The owner of the Fintry Queen is trying one last ditch effort to save his beloved boat as he attempts to sell 10,000 ride tickets in a fundraising campaign.
Andy Schwab has been trying for years to resurrect the MV Fintry Queen, a 325 passenger ship sitting in Okanagan Lake. The ship was last operated in 2008 and over the years Schwab has tried to raise capital to renovate and repair the historic vessel.
“Buy a ticket for $10 before July 31,” said Schwab on his website, “and the Fintry Queen will be sailing again for 2017.”
“This is my last effort to save this ship,” said Schwab. “For the past two years, I have been petitioning communities throughout this valley for landing locations, while searching for the investment dollars to build them. We need to clearly demonstrate the public demand and support for this historic ship, to continue those initiatives before city councils.”
The province and the City of Penticton have set a deadline of Aug. 1 to cancel the planned subleases for the pier project in downtown Penticton.
The Fintry Queen is the largest commercial passenger ship on Okanagan Lake and was originally built as a car ferry in 1948.
Schwab said if he is able to sell 10,000 tickets and raise $100,000, he can push for extension and hopefully find a permanent home for the Fintry Queen.
“We’ll service at anchor during 2017 if necessary, landing at temporary sites, parks, wineries and resorts. The important thing is to save her and get her running again. Without a home or future, the ship may soon be scrap metal and gone forever.”
Schwab has big ideas for 2017 if everything goes as planned. He will offer $10 daily sailings and three special event cruises — including a maiden voyage on Victoria Day weekend, a celebration cruise on Canada Day and a special sailing on Sept. 1, the Fintry’s birthday.
“If we do not reach our objective and if the ship is not sailing in 2017, we will refund all the tickets purchased,” Schwab said.
Schwab said he believes restarting the ship will create 60 full-time and part-time jobs in the community.
Over the years, Schwab has tried to raise funding through various campaigns, including crowdfunding online and giving donors tax credits on their returns, before finally announcing its sale in March 2015.