During the Second World War Ucluelet was home to a Royal Canadian Air Force seaplane base.
In recent years, the District of Ucluelet has evolved into a major tourism centre on the west coast of Vancouver Island and has acquired the status of resort municipality. However, this Oceanside community did not have a deep-water public boat launch. The capacity of existing private boat launches had been exceeded and they did not offer year-round access. In addition, these existing shallow water boat launches were not accessible to commercial boats and made taking boats out of the water for repairs very difficult. Growth opportunities for commercial fishers, tour and charter operators were limited by the lack of a convenient water access point.
The Sea Plane Boat Launch project constructed a 40 metre double launch ramp consisting of 2 paved ramps separated by a float finger. Each ramp has a different pitch to accommodate both large and small vessels. The float allows people to tie up their boats while they are parking their vehicles. A steel gangway connects the float to land and a log boom shelters the launch from north-westerly winds. Invasive plant species were removed along the shore and replaced with a marine garden featuring native plants.
Located adjacent to resorts and campsites, the new deep-water boat launch provides free, safe and year round marine access to Ucluelet attractions. The new site, completed in 2015, attracts new visitor markets and provides increased commercial opportunities for recreational operators, marine services and other marine tourism related services.