Boat owner making waves at Kincardine Marina


Only one boat sits moored to the north wall of Kincardine’s pier, but, that boat’s owner is causing big waves for the Kincardine Yacht Club, and big headaches for municipal staff.

Andy Robinson registered his boat for one night of dockage in the marina June 16. He paid the transient fee and was free to stay for the night. Since then, Robinson hasn’t moved his boat, or paid any money to stay. Last month, municipal staff, following its fee collection bylaw, delivered a letter and an invoice to Robinson, asking him to pay the $4,148.34 he owes in transient fees by Sept. 19.

“(CAO) John deRosenroll is making a personal attack against me,” Robinson told Kincardine council Sept. 17. “We have a marina that is 25 per cent empty and I can’t get a spot; blame that on bad management.”

There are 154 slips for boats in the Kincardine harbour. Municipal bylaws allow the Yacht Club to rent 134 of the slips for seasonal passes. The bylaw states the Yacht Club must leave 10 spots open in both the new (floating dock) section of the harbour and the older section. Twenty vacant spaces are reserved for transient docking – boats that stay only temporarily before sailing away.

Harbour master Bill McKeag said boaters can put their name on a waiting list for one of the remaining 134 slips. Prospective users give the municipality a $50 cheque and their name is entered into the waiting list. When a space becomes available, the first name on the list is chosen to fill it, assuming the boat size fits the dock space. Currently, there are more than 40 names on the list and boaters are looking at a wait time of five or six years.

“The harbour here is just praised,” McKeag said, explaining the lengthy waiting list. “It’s a nice marina, and the main street is just one block away.”

Robinson added his name to the waiting list in July. He is 44th on the list and has many people – including other Kincardine residents – in front of him.

The North Wall of the pier is also regulated by Federal and municipal bylaws. According to Federal law, the municipality must leave five spaces – most of the pier – for commercial fishing boats to dock. No commercial companies are using the space this year, and it is often used to hold overflow transient boats, but legally, the Yacht Club can’t rent the spaces out seasonally.

Robinson said he has offered to pay the Yacht Club the seasonal docking fee – roughly $669 – but, they have refused his money. He said he attended a recreation board meeting in August and was told the municipality has a bylaw instructing the marina not to rent out the north wall. Robinson claims there is no written evidence of this bylaw.

Robinson claims deRosenroll has skipped over several bylaws and committees by hand-delivering Robinson’s invoice. Recreation director Karen Keiffer said the procedure is handled under the municipality’s fee collection bylaws.

“Now he’s breaking the bylaw,” Robinson said. “Is he making a mockery of the process?”

The Kincardine Yacht Club has been entrusted with control of the marina’s day-to-day operations. The recreation department oversees its overall operation. McKeag and other marina staff have access to the bylaws and agreements with the municipality that govern the rental of space.

McKeag said, to the best of his knowledge, that procedure has been correctly followed in the Robinson case. He failed to remove his boat by the Sept. 14 deadline and now could face trespassing charges every time he boards the vessel.

Robinson has said the marina is only 75 per cent full most of the time, and he believes he is being denied a spot for personal reasons. McKeag said the harbour is completely full, although there are often free spaces due to boats travelling in and out of the harbour for vacations. Giving Robinson a slip as a way to resolve the problem, McKeag said, wouldn’t be fair to the other boaters on the list, some of whom have waiting since 2001 for space.

Robinson explained his position to council during the Sept. 17 public forum. Due to the procedural bylaw, council could not discuss the matter. The issue will be added to the agenda at an upcoming meeting.

Until then Robinson has not made any moves to remove his boat from the north wall. The vessel sits alone – unaware of the storm its presence is brewing.

Parking in the Kincardine Harbour

Hay Carummba!!! $4 Grand to park in the Harbour. Must be trying to make up for the loss of meters on the Main drag!

The boat should be seized by

The boat should be seized by the Sheriff's Department and then auctioned off for unpaid fees owed to the Municipality. The Municipality is acting like they have been intimidated by this Robinson guy. The law is the law. What about all the others on the list since 2001? Maybe they all should scam the city for a docking space and just tie off to the wall.

Could someone please move that boat?

That the boat should not be on that north pier is apparent. It should be removed by council or Mr. Robinson until the matter is settled.

Fishing Kincardine is a huge, huge visitor draw that brings in dozens of visitors evry day of the week, year round. That boat sits on a "best spot"and interferes with fish hooked in the adjoining "best spots" during the "best season."

Someone please remove that boat and settle differences elsewhere. If anyone loses a fish because of the obstruction, they'll be some ticked. Yes, others have a bona-fide stake in the harbour as well.

The boat is smack in the north pier lift area. How will paid-up members cope while trying to get their boats up?

Kincardine is a "must see" for Great Lakes sailors and we do good trade downtown when they put in. The itinerant berths must be maintained and even added to on the north pier if possible.

Kincardine Harbour Accomodations:

At the end of August of this year we purchased our wee boat, and had it delivered to the Kincardine Harbour unaware, of the parking situation. Mr. McKeag was more than accomodating at that time, and presented a "transient" spot to myself for the balance of the season at a nominal fee that we agreed upon. Also, at that time, I submitted a "non refundable cheque" for $50 to be put on a waiting list for an open space. A wait of approximately 5-7 years according to McKeag.
Unfortunately with no guarantee of a position for the coming year, we investigated other Marina's along the shore, and found one in Port Elgin.

In one aspect this was delightful, as I truly enjoy Port Elgin, and had been involved in business there for several years. However, I am also saddened that 20 spots are left empty for tourists, and locals are not allowed to enjoy the Piper, or local businesses due to the "prospect of possible income" to the Kincardine Yacht Club from tourists!

While in the Kincardine Harbour, we were advised by our neighbour that our spot had been empty for 12 years! I find that amazing, where are those 20 tourists that desperately need the spot??
Sadly, we now moore in Port Elgin, where we have become Tourists. I would love to have stayed in Kincardine and been a Local supporting Local businesses! Annette Veltkamp

Yacht Club

The guy is right, but the law is wrong. Hw should hae the right to "park" his ship because he is a transient boat. The municipality made a big mistake by offering the yacht club so many free spots. They should repair their mistake as soon as possible. A 5 years waiting list is outrageous.
Cristian - New York Cruises