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Old 09-07-2012, 00:13   #1
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Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove, BC

This is more of an appeal for help or information so please read on to see if you can assist, especially Vancouver boaters.

I have enjoyed shared ownership of a small, recreational sailboat for the past 3 months and have kept the boat on anchor either in False Creek (for two weeks at a time) or Deep Cove. Both locations are in or near Vancouver, BC. Since anchoring in Deep Cove, we have been subjected to continual harassment from the Vancouver Police and the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA). We have now received a Notice to Move, along with every other boat anchored in Deep Cove.

There is no legislation or law disallowing anchoring in Deep Cove or anywhere else in Indian Arm (we researched this before anchoring there), yet we are being told that our boat will be seized if not moved outside of the VPA's jurisdiction within two weeks. We are not liveaboards, the boat is in great condition and is used very regularly. Hiring a lawyer to fight this would cost more than the boat is worth and moorage, if attainable, would be too costly for us at the moment. There are no other suitable anchorages outside VPA's jurisdiction (please provide details if you know of any), meaning our only option would be to sell the boat. We haven't broken any rules regarding anchoring and the VPA can't even tell us what rule we have broken, so there is no governing body to appeal to. We are simply being forcefully removed from Vancouver, reportedly because a few waterfront home owners don't like boats in their view.

Have any of you experienced this issue before? Is there any way to continue anchoring in Vancouver without fear of seizure? Does anyone know of anybody who can help or provide guidance? It seems ridiculous to think that a boat owner can only anchor in Vancouver for two weeks before his boat is seized under a law that doesn't exist.

Thank you in advance to the awesome boating community here. I really hope I can continue sailing this summer - we have put a lot of time and money into this boat already.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:22   #2
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GoneSailing.

This seems to be part of a Waterfront Development Plan, rather than a law/regulation.

“... Enforce existing regulations and prohibit overnight moorage by anchors or to buoys...”

See Waterfront Task Force Phase 2 Working Group
Implementation Actions
2.13.6 Here ➥ Waterfront Plan - Implementation Actions
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Old 09-07-2012, 22:21   #3
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

Hi GordMay and thanks for the warm welcome!

This is great info, I had not seen that report before. Have you run into this issue in the past already? I wonder why Port Metro Vancouver is so eager to comply with the District of North Vancouver's plans though. Is it politics, nepotism or financial reward?
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Old 10-07-2012, 00:28   #4
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

I just looked at the "Improvement plan" and it states: "Enforce existing regulations and prohibit overnight moorage by anchors or to buoys."
So someone must have found some statute on the books enabling them to restrict use by watercraft......this along with many other restructuring plans leads me to think there are some land development entities with vested interests speaking in a few ears.
The wording (i haven't read it all) seems to be couched in a lot of environ-speak,in other words,,attempt to stop this and your the enemy of the environment.
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Old 10-07-2012, 00:31   #5
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

oops Gord had it up already,,,,
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:27   #6
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Old 04-09-2012, 14:11   #7
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Question Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

The vancouver area is retarded when it comes to boating. It seems they want to preserve boating for only the rich and commercial. With an insane shortage of mooring slips most marinas have long waiting lists, and are hideously expensive. I was costing it out and anything outside of the fraser wouod have cost $6000-$15000 in annual moorage for my 26 foot columbia, more than the price of the boat itself. I just left it in squamish in the sellers slip where i get better facilities and no snobby people at the docks for only 800 a year.

The problem was created because people parked derilict vessels in false creek and there wqs no way for the city to force hem to be removed unless they were leaking fuel or contaminants which the owners ensured never happened. The jurisdiction below the low tide line is quite fuzzy and federal, while above the low tide line it is municipal or provincial.

