New North Arm Marina Aims for Late 2012 Opening

In the moorage-challenged Lower Mainland, word of a new marina creates a definite flurry of interest. Construction of Milltown Marina and Boatyard, the first new full-service marina in the Vancouver area in more than a decade, is expected to begin this summer. But marina management is already flooded with moorage inquiries.

The marina is a partnership between Bastion Development Corp. and the Musqueam Indian Band, and will be located on Richmond Island in the North Arm, with floats in the slough between the island and the Marpole shoreline. The land area was formerly part of Canfor’s sawmill which closed over a decade ago. Capt. Mathew Cote, a marina director and project development manager, says a few more regulatory steps remain before construction starts, but he hopes to have boats tied to floats by the end of the year.

The facility will have about 175 wet berths and 250 dry-stack spaces. Milltown is taking moorage requests on a “soft reservation” basis: its website includes a form to request moorage on a first-come, first-served basis beginning December 1, 2012. Moorage contracts will be finalized once all marina permits are in place.
Covered dry-stack storage for boats 18 to 28 feet is a key part of Milltown’s shoreside facilities. Dry-stacking is popular in Eastern Canada and the US, Europe and New Zealand as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to trailer storage for smaller boats.

Milltown’s dry-stack tenants will be able to call an hour in advance to request launching, and their boat will be in the water waiting for them. Later, they’ll leave the boat at a holding float for marina staff to rinse and re-rack. Unlimited launches and haul-outs are included in the storage fee.

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