BC Boaters Net

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BC Boaters Net: The purpose of this net is to provide information to amateur radio
   operators in BC waters, and to facilitate communications with friends and relatives back home.

The BC Boaters Net normally operates daily at 17:00 PDT during the summer months using the Vancouver Island Trunk System. See below for the dates. The purpose of this net is to provide information to mariners, and to facilitate communications between boaters and with friends and family back home. Methods of contacting us are shown below.

If you wish to see an azimuthal equidistant map of the world centred on coastal British Columbia (Victoria to be precise) please click here.

BCBN Operations

Planning is underway to open the BCBN on Friday, June 23 2023 (subject to change) at 5:00 pm daily on the Island Trunk System and ending on August 31.

2023 - Schedule of BCBN Net Control Stations


commencing 17:00 PDT

June23June29June 24-25 Field DayVA7GRSMark
June30July06July 1         Canada DayVA7GRSMark
July21July27VE7FED Art
Aug 11Aug17VE7BSALen
Sept01Sept07Sept 4      Labour Day


The BC Boater's Net normally takes place on the Vancouver Island Trunk System at 5 pm PDT (17:00) daily starting in mid-June. View a Diagram of the VITS, dated February of 2022.. A big thank you to the dedicated group of hams that maintain the Vancouver Island Trunk System! Donations to the VITS can be made at... www.islandtrunksystem.org

NOTE... VA7AQW (formerly VE7RNA) on 146.680 MHz (and all repeaters from Courtenay and south) require a tone of 141.3 Hz. VA7AQW is the southern-most repeater on the VITS.

The Salt Spring Island repeater VE7RSI on 147.320 MHz + CTCSS 88.5 Hz is no longer used for the BC Boater's Net. However, it still provides good coverage to the southern Gulf of Georgia area. It was recently replaced by a Yaesu DR-2X System Fusion repeater. It supports FM and the digital C4FM, called System Fusion by Yaesu. For FM users, it requires a tone of 88.5 Hz for FM. It also sends a tone, so you can set your radio up for tone decode as well as encode. That way, owners of FM-only radios don't have to listen to digital transmissions. If your FM radio is capable of BCL (busy channel lockout) it would be a good idea to enable it to prevent it transmitting while a digital QSO is taking place. For users wishing to make the move to digital, there is a growing list of radios that support C4FM. Some are also APRS capable.


New Boaters

All boaters that are amateur radio operators are welcome to check in. However, it does make the job easier for the net control station if your boat details are known. If you haven't checked into the BCBN before, please download this text file (Boat-Name-Form.txt) and follow the instructions to send a description of your boat to the email address that is shown in the text file.


Send an email to Len VE7BSA bcbn-info@bcbn.ca to request more information concerning the British Columbia Boaters' Net.

During the boating season, traffic for boaters via email can be sent to bcboatersnet@bcbn.ca. This is an email reflector which will send your message to all of the net control stations. The appropriate net control will then relay your traffic to the intended boater. Please include the call sign of the intended recipient as well as the vessel name, and the location if you know it. Email should be in plain text format and not in HTML format.


HF Nets

There are three HF nets that you may be interested in. They are run independently of the BC Boaters Net and we encourage you to check into them.

  • The Great Northern Boaters Net (GNBN) is on 3870 KHz and it runs year round at 08:00 PT with several different net controls in BC and WA. Bill VE7WSM has taken the net over since Barbara VA7KLU retired.
    On the same frequency starting sometime late April until end of August or early September Darlene (Floyd) KL0YC in Dora Bay, Alaska runs the half-hour "Alaska & Northern BC" portion of the net at 07:30 PT (06:30 AK).
  • The Northwest Boaters' Net is 3865 KHz at 08:30 Pacific time.
  • The West Coast Boaters' Net 3860 KHz (formerly 3855 KHz) at 18:00 PDT, usually June to the end of September, for stations unable to access the Island Trunk System.


Island Trunk System

The Island Trunk System (ITS) is a system of linked repeaters running the length of Vancouver Island. VITS is an open system and all boaters that are amateur radio operators are welcome to utilize it to have a QSO at any time. All repeaters from Courtenay south use a tone of 141.3 Hz. The ones north of there are just carrier access. The official webpage for the VITS is islandtrunksystem.org. You can view a diagram of the ITS there. Most repeaters on the VITS are normally connected to the trunk all of the time.

The Cowichan Amateur Radio Society maintains the southern-most repeaters on the ITS above Chemainus, and there are several repeaters maintained by the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association, two of which are on the ITS. Click on the map below for details of the Newcastle Ridge Building Replacement Appeal.

Click on map for larger view.

View a copy of this month's calendar.

Weather Links


Wildfire Links

To report a wildfire, call toll-free 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 on most cellular networks.

Boater's Links

  • Boaters Blue Pages is published by Pacific Yachting Magazine. It is a good reference
    to boating services in Washington and BC.
  • Roly VE7DCL/VE0TI: Tropic Isle
  • George N7HPE and Jeannie: Nereid V
  • Peter VE7GCG and Marion: Alanje
  • Bill WB6JAO & Mary KG6GEX: Raptor Dance
  • Northwest Boat Travel Guide - accurate, complete, up-to-date, and useful information available about the waterways of Washington, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.
  • Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
  • The VA7RFR repeater on 147.080 MHZ +600 CTCSS 141.3 Hz has an autopatch with free North American calling. *411 plays an info file explaining how to use all the features on the repeater. Note... do NOT dial a 1 after the on code! The repeater is located near Parksville and Qualicum Beach. With the antenna about 400' ASL, it serves much of the Georgia Basin. As well as having an autopatch, the repeater also operates as IRLP node 1179 and EchoLink node 659529. See PDF file for instructions. The coverage area is shown in the PDF file, but you can also download a KMZ file to view it in Google Earth. For more information, contact Mat VA7DMN at .
  • Big Wave Dave's webcams on southern Vancouver Island. Some have weather or tidal information.

