Oak Bay boathouse build underway

Engineering and piling costs exceed budgeted donations

Oak Bay Sea Rescue’s boathouse building project is underway, but organizers still need donations to support higher than expected engineering and piling costs.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have awarded our Rescue Station project to the Oak Bay Marine Group, and that work will start immediately,” said OBSR society president Terry Calveley.

The current boathouse is too small and the rescue boat it houses doesn’t properly fit inside. The boathouse bounces and sways, especially when the water is choppy, requiring people to hold themselves up or risk falling into the water.

“We had four different vendors (apply),” said Calveley. “The Oak Bay Marine Group’s proposal was much broader and covered a spectrum of work in terms of responsibility, timing and subcontracting the piling.”

She is pleased the contract went to a local business as well.

“The price point was one thing, but the other part, their ability to deliver and the skills that they offered. … It was a concise proposal.”

Building of the station is a major project and milestone for the society. “It is not just a ‘boathouse’ – it will have an inside mezzanine level for crew training and rescue triage; and also has a dry, or “ready” room where crew equipment and safety gear will be stored. Additionally, because of the prevailing weather in the marina, three to four new pilings will be required,” said Calveley.

While the society has budgeted and saved for the project, the engineering costs are nearly double what was expected. Estimates for the new pilings are also significantly higher than anticipated due to unknowns in the sea bed and the type of pilings required to support the rescue station and dock.

“Realistically, so as to not deplete our operational budget, we find ourselves needing to reach out to supporters to help us with about $30,000 to $40,000 for the piling costs,” Calveley said.

An anonymous donor has come forward to supply bridge financing of the shortfall to enable the society to complete the project this summer, while they complete fundraising for the project.

“In addition, this supporter has offered a matching donation of up to $5,000 of funds raised specifically for this project,” Calveley added.

Construction on the boathouse began in early June at the Oak Bay Marine Group site in Ladysmith and, barring any major issues, is expected to be complete in late July.


If you are interested in donating to the cause, or wish to learn more about the project, go to obsr.ca, or contact Calveley at 250-896-2625.

Did you know?


n The original boathouse was also built by Oak Bay Marine Group.


Project costs

n Engineering services: about $12,000

n Building permit: about $1,500

n Rescue station build: $110,000

n Pilings: $25,000 to $50,000