In coal habour you encounter the harbour authority limits and by federal statute they can remove your vessel as a hazard to navigation if it is on long term anchor in their traffic area. Your vessel may not actually be a hazard but they can claim it is impeding traffic to the port or that it may pose a hazard being unattendd at anchor. If you escape the harbour limit (marked on your chart) then the harbour authority's authority evaporates. VPD marine police only have jurisdiction outside of harbour limits and above the low tide line to enforce federal and provincial laws, municipalities can whine all they want at the behest of the rich people who dont want your boat clouding their view but you can take their notice to move to small claims court and for $75 have a judge smack it down without obtaining a lawyer at all. The VPD probably wouldnt even show up to dispute your objection in small claims court meaning you would probably have a judgement in your hands the same day as the court date. If they impound your boat in violation of a court order then they will be held in contempt of court and face serious jail time or financial penalties, heads will roll.

All that said coal harbour and false creek are poor places to leave your boat for an extended period of time. There is a lot of cocktail crowd power boaters zipping around half drunk and your boat could be looted, damaged, or taken for a joyride and destroyed. Any of vancouvers one million hobos could paddle a log or swim out to it in false creek and make it their home or steal your things to feed their crack habit.

I would reccommend that regardless of the finer points of legality you move your boat. Thousands of crab and prawn traps are stolen every year around the vancouver area, and if someone is willing to steal a 50 dollar crab trap your sails, engine, and vhf radio are much more appealing targets. Ive heard of an outboard engine getting jacked at sewells marina on horsehoe bay, its much easier to jack stuff from an unattended boat at anchor and as it sits in place day after day it becomes a ripe target for theives.

If you must keep your boat within city limits there are more reasonably priced safe marinas near ladner on the mouth of he fraser, and in richmond.

If $$ is your reason for leaving your boat at anchor unattended then you might look at places outside of the city such as up the sunshine coast or on upper vancouver island. If you are paying $1000 per year in moorage vs. $5000 in the city you can put that $4000 in savings toward trips to the boat using greyhound commuter tickets or a frequent flyer program on small coastal airlines. If you do it this way then being at the boat is in and of itself a small vacation even if you dont leave the docks as you get to get out of the city. Makes for a lot of very cheap vacations.

Those suggestions aside it is very annoying how vancouver restricts boating to the rich only. They could increase the marina space tenfold to reduce the prices, yet they never do; and at the same time they send VPD goons out to tell people they cant lay at anchor when there are waiting lists at all the marinas even at $15000 for a slip.

It is even more annoying how vancouver is such a complainers city. It always seems some tiny special interest group can hijack the agenda and get laws passed here. Just look at the molson indy for gods sakes, people bought condos along pacific where a selling feature in the ads was a front row spectacular view of he indy race and then the whiny condo stratas got together and had the whole thing cancelled because it was too loud.

If you want to fight it i would ssy first get out of the harbour limit as described on your charts, this will eliminate the harbour authority from the equation. Next get ahold of and study all the maritime laws which govern the water below the zero tide line, they are federal maritime laws i cant remember the act but i think it is the maritime shipping act or something like that. Next contact the dfo about your chosen anchorage and find out if there are any specia, water leases or rights, they have to tell you it is their job and get it in writing. Finally when you get a notice to move from VPD goons doing the municipalities bidding take it to small claims court and defend yourself. If they even show up they will have to prove jurisdiction which a municipality does not have over the water wihout a water lease from the feds. It is the feds who would have to take you to court to move your boat and given the decision to close the kits coast guard station i think they dont give a rats behind about vancouver coastal waters anyway, let alone some boat at anchor that isnt spilling contaminants or being a hazard to navigation. The coast guard detachment may be able to give you verbal information over jurisdiction of a particular water are to point you in the right direction but to back yourself up in court you will want a letter in writing from the dfo, as they are the ministry that handles oceans. The city and the VPD cant really contest a plainly stated fact that the dfo holds jurisdiction over an area of water on dfo letterheqd without taking on the feds themselves, something that municipal governments with 4 year election cycles just dont have the longevity or staying power to do. Municipalities regularly overstep their bounds because he politicians involved are often a bunch of self serving idiots playing domestic consumption politics. You may find that the city shows up with a bylaw to small claims court and your little dfo letter gets a city bylaw struck down by a judge in under an hour.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2012, 23:46   #8
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

Hi mr-canada,

Thank you very much for your response. Sounds like you've given this some serious thought already and I like your suggestions.

