We are a group of volunteers producing this nautical heritage site with information on Canada’s Pacific nautical history and heritage and other topics of general maritime interest. Click the links on the left side of the page to see the archived articles.

Those wishing to participate in an on–going discussion of British Columbia’s Nautical History should consider joining the British Columbia Nautical History Facebook group. This is a friendly and very active on–line discussion group (currently 1,800 members) that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.

Recent Featured Articles:

The Last Days of the RCN Gate Vessels Gate Vessels

28/07/2016 Many current and past personnel of the RCN share a common sea-time training experience in Gate Vessels. Contributor LCDR Eric Dufresne RCN shares a personal encounter of the very last day of their Canadian incarnation, with surprising details.


HMCS Caribou – short lived naval reserve division HMCS Caribou

14/07/2016 The RCN Naval Reserve Division in Cornerbrook Newfoundland, HMCS Caribou, was an attempt to engage Newfoundland more closely in the National Defence of Canada.


Mt. Ream Mt. Ream

01/07/2016 The Mt. Ream was a tugboat that was converted to a yacht. Contributor Mark Sumner documented the changes made in the engine room to share with interested readers.


Cougar 308 Cougar 308

21/06/2016 Contributor Murray Polson shares images of the wooden–hulled Cougar 308 he took on a trip to Ucluelet BC. This vessel is a converted RCN auxiliary yard craft now functioning as a yacht.


HMS Algerine HMS Algerine

18/06/2016 HMS Algerine was a Royal Navy vessel stationed on the Pacific Station at Esquimalt and later in RCN service. When her commission ended she was sold into private ownership. Her mast is standing on the harbour entrance to Bastion Square.


Holland Family Images Holland Family

28/05/2016 Contributor Garry Holland recently found some old images taken by his father who served in the Fisheries Service on the BC coast and he shares them here.


M.R. Cliff M.R. Cliff

21/05/2016 Aviation historian and author Robert Stitt discovered a collection of photos of the M.R. Cliff taken by Jack Bruce. He shares them along with some information on the vessel.


Hecate (Second World War, BC Coast and Viet Nam Veteran) Hecate

21/04/2016 Contributor Frank Nyross writes about the last days of the Hecate which ended up in Viet Nam at the end of the conflict there. This was a far cry from her origins in the US Navy and her life on the British Columbia coast.


Vessels of the Hammer Logging Co. Hammer Logging

14/04/2016 Hammer Logging Co. was a small family operation at Stave Lake BC on fresh water. They owned a number of vessels - and Don Hammer (grandson of the founder) shares reminiscences and images of the vessels.


Alec Spiller – Shipwright and Boat Builder Alec Spiller

07/04/2016 Alec Spiller is a shipwright and boat builder who may have constructed the last wooden hulled commercial fish boat on the British Columbia coast.


F.D. 202 FD202

28/02/2016 The Fisheries and Oceans vessel F.D. 202 is now a yacht which can be seen on the Sunshine Coast. It was strongly identified with Captain Edward Arnet while she was employed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


The King’s Colour for the RCN White Ensign

14/02/2016 The presentation of a Colour to the navy by the Sovereign is an extension of the old Army tradition of carrying a Colour for each regiment. For three hundred years regiments have carried a flag that served as a rallying point in battle and as a potent symbol of the unit itself.


Moving House – West Coast Style Moving House

28/11/2015 The houses in Captain Alec Provan’s neighbourhood, near Victoria BC, were well–built almost a hundred years ago. Rather than tear them down they are moved out for re’location for new owners. If they are in the vicinity of the coast they are often moved to distant locations – in this case to to San Juan Island in Washington State. The ease with which the crew lifts and moves the houses onto the barge is an engineering wonder.


Volume 4 of The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating HeritageVolume 4 BC Floating Heritage

07/11/2014 The 4th and final volume in the series documenting the oldest boats afloat in British Columbia is now published. It’s 280 pages contain 1,750 histories of boats still afloat that were built between 1971–1975. It contains more than 600 fish boats, 200 tugs and work boats, as well as hundreds of pleasure craft, non–powered vessels, and many others. Finding accurate information on vessels in British Columbia is difficult – and here is a source that can be carried afloat, in the car or used at home. The whole set covers more than 6,000 vessels with 50,000 names of owners. As references they are unparalleled anywhere! They can be ordered online from Munro’s Books or or at these fine bookshops.


Featured Reference Tables:

The Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)

01/06/2016 Did your grandfather serve in the Canadian Navy during the First World War? To participate in the First World War naval effort Canada formed the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) which filled out the forces needed to make the navy operational. This is a nominal list of 7,500 of the more than 8,000 who served as members of this organization. There is no publicly available list of members and this represents the result of more than 25 years of research through publicly available sources to produce this one. Each entry is linked to the biography database so interested viewers can see what we have for each name.


Canada’s Naval Aviators

Few Canadians know about the Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution to Naval Aviation. More than 2,000 Canadians and some other naval aviators who served in Canada comprised this group. Originally published in print by John MacFarlane and Robbie Hughes, more than 25 years ago, this list is now revised and available to visitors to The Nauticapedia.


The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve University Naval Training Division (UNTD)

The definitive Nominal List for the University Naval Training Division (UNTD) of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve contains the names of almost 7,000 former members and details of their service. Other lists detail the former members known to be deceased and a list of former members who achieved positions of note in their civilian or military careers.


Canada’s Admirals & Commodores

Canada has a rich naval heritage which tends to have a low public profile. To the detriment of the Navy and our awareness of our national culture and history, Canada’s naval contribution in two World Wars, the Korean conflict and the many United Nations and NATO operations is hidden from public view. The great contribution of the navy is both interesting and important – but it is difficult for history lovers to access the information. In 1994 the second edition of Canada’s Admirals and Commodores was published (ISBN #0–09693001–2–3). Since that time we have been maintaining updates to the entries found in that publication as well as tracking names of all subsequent appointments.


New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: May 31st, 2016

Databases have been updated and are now holding 47,845 vessel histories (with 2,995 images) and 56,706 mariner biographies (with 3072 images).


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