False Creek Harbour Authority v. The “Shoda”

In Maritime Liens, Mortgages & Priorities on (Updated )

This was an action for outstanding moorage and miscellaneous charges. The moorage agreement required, inter alia, that the vessel owner not cause a nuisance or disturbance and provided that in the event the owner breached the terms of the agreement the Harbour Authority could seize the vessel and exercise a warehouseman’s lien pursuant to the provincial Warehouseman’s Lien Act. In breach of the agreement the dock owner was involved in a physical altercation with another user of the dock and, as a consequence, the Harbour Authority terminated the agreement and advised the vessel owner to remove his boat. The owner did not do as requested and the Harbour Authority accordingly seized the boat and removed it to another marina where it incurred additional storage charges. The vessel owner argued that he was not responsible for the storage charges as the criminal charges that were laid arising out of the altercation had been dismissed. The Judge held, however, that the Harbour Authority was within its rights in terminating the lease and that the Harbour Authority had a lien on the vessel for the storage and miscellaneous charges pursuant to the Warehouseman’s Lien Act as incorporated by the moorage agreement.