Owner of so-called abandoned sailboat in Hamilton Harbour speaks out

A man who says he is the owner of the so-called abandoned sailboat Kraken is telling his story to CHCH News. The boat appeared in the Hamilton Harbour in the fall, becoming a curiosity of sorts.

READ MORE: Transport Canada investigating abandoned sailboat at Bayfront Park

Adrian Monrad of Brant County says he is the owner of the Kraken. The father-of-four says he bought the boat from a young couple in Toronto last spring, before sailing it to the LaSalle Marina in Burlington where he stayed until October.

Monrad says he moored it temporarily in Bayfront Park and says he had planned to have the boat taken out of the water at Hamilton’s Harbour West Marina in mid-November, but the plan didn’t work out.

“They said they’re not taking boats out of the water anymore, and then I called all the marinas from Toronto to Niagara and no one’s taking boats out of the water at that time, so I was SOL,” Monrad said.

Without a trailer or any way to get the Oakville-made Viking 28 sailboat out himself, he decided he’d have to leave it at the park, believing the law is on his side.

“We have the rights to moor anywhere that’s not impeding commercial traffic, so like right here is perfectly legal,” Monrad said.

Hamilton police say they flagged the boat for the coast guard under its vessels of concern program, and Monrad says police told him in November that they would remove the boat if he didn’t.

What exactly the law says about Monrad’s specific situation is unclear, but in emails to CHCH News the coast guard says it determined Kraken was not a risk, referring it to Transport Canada for further investigation.

Transport Canada tells CHCH News, “Transport Canada is investigating the ownership of this vessel and the circumstances regarding its situation… at this stage of the department’s investigation, no contravention under the (Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act) has been identified and Transport Canada currently has no plans to remove the vessel.”

The organization goes on to say it can take up to two years before a vessel like Kraken can be officially considered abandoned. Monrad says he didn’t abandon it.

With the cold weather ice has now formed around the hull of the Kraken,  Monrad says he’s not too worried yet because there has been a lot of thawing and the ice isn’t very thick, but it could become a very big problem for him if the ice gets thicker.

If that happens he says it could crack the hull, but he’s hoping Kraken will survive to spring.

Monrad says he hasn’t yet been contacted by Transport Canada.