The aim is to live first, work second

Surging boat sales trigger the newest trend in lifestyle therapy

If you’re looking for a mellow vibe, one that includes spectacular vistas, water sports, long walks on the beach at dusk — no matter what island or town you find yourself in — chances are you moved for the lifestyle. Many Mainlanders have already made the move to smaller communities, embracing a more fun lifestyle, which for many, includes boating.

Boating enthusiasts will tell you it’s all about freedom, sharing good times, making memories, feeling the warm breeze in your hair and the cool mist on your face.

“Boating is aqua therapy … it’s about the lifestyle and getting away from it all,” says Lisa Geddes, Boating BC Association’s executive director.

According to Geddes, the industry has experienced tremendous growth; 30 percent over the last five years.

“Much of it can be attributed to people who have benefitted from Vancouver’s booming real estate, many of whom never thought they could afford a boat,” she notes.

In B.C., the most popular boating activity is recreational fishing. “Heavy, aluminium fishing boats are the No. 1 best-selling boat, followed closely by ski/wakeboard and pontoon boats,” says Brendan Keys, partner in GA Checkpoint Yamaha.

When it comes to the best boating spots in the province, both say the province is blessed with some of the world’s most scenic and picturesque lakes, rivers and oceans.

“In the Lower Mainland, Cultus and Alouette (in Golden Ears Park) lakes are very popular,” says Keys, who is a long-time boating enthusiast. “Then, farther out, Okanagan Lake, Osoyoos Lake, the Shuswap, and several lakes in the Cariboo region are the top choices.”

Thanks to boomers seeking the good life, people working remotely from home, Lower Mainland’s high cost of living, and newcomers to B.C. with a lot of disposable income, choosing a boating lifestyle over work will continue to be a growing trend.

“Boating is an easy activity to get into … you can start with a canoe or kayak and go from there,” says Keys. “You are creating memories that will last a lifetime.”

By Michelle Hopkins