Some years are better than others, but 2016 was not one of the better years for the dock in Chemainus, according to Harmen Bootsma.
In a report to the Municipality of North Cowichan, Bootsma, the municipality’s wharf manager, said 526 boats from the U.S. visited the dock in Chemainus last year, down by 85 boats from 2015.
He said the number of Canadian boaters visiting Chemainus was also down by more than 100 last year from the numbers reported in 2015.
Bootsma said the boat numbers in Chemainus for last July and August were similar to 2015, and there were many days that boats were turned away.
“The bad month was in June, which was down by 134 boat nights,” Bootsma reported.
“In past years, yacht club bookings were mostly for a weekend in June. However, these same groups now want the moorage in July or August.”
Bootsma said September’s rainy start kept many boaters away from Chemainus, and the dock saw 39 fewer boat visits from the same month in 2015.
“This same news came from Telegraph Harbour and Salt Spring Island Marina, where overnight numbers were down as well,” he said.
“The visiting boaters are definitely an aging group and are not being replaced by young boaters. Hopefully, this will change in the future.”
Bootsma said overnight moorage in Crofton harbour in 2016 was 113, up from 2015 by 24 boats but still down from a couple of years ago.
Safety on the small wharf at Maple Bay, which has been determined needs replacing at some point, raised some concerns among councillors.
Coun. Joyce Behnsen asked if any measures to deal with the mossy and slippery conditions on the wharf can be implemented.
“The wharf was pressure washed just a month ago, and we can consider placing rubber mats there as well,” Bootsma said. “But the onus is also on people who use the docks to ensure their own safety.”