The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has changed the shipping channel in front of the club.

New shipping channel boundaries showing HSC No Sailing or Paddling zone.

Why?: International trends in shipping show that ships are becoming larger, Within the Port of Vancouver, Cruise Ship and Container Ships are getting bigger, making it more challenging for them to maneuver through English Bay and First Narrows.

The VFPA has moved the shipping channel more North so that ships entering Burrard Inlet through First Narrows do not have to make as sharp a turn to enter the harbour as before.

VFPA has moored a yellow buoy off of the 14th Street Pier to mark the North Western point of the new shipping channel.

What this means is that really big ships will come quite close to the Northern boundary of the shipping channel when entering or exiting the Inner Harbour.

“Air draft” is the new term for ships so tall that they almost reach the Lion’s Gate Bridge. The new shipping channel is meant for them…they must transit the narrows at the highest point of the Lions’ Gate.

The Norwegian Bliss, 12th largest cruise ship in the world, enters the inner harbour.

The Norwegian Bliss, the 12th largest cruise ship in the world, is one of the reasons for the change in the shipping lane. She can only enter Burrard Inlet and pass under Lions Gate Bridge at low tide. Photo taken May 3rd, 2019 from the Hollyburn Sailing Club deck. Low, low tide was 1.5 metres. Note the tug astern of the Norwegian Bliss, attached by a stern line. (hard to see in this photo)

Analysis of what is happening.

All Hollyburn Sailing Club members are reminded to cross the shipping channel WEST of the new yellow cautionary buoy. (shipping channel marker buoy)

Super Cruise ship Norwegian Bliss enters Inner Harbour, with tug in tow.
The next day the Norwegian Bliss Departs Burrard Inlet, again at a 1.3 metre Low, low tide.

A Coast Guard crew member stated that upon departure, the Norwegian Bliss cleared the Lions Gate Bridge with 1.6 metres (five feet, three inches) to spare.

Norwegian Bliss in front of the Hollyburn Sailing Club, with Harbour Patrol boat in the lead.

Norwegian Bliss has an overall length of 333.5 m (1,094 ft), moulded beam 41.50 m (136.2 ft) and maximum draft 9.00 m (29.53 ft). The ship has gross tonnage of 168,028 GT and deadweight of 11,700 DWT. Norwegian Bliss has 20 decks, 2,220 cabins and can carry 4,000 passengers.