The Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s dock is starting to show its age.
The Styrofoam helping buoy the aging wood is fading, once-strong planks are losing their rigidity and the outdated design is losing its lustre. The RVYC’s dock’s days are numbered.
“It has been here for over 30 years, so it is time for a change,” said RVYC general manager Simon Gatrell. “It’s very important. The docks are old and starting to fall apart.”
He said the yacht club, at the location since 1911, is in the permitting stage with the municipality of Oak Bay and growing safety concerns for the aging dock will be greatly reduced with the new wood, a fire-suppression system, environmentally safer materials and a wider slip, or mooring area, for newer boats that are built wider than the boats of old.
“It’s going to be state of the art, a really modern marina,” Gatrell said. “This will be built to last 50 to 60 years hopefully. … It’s a positive thing for our membership and the instructor sailing program; it will be good for the environment as well – it’s going to be good for everyone.”
The $4.5-million bill will be footed by the club and their approximately 1,300 members. Other changes include slightly reconfigured docks, oriented so the wind puts less pressure on both the docks and boats, alongside newer electrical outlets for the approximately 270 boats moored there at any given time.
The dock is already undergoing construction that continues in phases starting in June and scheduled to be complete at the end of September, a time line chosen with the blessing of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
“We talked with them to make sure we didn’t disturb the seabed during the time of reproduction,” said RVYC commodore John Green. “They gave (us) the green light and tell us the best months that are least invasive. That’s why they are doing it in June July and August with their blessing.”
Despite the many expanded features, the footprint of the marina will not be expanded and remnants of the old dock are expected to be dismantled and recycled or given away.
The new dock will be prebuilt in Cowichan Bay and barged into the marina by Jor-Nic Marine Construction. Green said it would be one of, if not the most modern dock in Greater Victoria when it’s fully outfitted at the end of summer.
“Our (current) docks are tired and worn out, this is going to be much more visually appealing,” he said, “It is not an expansion; it’s a renewal.”