Skip to content

Derelict dock dispute leaves West Vancouver boaters high and dry

The District of West Vancouver has blocked off access to the West Vancouver Marina’s docks over safety concerns. But boat owners whose pleasure craft are tied up there say there may be an even bigger risk in leaving them inaccessible.
Marina

The District of West Vancouver has blocked off access to the West Vancouver Marina’s docks over safety concerns. But boat owners whose pleasure craft are tied up there say there may be an even bigger risk in leaving them inaccessible.

The privately owned West Vancouver Marina’s docks contain slips for about 50 vessels in Fisherman’s Cove. But the facilities have fallen into dereliction with the docks listing and missing boards, and electrical wiring dangling loose.

On Jan. 22, district crews boarded up all access to the dock and posted a sign advising people to keep away.

“It’s a very, very unsafe situation. There is absolutely no question that the district has to take this step. There could be a very bad outcome if we didn’t,” said Donna Powers, district spokeswoman. “If a storefront in Ambleside had an unsafe access, we would do the same thing.”

The district leases the foreshore where the docks are from the Crown, and subleases it to Kadin Equities Ltd. in exchange for four per cent of the gross revenues. That agreement was last renewed in 2014.

Regan McEachnie, who keeps his 26-foot Sea Ray tied up there, said he’s hounded the marina’s operator and Kadin Equities director Joe Carhoun for more than a year to fix the broken docks, as well as the district and federal government. And each time, he’s been shrugged off, McEachnie said.

The district too hasn’t had any luck dealing with Carhoun for more than a year, Powers said.

“There have been a number of attempts on the part of the district to reach out and inform him of the safety issues and what needs to be fixed in order to bring it up to code and there just hasn’t been any response,” Powers said.

Kadin Equities Ltd. also hasn’t had a business licence in years, Powers said district staff discovered.

People can still access their boats from the water, according to Powers, but that isn’t a viable workaround, McEachnie said.

“Most people don’t have a second boat to get to their first boat,” he said.

More than creating a nuisance for the boat owners, district may be putting them at a different risk, McEachnie said.  McEachnie said he’s aware of at least one person who has fallen in the drink trying to board his boat from the water. And he added, left unattended, the boats present an environmental risk.

“There’s has been no power to the boats for six weeks or longer. My batteries are now dead. If my boat starts to fill up with water – because the batteries are dead – the automatic bilge pump will not come on and my boat will sink in Fisherman’s Cove. And it will probably pull down other boats with it,” he said.

McEachnie has since cancelled all his cheques and is scrambling to find another place to put his boat, which is difficult given the very few options available.

Powers said there’s little the district can do for the boat owners, as theirs is a business dispute. But she added, the district will be looking at all of its legal options to get the matter resolved. That could include breaking the foreshore lease with Kadin Equities or imposing a remediation order, forcing the owner to do the work or assigning contractors to do the job for him and adding the cost to his tax bill.

Carhoun could not be reached for comment. A request for comment left with residents at the British Properties home where the company is registered was not responded to.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks