Through the addition of 300 feet of docks, the expanded Harbour was able to accommodate 34% more transient vessels in its first year alone.
Nestled near the southern tip of Hornby Island, Ford Cove Harbour was built to accommodate commercial fishing boats, though a decline in fish stocks in the Salish Sea resulted in less commercial use. With the transition away from fishing, more recreational boaters enjoy the area and the Harbour is well used by a variety of vessels. It had, however, exceeded its maximum capacity during the summer months alongside growing demand for moorage in the shoulder seasons.
The Ford Cove Harbour Authority completed a strategic plan that includes harbour re-development. The multi-year plan for harbour improvements and service delivery includes better wave protection, increased transient moorage capacity, upgrading the off-loading wharf, and improving navigational aids and upland facilities. This project implemented Phase I of the harbour strategy. The existing breakwater was replaced and a new catamaran added to provide complete protection. Floats A and B were extended — providing an additional 272 square metres of decking — which almost doubled existing transient moorage capacity.
Completed in the fall of 2017, the new breakwater serves the herring fisheries in the winter and accommodates larger yachts during summer and shoulder seasons. It is projected that the additional floats will see 100% occupancy within 3 years for July and August, and a high rate of occupancy in the shoulder months. The increase in visitors, combined with the community’s plan to improve transportation access to the Harbour, will support local businesses and encourage entrepreneurs. Improving visitor access to the Island and its shops, accommodations and restaurants will help grow a sustainable local economy.