Wednesday, April 21, 2010

English Bay Launch available for sale

You want to buy a Water Taxi Business?

English Bay Launch has listed itself on Craigslist. Currently the water taxis serving Bowen from Vancouver are struggling. They have made a good go of it, but I wouldn't be surprised if they both fold up totally before the end of the year. Coastal Link which ran downtown, had its vessel seized i February leaving me holding about $100 of their debt in the form of a 10 trip pass which I used once.

Frankly, although I have loved using both services for the past year and a bit - and who can argue with crossing Howe Sound in the company of dolphins - the services have become too unreliable to use on a regular basis. Twice I have nearly missed planes because of unreported delays and once I DID miss a meeting because the water taxi just never showed up, and failed to call to let me know.

So I'm back to using BC Ferries for all but the most relaxed trips into town and of course, the old reliable Cormorant Marine, Bowen's own water taxi, to get me home late at night with David Smith at the helm, blues pumping through the cabin.


  1. We obviously don't know all of the financial / operational details, but I have to agree with you that the biggest pain was the reliability with which the service is run.

    Increasing the cost but also being reliable would make me love them a lot more.

    And, I am SOOOO tempted to do make the purchase.

  2. We have a water-taxi citizen's working group on the island that formed after the collapse of GIWT. They have some decent business capacity, and were at last check exploring an island-owned co-op model -- that was before EBL appeared out of nowhere. That's really the only model I personally can see working. You get what you pay for, and if you don't pay - via subscription - you don't ride.

  3. Yeah and it wasn't the fault of the operators about the reliability...they couldn't sail in heavy weather...BUT they never phone to say they're late or cancelled. They have my cell phone number on file. It's not a major deal to call all 12 people who are riding on the boat and let them know what's up...or just to send a group text to everyone.

  4. Andy Cardiff put his half of EBL for sale. I am the other half owner of EBL. Myself as well as staff at EBL were unaware of Andys sincere interest in selling his shares and also found out via craigslist. This has brought us alot of frustrations and loss in morale with both customers and staff and that is unfortunate. The ownership issue will be dealt with in the near future and then we will again move forward. Thank you, Mike Shannon