- At the fuel dock we have mid-grade marked marine gasoline, marked marine diesel fuel, and a variety of engine oils for gas and diesel engines, as well as outboard oil. The fuel dock can accept most debit and credit cards as well as cash.
Water for boats is only available at the fuel dock from the dock attendant.
- In general, water is scarce throughout all the Gulf Islands, since there are no municipal services, and each marina has to provide it’s own sources of water. We make our water with a reverse osmosis desalinator, because, although this is expensive to do, it ensures we have high quality water for our marina.
- There are restrictions for water use and distribution, due to cost and limitation of making our water.
- On the dock, we have water for potable use, for our moorage guests ONLY .
- We are unable to provide water to those not using our facility as moorage guests.
- Misuses of potable water are prohibited by local Islands Trust bylaw, so there is no boat washing, fish cleaning etc. permitted.
- We encourage boaters to fill water tanks at mainland facilities or plan a quick stop at those places with municipal services whenever possible, prior to coming to the islands. We do not have the production capacity to fill vessels with large water tanks. We will, however, provide adequate amounts to ensure none of our guests are without water.
We have a propane tank refilling station ashore, located in the pub parking lot, along with the trash containers. Behind the pub building, we have a commercial Wascomat double-load capacity washing machine and gas dryer for laundry, as well as showers and separate toilet/sink facilities. Laundry and showers are coin-operated. Change is available from the pub or store.
There is a pay phone located at the fuel dock. For those with their own cellular phones, there is a cell phone antenna and booster in the pub that will cover the pub and outside deck area, but not the docks. Our WI-FI has several nodes to cover the entire marina area, and is available at no cost to moorage guests. Access codes are available from the dock attendant or in the pub.
There is a cash machine located in the pub, which accepts bank-cards with the INTERAC logo, but doesn’t currently accept credit cards.
The liquor store is located at the north end of the pub. It is a separate facility, and all beverages containing alcohol are only sold from the liquor store, including beers, wines etc.
The convenience store is located behind the liquor store and includes the Post Office.