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Moorage Buoy Legalities British Columbia

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    Moorage Buoy Legalities British Columbia

    Hi all. I've got an offer pending on a 3870 down in Olympia, Washington. If the sale goes through (pending surveys right now), my wife and I are going to try living aboard in the Victoria area of British Columbia. My recent travels to BC have cemented my belief that liveaboards are actually pretty unwelcome in most BC municipalities. I've stopped inquiring about liveaboard slips altogether, the marinas prefer to talk about long term moorage with murky stay-aboard policies instead.

    I'm curious how moorage buoys work in BC. Does anybody know what 'owning' a moorage buoy entails? What do you actually own? Do you have a legal right to moor to an unused moorage buoy? Any information appreciated.

    #2
    They changed the law in 2015. From Transport Canada:

    http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety...sitor-1610.htm

    Here's one on private buoys:

    http://www.leaguelaw.com/posts/regul...ivate-mooring/

    Here's a page to tell you how long you can visit:

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcen...um=1016&top=16
    "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
    MMSI: 367637220
    HAM: KE7TTR
    TDI tech diver
    BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
    Kevin

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      #3
      Do you plan to live on the boat in the winter moored to a buoy with no power?
      Esteban
      B-ham!
      Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

      Comment


        #4
        No, I know I need more than a buoy and I'm on a waitlist for the liveaboard slip I really want but in the meantime I'm wondering if a combination of annual moorage with a buoy that I can pop out to on certain nights might work. Then I can try to stay within the stayaboard regulations.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the info Captain Crunchy. I had already read that article you referenced about mooring buoys, it seems to be the most relevant info from google searching, but it almost raises more questions than it really answers. How do you actually secure rights to a moorage buoy that you drop onto the foreshore? I'm sort of guessing that you don't. But then what about all the moorage buoys that already exist? Still many questions. Just to clarify, I'll be moving to BC as a Canadian resident. I presently live in Alberta, Canada and I'll be moving out to Victoria and I want to live on my boat. The boat that I'm buying is in Washington state right now, but I'll be importing it to Canada and registering it as a Canadian Vessel.

          Comment


            #6
            "BryGuy" post=828879 wrote:
            Thanks for the info Captain Crunchy. I had already read that article you referenced about mooring buoys, it seems to be the most relevant info from google searching, but it almost raises more questions than it really answers. How do you actually secure rights to a moorage buoy that you drop onto the foreshore? I'm sort of guessing that you don't. But then what about all the moorage buoys that already exist? Still many questions. Just to clarify, I'll be moving to BC as a Canadian resident. I presently live in Alberta, Canada and I'll be moving out to Victoria and I want to live on my boat. The boat that I'm buying is in Washington state right now, but I'll be importing it to Canada and registering it as a Canadian Vessel.
            Ah. Okay. I'm from Calgary and spent my first 33 years there fighting migraines in the dry air. Then I visited my sister in Vancouver in 1991, and my life changed drastically! Now I live in the US ┬╝ mile from the big briny, have a boat, married my US sweetie, and deep sea fish regularly. I love it! I've also sailed and dove much of the inside passage right up to Port Hardy. The entire way up is simply gorgeous, both above and below the surface! There are anchorages all the way to Alaska, and you could change bays once a week and never see it all. Moreover, with your boat, you only need a secure anchor, good stores, fishing and crabbing gear, and a way to get to the shore to go exploring, and your retirement life will be full.
            "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
            MMSI: 367637220
            HAM: KE7TTR
            TDI tech diver
            BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
            Kevin

            Comment


              #7
              Lots of friends in local waters around here I know have mooring buoys. Places like Cadboro Bay and Oak Bay there are lots of buoys and boats and you will often find buoys for sale on UsedVictoria or Craigslist (although I'd be very cautious unless the buoy has been inspected and ok'd). As far as I understand, as long as the waterway isn't a navigable channel or port (e.g. like the Inner Harbour) you can drop a buoy.

              Most of the anchorages in Victoria are crappy live-aboard areas. Cadboro Bay and Oak Bay are too exposed to the frequent winter storms and you will always see 3-4 boats washed up after a storm. No public docks for a dinghy which means pulling your dinghy onto the beach and crossing your fingers. No way you'd catch me living on a boat, or even anchoring my boat long term in these spots. Brentwood Bay is popular, but has become almost over-run with derelict boats and live-aboard scows that I can't see any appeal there. In the Gorge Waterway (downtown Victoria) they are moving the liveaboards out because of sewage/contamination and fire safety -- basically it had become the boat equivalent of tent-city with some very sketchy boats in the water. I believe there are some restrictions there now -- e.g. boat must be able to move under its own power and no mooring balls allowed.

              There are a couple of marinas in the Inner Harbour in Victoria, Maple Bay, Brentwood Bay, Nanaimo etc that do allow year round liveaboard moorage. There may also be a couple in Sidney which do the same. You might also want to check out Pedder Bay, and Cheanuh Marina west of Victoria to see if either allows liveaboards. I don't think there is anything in Sooke (possibly Sunny Shores Marina but it can be somewhat exposed).

              Good luck bringing your boat home. I did one a few years back and ended up calling Canada Customs from the Port of Sidney Marina. I had my credit card handy and they were able to complete the GST transfer right over the phone without the customs crew coming down to the boat.
              Terry
              1999 Bayliner 3388
              Twin Cummins 4BTA
              Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
              Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

              Comment


                #8
                I can attest to the winds and seas in Oak Bay. The first photo was around 8am when I'd just returned to the boat. I had our motorsailer on 2 CQR anchors in the middle of the bay, so I wasn't concerned. I took this photo before I went below to drop my groceries and put on a pot of coffee. See the boat on the left?

                I came back up to take some more photos, and it was gone! In less than 5 minutes, it and its tender broke free and beached on the rocks. What is weird (and you can tell from the angle of the waves) is that I was just about in line with where it started and where it ended. I was thankful it didn't hit me!

                Not surprising really, when you have water breaking over a 6-8' wall, with 45-50MPH wind and ugly seas coming from the east.

                Ya might want to keep this in mind if you are wanting to live aboard on the hook.


                Attached files

                "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                MMSI: 367637220
                HAM: KE7TTR
                TDI tech diver
                BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                Kevin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ouch! Thanks for posting those pics, that is really good information to have. There is a moorage buoy for sale in Oak Bay right now on craigslist but the seller hasn't gotten back to me yet. The liveaboard slip I really want is in the Coast Hotel and Marina on Victoria's inner harbour. I think that would be pretty sweet, your moorage fees give you access to the fitness facilities of the hotel, I think that would be huge. They're full up though, so I have to figure out how to get by with regular moorage at some of the other marinas. I'm pretty determined to make it work even if I have to bend a few rules until I figure things out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Other marinas to check out in the inner harbour are WestBay, HiddenHarbour, and the Port of Victoria (Fisherman's Warf (beside the Coast) and/or the docks in front of the Empress Hotel). Might work out while you wait for the Coast to free up a spot.

                    There is also the brand new Victoria International Marina being built (should be almost complete if it isn't already). Looks like they do 3 month and annual leases -- not sure if they allow liveaboards. Bonus that it's stumbling distance from Spinnakers Brew Pub :-)
                    Terry
                    1999 Bayliner 3388
                    Twin Cummins 4BTA
                    Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
                    Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

                    Comment

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