For the first time in nearly 30 years, the SS Sicamous is floating in Okanagan Lake.
City of Penticton general manager of infrastructure Mitch Moroziuk confirmed Thursday that the boat has risen two to three inches off the ground, creating challenges for many connection points to the shore.
He says crews have been working over the past several days to lengthen utilities connections to prevent them from shearing off as the boat continues to rise.
“Our second concern is water getting into the boat, because sometimes boats, when they sit for a long time they shrink and cracks appear,” he said.
But so far, the bilges of the paddlewheeler are dry, according to SS Sicamous Society vice-president Adolf Steffen.
The same cannot be said for the next-door SS Naramata, which is also now in the water and leaking from the hull. Steffen says the water shouldn’t cause too much damage, just rust, to a boat that the Society has been working to restore.
With Okanagan Lake continuing to rise, Moroziuk says the work they’ve done should leave the Sicamous well prepared for life on the water. They are, however, still thinking about what to do with the emergency stairs, which now empty into the lake.