The notice to move actually came from the Vancouver Port Authority, but was delivered by the VPD. After much research and on the advice of several lawyers, it looked like there would be a case only AFTER the boat was (if ever) seized. This would cost far more than the boat is worth. Sadly, the end result was that we sold the boat as we could not find suitable moorage and were tired of the harassment.

I believe Vancouver needs to live up to its obvious potential as a boat friendly city - for EVERYONE and not just the over crowded, over priced marinas. I will look for another boat share next summer with moorage, but it's unlikely I will ever buy a boat here. My next boat will be in Ft. Lauderdale where boats are cheap, the sun always shines, moorage is $300/month and the Bahamas are a stone's throw away...

Thanks again to everyone for their support!

Happy sailing
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:47   #9
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

It seems like they are having the same problem the Treasure Island, San Francisco had.

Derilect boats being left at anchor.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:09   #10
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

It seems many of the derelict boats in False Creek these days are in the marinas! We walked Burrard last weekend and OMG there is a lot of garbage in that marina. Boats that haven't been moved or scrubbed in years seem to be prevalent and it was a fantastic long weekend where you'd expect that people who use their boats would be out enjoying them. It's frustrating not just because they are an eyesore but because they take up prime moorage space for people who actually plan to use their boat.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:18   #11
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminalcitygrl View Post
It seems many of the derelict boats in False Creek these days are in the marinas! We walked Burrard last weekend and OMG there is a lot of garbage in that marina. Boats that haven't been moved or scrubbed in years seem to be prevalent and it was a fantastic long weekend where you'd expect that people who use their boats would be out enjoying them. It's frustrating not just because they are an eyesore but because they take up prime moorage space for people who actually plan to use their boat.
When you say, "In the marinas" you mean they are paying the $20/foot moorage for junk boats? Our marina here in Port Moody has a rule that all boats must be in clean operating condition, including appearance.

I see several sailboats in and around Deep Cove and Jug Island permanently moored on anchor, seemingly unaccosted by the Port Authoities and paying no rent to anyone.

Personally, I would never take the risk of plunder and vandalism.
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Old 07-09-2012, 15:25   #12
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

It's $12 a foot at Burrard I think and yes! We were blown away by the number of boats that looked unused and unloved, knowing folks are paying cash every month for the privilege of not using, selling or junking. I expect the marina has similar rules to PM but they just aren't enforcing? Dunno.
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Old 09-09-2012, 15:39   #13
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

I dont know why they dont just make the whole false creek from the expo ball to the burrard st bridge one huge marina to alleviate the space and price problems. The shoreline is just a seawall and large rocks, its all either commercial or towers and its perfectly sheltered.

The ops complaint about the port authority sending out notices to move to those at anchor when the marinas are all exorborantly priced with waiting lists just shows how vancouver has a non existent or ham fisted marine policy.

The problem is so bad that marinas from squamish to pender harbor to saltspring island all have either had to impose residency requirements to stop their docks from being stuffed to the brim with lower mainland boats and having prices cranked and driving the locals off their own waterways

And false creek is basically a marina anyway, its always stuffed with boats at anchor and floating derilict hulls.
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Old 09-09-2012, 16:37   #14
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Re: Help Needed! - Port Metro Vancouver Kicking out all Boats Anchored in Deep Cove,

BTW Never try to anchor off Science World as the Cambie Street Bridge has 42 feet clearance! I very nearly had a catastrophy when the Harbour Information guy, (who is supposed to know about these things) suggested we take our Hunter to Science World where he, "likes to anchor". Fortunately we didn't listen to him!
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