Wi-Fi at Brentwood Bay

Wi-Fi access is now available at Brentwood Bay courtesy of Art VE7FED. Boaters are welcome to make use of it, but please be reasonable with usage. Anyone abusing the connection will be blocked! The SSID is BCBN. The router is located just above the 4th dock out of Tod Inlet on the Willis Point side. The range hasn't been tested yet, so a few connection reports sent to would be welcome. If it proves necessary, a high gain antenna could be added.

Other Links of Interest To Area Cruisers and Hams

Links for the Net Control Stations

See this site to get the correct time in Pacific or from some other time zone. Need to convert units? Online Conversions

Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card!

Len VE7BSA is the net manager for the BC Boaters Net.


Sadly, Stew VE7VAX became a silent key on November 20, 2013.
He had a heart attack and died suddenly and peacefully at home
with his wife Dorothy beside him.

Over a number of years I only knew Stew via the radio and his telephone
calls to me. I regret not having met him in person. He was dedicated and
100% engaged in the BC Boaters Net. I could always count on his help,
his guidance and his concern for the operation of the net. I knew he felt
sadness the day he decided he was unable to participate anymore but I
always knew he was there, listening in the background. Wherever you
are Stew, a much appreciated thank you.

Len Howland VE7BSA
BCBN Net Coordinator

farewell from Stew VE7VAXSent: June 3, 2011
To: Len H
Subject: BCBN Farewell

Hello all
It has been a great five years working with you all. What always frustrated me was all I heard was a voice with no view of who I was talking to. On the other hand, you never saw (the pita) me either. So here I am in my junky ham shack and saying good bye under doctor's orders. It has been fun and more than rewarding to feel that I was contributing to helping run the BCBN along with a great bunch of people. I wish the net continued and successful operation over the coming years.

73 to all Stew VE7VAX

Les Saul VE7GBT

Les Saul VE7GBT

June 13, 2013

When I moved to Thetis in 1983, Alex Ducket, VE7CBV SK was controlling the BC Boaters Net. He had been a member of a small group which met nightly on 147.320 when I was living in Victoria. On my move to Thetis, Alex asked me to check in with weather and water conditions and any other information for boaters. After a year he asked me to take over the Net. Initially, I had three or four waterfront hams giving me water conditions. I operated the Net from 4:30 pm to 6 nightly from May to September changing, from 2 meters to HF at 6 pm for those who were out of 2M range. My Net files are at Thetis so I'm a little hazy on some details but if I recall correctly, we had upwards of 30 or 40 check-ins at the peak of the season in mid-July and August. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them in Telegraph Harbour and visited some of them and their families in Washington State. One or two still visit me at Thetis and several send cards at Christmas. I regretted having to give up the Net Control but I have enjoyed keeping in touch with weather, water and marina condition reports.

Due to a session in hospital which Fran and I both had with a bout of e-coli in August and September of 2012 which resulted in Fran's stroke and partial blindness, plus my implant of a Cochlear hearing device on my right side to overcome my increasing deafness, which had impacted my radio communications, I have had to spend much of my time in Victoria with regular visits to St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver where the implant unit is located. It will be close to a year before I can expect to have full hearing again and I must still report into Vancouver for regular check-ups. I don't know if or when I will be back on Thetis on a more regular basis. Fran is recovering her eye sight but I have had to give up my driving license which limits my travel somewhat. It has been an honour and a pleasure to have been associated with the BC Boaters' Net and so many great people over the years.

Thank you and 73 Les VE7GBT

Les VE7GBT became a silent key on Feb 3 2022 at the age of 96.

The following excerpt is courtesy of the Victoria New Horizon Amateur Radio Club.

Les was born in Winnipeg on April 15, 1925. He was with the navy from 1943 to 1946, serving as a signalman on the HMS Gatineau. After the war, Les trained as a printer publisher. Les married Fran (1930-2013) in 1950 and moved to Alberta, where he purchased the the Eckville Examiner and ran the newspaper for several years. He sold it in 1954 and spent the rest if his career in public relations and advertising. Les and Fran had three children. Les retired on Thetis Island in 1983. His life-long passion for amateur radio had began in his 20s while still in Manitoba. He joined the Victoria Shortwave Club and the New Victoria Horizon's Club in 1987. With his health declining, Les moved to Victoria in 2012.

73 to Les VE7GBT SK... the Great Brown Tiger!

Marine Amateur Radio Flag

Ron Drinkwater, VE7AIX (formerly VE7LEA), designed this flag and have flown in over a dozen countries. They were individually handmade by Ruth Reader, VE7BAG (SK) but as of August 2012, they are no longer available. Our thanks to Ruth for her work over the years!

Thank you Ruth VE7BAG!



Hi BCBN Members
I want to let you know what has happened with my eye sight. Due to macular degeneration I have lost my ability to see fine detail. As a result I am unable to sew anymore. I had been making the flags since Ron Drinkwater (VE7AIX) brought me a drawing in 1992. I wish to thank everyone for all their support over the years. Thanks to one and all.
Ruth Reader, VE7BAG

Ruth made the Marine Amateur Radio Flags for 20 years, but sadly, she became a silent key on July 14, 2014. Born on August 27 1936, Ruth was 77 when she passed away.

Last modified: 2020-05-12
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