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.
Planning is underway to open the BCBN on Thursday, July 2 2021
(subject to change) at 5:00 pm daily on the Island Trunk System.
2021 - Schedule of BCBN Net Control Stations
commencing 17:00 PDT
|July||30||Aug||05 ||Aug 2 BC Day ||VE7BSA ||Len |
|Aug ||27||Sept ||02||VA7GEQ||Amanda|
|Sept ||03||Sept ||09||VA7GEQ ||Amanda|
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. However, the net did not take place
at all in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It should commence this year on July 2 2021.
Diagram of the VITS.
A big thank you to the dedicated group of hams that maintain the
Vancouver Island Trunk System!
NOTE... VE7RNA on 146.680 MHz (and all repeaters from Courtenay and south)
require a tone of 141.3 Hz. VE7RNA 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.
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
to request more information concerning the British Columbia Boaters' Net.
During the boating season, traffic for boaters via email can be sent to
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 callsign 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.
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.
Great Northern Boaters' Net on 3870 KHz commences April 15 at 0630 Alaska time (0730 PDT) with a roll call at
0700 Alaska time (0800 PDT). Bill VE7WSM has taken the net over since Barbara VA7KLU has retired.
Northwest Boaters' Net 3865 KHz at 0830 Pacific time.
West Coast Boaters' Net 3860 KHz
(formerly 3855 KHz) at 1800 PDT, usually June to the end of September, for
stations unable to access the Island Trunk System.
Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card!
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
Click on map for larger view.
View a copy of
this month's calendar.
Straits Weather Protocol
A Sea Conditions Program For Interested Amateur Boaters
While transiting Georgia, Malaspina, Johnstone, or Queen Charlotte Strait,
amateur boaters are encouraged to monitor and utilize the 2-meter Island Trunk
System (ITS) for the purpose of exchanging observed sea conditions. To initiate
a request for actual sea conditions on one of the four straits, place a call
on the ITS to any vessel on location. For example:
Calling any vessel located on Johnstone Strait for a sea conditions
report. This is VE7XXX, the M/V “LION” at Port McNeil.
To initiate providing a sea conditions report while transiting one of the
four straits, place a call on the ITS to any vessel indicating your availability
to provide on request a sea conditions report on the named strait. For example:
Calling any vessel in need of a sea conditions report for the Strait of Georgia.
This is KE7XXX portable VE7, the S/V "TIGER" located on the Strait of Georgia four
miles SW of Merry Island.
With the COVID-19
situation, all parks and protected areas in BC were temporarily closed in early 2020,
but most were reopened in May/June 2020, but some remain closed. There is information
on the BC Parks
web site about which ones remain affected.
To report a wildfire, call toll-free 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 on most cellular networks.
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?
Len VE7BSA is the net manager for the BC Boaters Net.
Stew VE7VAX SK
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
June 3, 2011
To: Len H
Subject: BCBN Farewell
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
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
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,
but as of August 2012, they are no longer available. Our thanks to Ruth for her work over the years!
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
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