July 27, 2016 - 8:00 PM
OKANAGAN - The Fintry Queen is looking for a place to anchor opposite provincially-owned land somewhere around Okanagan Lake and its owners have filed multiple applications to to the Ministry of Natural resources for permission to do so.
“We have identifed a number of areas where we think the ship would be safe,” co-owner Andy Schwab says. “The typical response time is 45 days. We’re going to ask for 60.”
Schwab says the Fintry Queen can anchor anywhere on the lake for two weeks or longer if the upland owner doesn’t complain to the province.
Those applications will be put before a judge August 17 where Schwab hopes they will show he and partner Bill Hockley are making progress toward finding a berth for the 580-tonne ship.
The two men owe the city approximately $7,500 for unpaid moorage fees but property manager Mike Olson has said the city will be tolerant as long as progress is made toward recovering the water lot the Fintry Queen now occupies.
If the province agrees to any one of the locations, Schwab says temporary pilings will be installed and the Fintry Queen lashed to them.
“We have 48 pilings, relatively new sitting under the water next to the ship,” Schwab says. “It’s alway preferable to dock to a fixed structure.”
Schwab says the ship is fully operational after the ships engines were fired up last week.
“We even ran it back and forth three or four feet against the lines,” he says.
Schab says he’s stepping back from his position as president of the Okanagan Lake Boat Company and will leave Hockley to be the public face of the company.
“I think it would be best given my relationship with the city,” he says.
Schwab says Hockley is better at the financing side of things and will actively seek out further investment in the iconic dinner cruise ship, which started life as a car ferry in the 1940s.
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