One of BCNRA’s up-island members reported that moorage may be exempt from HST. We were excited for a few hours before making contact with a Canada Revenue agent. The CRA staff person reported that the only ‘floating homes’ that are exempt are buildings on floats that have no means of self-propulsion. Therefore, only residents of float homes are exempt from HST. All the rest of us liveaboards have to pay tax on moorage.
In early February, the Municipality of Oak Bay posted notices on all dinghies along the shore that the dinghies were ‘unlawfully occupying public property’ and would be confiscated by February 23rd if not removed. BCNRA directors contacted municipal staff, including the city manager and bylaw officer. As a result of these consultations, municipal staff are aware that as long as the dinghies are below the high water mark, the municipality will not remove them.
Another recent issue concerning dinghies in Oak Bay involved Oak Bay Marina staff confiscating a few dinghies anchored near the shore in an area the Marina claims is part of their water lease. The Marina stated that in order to get their dinghies back, owners would have to pay a fine of $1.50/foot/day. The police were called and the dinghies were returned. Police indicated that if owners wanted to take the issue further, it would be a civil matter.
Two of the BCNRA directors approached Oak Bay Marina management about the incident and were essentially told to leave and if any dinghies were left in the vicinity, the Marina would confiscate them as well. On consultation with the municipal engineer, it was confirmed that the area in question is not part of Oak Bay Marina’s lease.
If anyone has a problem with the Oak Bay Marina taking their dinghies, phone the Oak Bay Police and email the BCNRA directors.
We would like to work through this issue with the Marina.
In response to a an email regarding the difficulty obtaining moorage as a liveaboard, the British Columbia Nautical Residents Association board is investigating the terms that govern marina leases. The question is whether moorage has to be made available to all classes of vessel including liveaboards. Keep an eye on this thread for updates on what we find out in our investigation.
Central Saanich Councillor Adam Olson, in an interview on the CBC, announced the formation of a working group to address problem of derelict and abandoned boats on the BC shores. The group includes staff from the Union of BC Municipalities, the Islands Trust, and the Provincial Government will look into how to manage this ever growing problem. The British Columbia Nautical Residence Association has a strong interest in this topic and will be approaching the working group in the hope that we will be invited to the table to assist in finding solutions to this problem.
The British Columbia Nautical Residents Association, with concern over the safety of boaters, contacted BC Parks regarding the mooring buoys installed in the marine parks and received the following reply.
“In response to your questions, our regional staff have provided the following answers
Buoys are inspected as per engineers recommendations annually.
-Maintenance is contracted out as it is done in other provincial parks such as Montague Harbour
-The buoys have been designed by our engineers to hold two classes of boats. Those under 30 feet in length and those under 40 feet in length. Maximum length is posted on the buoys.
-A wind warning not to anchor to the buoys if the wind is over 30 knots is also posted on the buoys.
-The buoys have been designed to industry standards by an engineer utilizing Nominal Design Standards.
-Larger vessels may anchor outside of the mooring buoys area and in portions of the Nanaimo Harbour as approved by the Nanaimo Harbour Commission, as they have done in the past.
-Mooring buoys are supported by many boaters.
-The fees charged is the provincial standard as found in Montague Harbour and other Provincial Parks.
-Our Park Facility Operator carries insurance.
On a final note, the Master of any vessel is responsible to decide if any anchorage is safe for his size of vessel or not.
I trust this information is helpful.
As there is no indication in the reply as to who in BC Parks is providing the response we will be following up with a hope that we can get in contact with the person in charge of the buoys.
A member contacted one of the directors reporting that they had become entangled in the remains of an old mooring while trying to place an anchor at night in inclement weather. If this has ever happened to you, please contact us and let us know. As this is a dangerous situation, and with the increasing number of uncharted moorings, the British Columbia Nautical Residents Association will be contacting the Office of Boating Safety regarding their policy on how they deal with this public safety issue.