British Columbia

Ex Navy minesweeper turned swanky Vancouver waterfront residence listed for $299K

Realtor Judy Ross has seen a lot of unusual listings in her career selling float homes — but the 47-metre former navy vessel turned upscale residence — was a first.

“My wife said - ‘I’ll give you a year.’ We’ve had it for 2”

The former Canadian Navy minesweeper sits next to a sugar factory on East Vancouver's Port Lands. (vancouveruniquehomes.com)

Realtor Judy Ross has seen a lot of unusual listings in her career selling float homes  — but the 47-metre former navy vessel turned upscale residence — was a first.

"Minesweepers don't come up that often," said Ross adding, "and you can't get a ship that size for $299,000," the unusual home's current asking price.

A number of curious and prospective buyers have been through the 90-minute tour, many with an eye to list it on Airbnb. But for various reasons, none of the five offers Ross has received in the last year have gone through.

The storied history of the ship, now known as 151 Water St., continued after its days with the Navy. Ross says, in 1971, it was part of a Greenpeace mission to Alaska to stop a U.S. nuclear weapons test.

Owners Mike and Janice Fournier have been enjoying the boat life and their expansive ocean views from their location in the East Vancouver Port Lands — next to Lantic Sugar.

Dream home

The couple had talked about living on a boat for some time and when they saw this larger version of what they had dreamed about — Mike says it just sort of fell into place.

"My wife said, 'I'll give you a year.' We've had it for two."

A number of prospective buyers were interested in renting out rooms on Airbnb (vancouveruniquehomes.com)

Mike and a finishing carpenter took on the renovation adding a bedroom, bathrooms, a kitchen and the outside decking.

But two years later, and with the arrival of their first grandchild, the couple decided it was time to pull up anchor and build a new home on the Sunshine Coast.

"I just think of what we got out of it, what we learned as a family, the fun we had. It was an awesome experience." he said.

However, Mike admits, there was one downside to living next to Lantic Sugar.

"We had to move out about every three months or so, when a sugar ship would come in," he said. "We'd use that opportunity to go do something for a couple of weeks."

But given another chance, he says, he'd do it all over again.

"It was one of those things that was an absolute one-of-a kind opportunity. And if people get a chance to do something like that, they should just leap at it."

It seems that's exactly what's about to happen. An interested couple fell in love with the home after a tour on Thursday.

They've put in an offer with the goal to fully transform it once again — this time into a private luxury yacht.

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