Twenty-six yachts are being delivered in early May to Ogden Point, where they will be offloaded into the water by a heavy lifting vessel.
It’s the largest number of yachts brought to the city for United Yacht Transport since 2018, said Anthony Utley, managing director of Raven Yacht Shipping, the agent for United Yacht.
Yacht deliveries have been taking place during the pandemic with health and safety precautions, said Utley, who expects most owners to stick close to home until pandemic safety protocols are lifted. “There is not going to be a lot of cruising this year.”
The 656-foot-long MV Chipolbrok Moon is carrying the yachts, which range from about 40 feet to more than 100 feet. It is arriving from Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Most of the yachts are American-owned and will be heading to Washington state, said Utley, noting the Canadian government allows the captains to cross the border to pick up the vessels and take them right back.
Another group of yacht owners are Victoria-based, he said.
A few of the yachts have Vancouver owners, and it will be up to them to determine how to get their vessels home, he said.
B.C. residents are required to stay within their own health authorities under new travel restrictions, while any U.S. yacht heading to Alaska is not allowed to pull into a B.C. port.
Utley said while the pandemic has posed many problems for yacht owners looking to cruise new waters, the company’s shipping service from Florida to Victoria is “able to open the door to new adventures.”
“We are looking forward to shipping them all back once the hurricane season is over,” Utley said.
The vessels, whether new or not, will receive some maintenance and repairs if needed, he said.
Brian Cant, spokesman for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, owner of Ogden Point, said all yachts are unloaded directly into the water and do not pass across the dock.
Ogden Point typically gets eight to 10 yacht-delivery ships each year.