July 12, 2016 - 10:52 AM
OKANAGAN - The big lake is getting smaller and smaller for the Fintry Queen, the iconic dinner cruise ship that plied local waters for decades.
She bobs at anchor right now in the shelter of Kelowna’s Sutherland Bay but the City of Kelowna is moving next Monday to have the ship removed from moorage it has rented to owner Andy Schwab.
He’s a few years behind on rent for the moorage and now Schwab is trying to move the 155-foot-long ship before next Monday’s court appearance.
Just where he’s going to move the 580-tonne ship, biggest on Okanagan Lake, isn’t yet clear but he’s taking delivery today of 12 custom-built cement blocks to serve as anchors should a suitable anchorage be found.
His best bet right now, Schwab says, is the Westbank First Nation and an anchorage just north of the Bennett Bridge. But he’s been in negotiations with the band for several months and admits he still hasn’t been given an answer.
“You can’t technically anchor it unless you have tenure or the rights to it,” he explains.
Dropping anchor further out just about anywhere in the lake is legal for 14 days, but he would not be able to secure the ship even with his new anchors, should bad weather arise.
“You can’t just anchor anywhere, it has to be protected from the wind,” he says. “If the ship starts to swing, the anchor wouldn’t hold it.”
Schwab has been trying for the last two years to resurrect the cruise ship but hasn’t been able to secure funding or a permanent moorage anywhere on Okanagan Lake.
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