Fintry Queen: The bout over the boat

Ownership of the Fintry Queen has turned into a war of words between the potential new owner and the disgruntled would be owner.

Andy Schwab, the court appointed trustee of the iconic Okanagan Lake vessel, says he expects to have clear title of the vessel within two weeks.

Schwab says he made the final payment yesterday (Monday).

News of Schwab's purchase has irked Mayzes and his investor group who were in negotiations to buy the vessel earlier this month.

Mayzes believed he was close to purchasing the Fintry Queen two weeks ago.

"It's such a complicated process - it's not like a regular real estate deal. You have the court, you have the City of Kelowna and that was really my only frustration," Mayzes stated at the time.

Now, Mayzes' frustration is directed at Schwab.

In an email sent to local media by John Swain, a member of Mayzes' investor group, they accuse Schwab of acting in bad faith.

"During the several weeks of negotiations between Doug Mayzes and his lawyers, Mr Schwab continually showed bad faith by obstructing the sale negotiations and raising the cost of the vessel. Today, Oct 29th, I note Mr Schwab announced on the local TV news that he was the new owner of the Fintry Queen. I believe this is a conflict of interest and not in the best interests of the City Of Kelowna. The original offer still stands and if Mr. Schwab has in fact purchased the ship for a lesser amount I regard this as foul play as well as conflict of interest and would like to bring this matter to the attention of the Kelowna Mayor and Council and Court concerned with the court ordered sale of the Fintry Queen," Swain stated in the email.

Schwab says the final asking price was $60,000 and acknowledges the price did fluctuate upward.

"The prices were escalating because the costs were going up. We had to move the ship, there were costs to that - we had to put new pilings in, there were costs to that," says Schwab.

"Doug wasn't, at that point, making allowances for those costs. I had made him several offers and I never received a proper counter to my offers."

"The sum of $50,000, more than the asking price, was placed in trust with Lawyers FH&P, as proof that Doug Mayzes had the means and serious intention to purchase the vessel. I now suspect foul play on behalf of the Court appointed seller, Andy Schwab, who demanded a substantial and increasingly higher price for the vessel to cover the costs of his involvement in the selling of the ship," Swain went on to say in his email.

Schwab says basically he and Mayzes agree to disagree.

"Basically, yes. He's a little upset because he didn't get it (Fintry Queen), but at the end of the day he wasn't willing to pay for it," says Schwab.

Schwab says he has already begun approaching other communities to see if they would be interested in housing the Fintry Queen.

He says he had a meeting in Penticton Monday and has a meeting scheduled Friday with the District of West Kelowna.

"I'm going to be immediately addressing the City Park location in Kelowna," says Schwab.

"There's another possible site at Fintry Provincial Park that I will be exploring. I am going to probably explore half a dozen locations on the lake where I think it could make good business sense and come up with a best case business model for it."

The goal is to have the ship operational in time for next summer.

Regardless of where it is docked, Schwab says it will cost between $200,000 and $300,000 to get the boat back in operation.

He says he may try and raise that money by selling shares in the vessel.

"I'm firmly convinced the success of the venture will be assisted by more public participation, particularly if it is going to be accessing City Park," says Schwab.

Then, everybody can potentially be a shareholder if they want to be."

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