Vancouver’s Best Boat Travel Lift Operator
If you’ve spent any time at The Creek Marina’s boatyard, chances are good you’ve met Michael Nahanee, the team leader of the boatyards boat lift operations.
Michael is a well-known fixture at The Creek, having worked here for the past thirty years, but he has heard marina stories that go back much further than that. His father Gary Nahanee used to haul-out boats when the process involved a single winch located in what serves as the current marina mail room. Back in those days, kids played street hockey on the beach, the water of Burrard Inlet lapped up to the steps of St Paul’s church, and the train track ran on a trestle bridge in front of the church.
For Michael two things are non-negotiable. One: customers must be on location when their vessel requires a haul-out with our boat travel lift. And two: strict environmental standards must be maintained for lifting the boats and dealing with clean-up. “Failure to follow the environmental practices as stated in our haul-out boat travel lift agreement will result in fines and penalties pursuant to the Fisheries Act.” All the dirty water used after power washing is carefully collected and properly disposed of, and the sanding is done so that nothing is airborne to pollute the environment.
Spring is one of the busiest times of year for the boatyard : winter dry dock storage rates end in March and then a daily rate kicks in. The boat travel lift can handle boats up to 110,000 pounds, and there are plans to get a stronger lift to haul out even larger boats. In the recent past, Michael counted 22 boats lifted in a single day.“It’s a challenge not to get hurt or killed,” he admits with a laugh.
Michael has seen The Creek Marina & Boatyard grow into today’s world-class operation. Eight years ago, he was responsible for helping clear out the derelict boats. He would haul-out and use a crane to drop them, letting them split into smithereens. Boat owners would stop by and watch the demolition. Michael would joke and say, “This is what happens if you don’t pay your bills!”
As he walks around the boatyard with his trusty remote control in his hand, expertly navigating the enormous lift, Michael admits he still loves what he does, but a twinge of arthritis reminds him of the hundreds of boats he’s haul-out. Although he loves to get out on the water, he keeps his boat moored in the warm waters off of Maui; a round of golf at his favorite course is a great way to spend the day. A perfect relaxing day for Michael is away from the boatyards travel lift.