New group looking to address liveaboard issues
Nanaimo News Bulletin
Vancouver Island Central
By Rachel Stern – Nanaimo News Bulletin
Published: February 24, 2011 3:00 PM
A new Victoria-based association wants to create a unified front to address issues that affect people living aboard their boats along the B.C. coast.
The recently formed founded the British Columbia Nautical Residents Association is trying to recruit members.
Rick Schnurr, a founder and director of the group, said the association was formed to fight prejudices and create a unified voice on issues that impact the lifestyle.
“There is a fair bit of prejudice against liveaboards,” said Schnurr, adding there are a number of concerns in Nanaimo that have been brought to the association’s attention.
“It’s pretty restrictive for liveaboards anchoring in Nanaimo,” he said.
One of the major issues that has concerned Nanaimo boaters is the Nanaimo Port Authority’s permanent moorage policy that was introduced in 2009. The policy requires boaters staying more than 14 days in a 30-day period to get a permit and adhere to regulations set by the Port Authority.
The most recent issue to concern Nanaimo boaters revolves around buoys placed as anchorage around Newcastle Island.
Schnurr said an association is important to help boaters deal with issues and the regulations they are expected to follow in certain harbours.
The association wants to create a database so people can clearly understand the regulations for specific areas.
Schnurr said one of the difficulties boaters face is that most harbours fall under overlapping areas of government jurisdiction, including federal and provincial authorities.
The association is a non-profit society and currently has about 45 members.
The Nanaimo Harbour Boaters Community refused to comment as to whether it has joined.
The association has four main goals: to preserve and support the liveaboard lifestyle, promote environmental awareness amongst liveaboards, communicate and resolve issues of concern to liveaboards and serve as a voice on issues that affect B.C. waterways.
Membership in the association is open to anyone interested in the liveaboard life and annual membership is $10 per vessel.
For more information or to join the Nautical Residents Association, please go to www.bcnr.org.