|Dock construction is currently underway to take Kelowna Yacht Club from 903 slips to 1,115 slips by March.|
That scene will only stretch out as the club finishes an ambitious expansion that has already made it the marina with room for more boats than any other facility in Canada.
"We have 903 moorage slips right now, and when phase two of the expansion is complete in March, it will be 1,115," said moorage manager Richard Tremblay.
"Most people don't know that little ol' Kelowna is home to the newest and biggest in Canada."
When the local yacht club added more rows of docks in 2011 taking the slip count from 675 to 903 it became the largest in Canada, beating marinas in Vancouver, Toronto and the Maritimes.
"There may still be some marinas that are spread out over more area because they have a lot of big boats," said Tremblay.
"But no place in Canada has 903 slips, let alone 1,115."
Tremblay said it's only fitting.
"Boating is one of the things that defines our city, along with golf and skiing and wine," he said.
"It's a beautiful thing to see the lake unfold with Kelowna on shore and this eye-catching grid of boats bobbing in a marina."
When the slip count hits 1,115 in March, Kelowna Yacht Club will be maxed out.
"Kelowna will still have a lack of moorage," stated Tremblay.
"But that will be the end of our master plan because the approvals we would have to get from four levels of government - federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations - to expand any more would just be too complicated to get."
The current expansion will include two 50-foot slips for large cruisers, sailboats or yachts.
Generally, Okanagan Lake doesn't see too many 50-footers, but there are some out there that people either dock at their lakeside mansion or attach to a buoy offshore.
The yacht club is accepting applications for the two 50-foot slips until Dec. 7 and is expecting to get many more applications than there is space.
The largest slips are currently 40 feet.
The most common is 25 feet, which comfortably fits most speedboats, sailboats, fishing boats and cruisers.
The existing 903 slips are already spoken for, as are 112 more that will be ready in March. There are 300 boats on a wait list for anything that becomes available.
The Kelowna Yacht Club only leases out moorage space by the year, so it has no temporary, day or hourly slips for people to park their boat in order to stop downtown to shop or go out for a meal.
But Kelowna Marina, the gas bar and boat rental place between Kerry Park and Queensway Avenue that burnt down a while ago, will be rebuilt to include 50 temporary, daily and hourly slips and moorage for commercial boats.
It could be ready for May 2013.
The third phase of expansion at Kelowna Yacht Club will start later in 2013.
The Senior Citizens Activity Centre between the yacht club and the Delta Grand hotel has already been vacated and the new seniors centre has been built beside the Parkinson Recreation Centre.
The City of Kelowna owns that land and building and will demolish the old centre and hand the land over to the yacht club so it can build a new clubhouse that could be completed early- to mid-2014. The existing clubhouse will be demolished when the yacht club moves out and adjacent Stuart Park will be extended.