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
, 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
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.