Boats on Display in Beautiful BC

The third and final boat show of our regional “Boat Show Season” is underway at BC Place and Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia. 48° North made the trip across the border to check out this cool event, which has a a slightly different vibe and  list of boats on display than the recent Seattle Boat Show, and is worth the trip for cruisers, sailors, and anyone who is boat-curious around the Salish Sea.

Vancouver Boat Show at BC Place
Vancouver Boat Show at BC Place

Boats at BC Place

The 58th Vancouver International Boat Show opened on Wednesday, February 5 and runs through Sunday, February 9. At the show, we saw everything from inflatable SUPs to giant motor yachts, and everything in between. At BC Place, the boats are in the the stadium area, while the accessory and service exhibitors are in the concourse that encircles the stadium. This is a great set-up because if you do one lap, you know you’ve seen all of the accessory booths! In the stadium area are jet skis, fishing boats, cruising yachts, and several lines of small sailboats, including RS Sailing dinghies and their RS 21 keelboat that I reviewed in May of 2019.

The foils of the White Formula Whisper foiling catamaran.
The foils of the White Formula Whisper foiling catamaran.

There is also the first production foiling boat I’ve seen at a boat show in the Pacific Northwest: the White Formula Whisper. That boat is actually coming to south Puget Sound, so keep an eye out for it flying above the waters of Commencement Bay.

In the water at Granville Island.
In the water at Granville Island. Photo courtesy of Vancouver International Boat Show.

Afloat at Granville Island

Over at the in-the-water portion of the show at Granville Island (which is always worth a visit, regardless!), you’ll find larger boats and far more sailboats. New offerings from a variety of power and sail manufacturers are enough to activate anyone’s uncontrollable daydream response. Any one of those offerings provides splendid platforms from which to explore our local cruising grounds and many could take you much, much farther.

Promotions and Highlights

No boat show is complete without a few extra fun things to entice you in, and Vancouver 2020 is no exception. Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel, an international boat show sensation, will be performing. More than 125 seminars and presentations keep the event focused on helping people learn and progress. There’s even the chance to enter for a Grand Prize Highfield Inflatable CL340 tender with a 20hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard on a trailer! Of particular interest to me, however, is the group of students from University of British Columbia who won the International Robotic Sailing Regatta, and are preparing a “Sailbot” to compete in this year’s Vic-Maui race.

BC is a fabulous place to cruise, and it’s also a great place attend a boat show. Check it out.

Show hours are from 10am – 8pm indoors on Wed-Saturday, and 10am – 5pm on Sunday. Standard tickets are $15. See more at