July 18, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KELOWNA - The owners of the Fintry Queen has been granted a small reprieve.
Andy Schwab says the City of Kelowna has extended to July 25 its bid to have the Fintry Queen removed from Sutherland Bay.
“As long as I can show I’m trying to make the move, I’m okay,” Schwab said.
The owner of the iconic dinner cruise ship owes the city at least $6,000 for moorage fees and was given until today, July 18, to remove the ship from its current location, before receiving the extension.
Schwab says the city had told him they would put a padlock on the vessel if it wasn’t gone by August 1.
However, city property manager Mike Olson says the city has no plans to padlock the vesel and will give Schwab more time past July 25, if needed, to remove the vessel.
“It’s not absolute,” Olson says. “As long as he’s showing progress, we’re willing to give him some time.”
Scwhab made his first attempt last week to fire up the engines on the 580-metre, 155-foot long ship, which hadn’t been started since 2008.
His most recent attempt to resurrect the ship as a tourist attraction has foundered for lack of money and interest. Penticton will allow him to build a dock there, but he doesn’t have the $500,000 he needs to do it.
Kelowna, Scwhab says, has refused to grant him docking privileges on the waterfront.
Schwab is now trying desperately to find a place to moore the Fintry Queen and has been assembling the mooring blocks and cabling necessary to secure the vessel.
The Westbank First Nation has said no, but Schwab says he’s had some interest in purchasing the ship from the Penticton Yacht Club and some private homeowners.
“The province says where ever we dock it, we must have permission from the upland owner who must have tenure,” Schwab says.
Both Olson and Schwab say they’re not sure what will happen if he does nothing with the Fintry Queen.
“I would assume (the city) would seize it and sell it at auction,” Schwab says.
But Olson says it’s “a bit convoluted” because of maritime law.
“It’s not a simple case which is why we are definitely happy that he’s doing something about it," Olson says.
Find past stories on the Fintry Queen here.
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