A dramatic new Victoria Harbour marina to serve superyachts to 150’ has moved a major step closer to reality with approvals from Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries Oceans. When complete, Victoria International Marina will provide 29 moorage slips for yachts 65’ to 150’ in length on the north shore of Victoria Harbour, just outside the Inner Harbour.

“The project has already received municipal and provincial approvals, and these federal approvals are significant milestones,” said Larry Halgren, who recently joined the marina project team.

Transport Canada’s responsibility is to ensure development does not interfere with navigation and that appropriate nav aids are used and maintained during and after construction. DFO assesses the impact of development on marine habitat and requires conservation measures as part of its permit process.

The marina developers, WAM Development and Robert Evans, have worked for several years to overcome a series of regulatory and political hurdles. These included some vocal community opposition and the City of Victoria’s decision last year to reduce the number of slips permitted from 52 to 29. The developers hope to apply for a building permit before the end of this year.

The marina is designed to address the lack of moorage space for large yachts on the BC coast. While the coast and the Inside Passage have become popular cruising grounds for large yachts in recent years, BC’s urban harbours lack berthing facilities that can serve these vessels in any numbers.

VIM’s slips are being sold to owners rather than rented or leased but when vessels are away cruising owners may choose to rent their slips to visitors. The marina buildings will provide space for restaurants, cafes and shops under roofs designed to resemble yacht propellers.

The developers estimate that the marina and related facilities could generate up to $13.25 million in revenue each year, including spending on maintenance in local shipyards, provisioning and fuel. or