The owner of the blue trimaran that’s been beached in Oak Bay between Haynes Park and Queens’ Park in Oak Bay since Feb. 9 is hoping to be remove it at a coming high tide in early June.
Doug Prentice says his boat was never abandoned, it was just too difficult to have it floated back off the beach. Last week Prentice rigged a makeshift barge of barrels next to the trimaran in anticipation of floating it back off the beach at a coming high tide.
Called Whale’s Way, the boat has been stranded on the rocks near Oak Bay Marina since a wind storm on Feb. 9 dislodged the boat from its chain and pushed it to shore.
Prentice expects he’ll have to chop the boat up once it’s off the beach, a task he’s avoiding doing on the main stage of the Oak Bay Marina.
“The next window of good, big tides suitable for floating off the Whale’s Way opens on June 2 and closes on June 8,” Prentice said. “There’s a second tide window later in June, and that’s my last chance. If I can’t get her off, I’ll have to cut her up where she is. Since that’s noisy and messy, I’d really prefer to do it someplace else.”
From the start Prentice removed oil and all other toxic threats to the marine shore though there is evidence of the blue paint chipping off.
“I’ll give them credit,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “A lot of times these owners might walk away and leave it. In the mean time, it is breaking sown, there is fibreglass appearing on the beach and we definitely want to see it cleaned up.”
Too often boats are abandoned and become derelict and cost the city and taxpayers time and money that Murdoch believes is unnecessary.
“The funding from feds to pay for these clean ups is small and the procedural requirements to deal with them are even worse,” Murdoch said. “To deal with a derelict boat a third party has to claim all responsibilities and it’s too big of an ask.”
Prentice, however, remains committed to his boat. He bought it 1996 and sailed across the Atlantic eventually ending his journey in 2001 to Tofino before mooring his beloved boat in waters of Oak Bay – where it’s been ever since.
“All I can promise is, whatever the outcome, I’ll have done the very best I can, both for the Whale’s Way and … the community… as Ben Franklin said, ‘We can all hang together, or we will all hang separately.’”