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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 active on–line discussion group that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.
Recent Featured Articles:Vessels Built by the S. Madill Ltd.
21/02/2015 This Nanaimo BC company was founded by Sam Madill in 1911 and produced working vessels until 1991. Here is a partial list of the vessels built by them with links to their histories.
Vessels Built by McQueen’s Boat Works Ltd.
07/02/2015 Located in Richmond BC, they were boat builders owned by George McQueen and his son Doug McQueen. They built vessel designs by the American naval architect Ed Monk Sr. and the products are often seen linked in the literature as "Monk–McQueen". The list is still a work in progress and any assistance that can be offered to the authors to make it more complete or to illustrate vessels in it would be much appreciated.
Old Royal Navy Burial at Carter Bay BC
28/01/2015 Carter Bay in Finlayson Channel was named in 1793 by Captain Vancouver for Able–Seaman John Carter. Carter died from eating shellfish contaminated by Red tide. He is buried there.
Ripple Point – Vintage Vessel
21/01/2015 Contributor Ian Foubister sent us images of his beautiful former yacht Ripple Point, built in 1939 as despatch boat. In 1990 she was designated as a British Columbia Vintage Vessel by the Maritime Museum of British Columbia and is apparently still afloat.
Vessels Built by the Nakade Boat Works (Yasujiro & Uchi Nakade), Steveston BC
14/01/2015 Robert Critchley and I have been amalgamating our research on the list of vessels built by Nakade Boat Works (Yasujiro & Uchi Nakade), Steveston BC. Each of us had compiled lists of vessels which were mutually complementary – and together gives a good understanding of their contribution to boat construction. The list is still a work in progress and and assistance that can be offered to the authors to make it more complete or to illustrate vessels in it would be much appreciated.
List of Vessels Built and Designed by Barrie Farrell.
07/01/2015 Barrie Farrell is a well respected builder of British Columbia working boats with a distinctive design that stands out in a fleet. He has been building boats since he was a boy, through tough times and good.
One Family, Three Mission Boats: Dobson family connections with United Church Mission Boats
01/01/2015 Contributor Ross Dobson chronicles three generations of his family who were missionary mariners on the British Columbia Coast in famous mission boats for the United Church of Canada. Dobson family experiences from the 1920s into the 1950s involved three specific United Church mission boats: the Thomas Crosby III, the Melvin Swartout I, and the well known Meander which was for its mission boat period named as the Melvin Swartout (II).
The Sinking of HMCS Annapolis
02/01/2015 Contributor, R.A.(Rick) Wall, is a retired Lieutenant–Commander RCN who is working as a Volunteer Director with the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia in the Annapolis Project Navy Liaison. Annapolis was the last of the West Coast based RCN steam powered, Helicopter Destroyers (DDH). The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) is a registered Canadian non–profit society dedicated to enhancement of the marine environment and to the advancement of sport diving through public education and the creation and preservation of artificial reefs. Annapolis will be the ninth artificial reef the Society has created and the seventh warship that they have taken on.
Volume 4 of The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s 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 BC 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.
The DeKleer Brothers: Builders of Fraser Sailboats and Endurance 35s
14/11/2014 While the history of wooden boats has been comprehensively chronicled from the earliest prehistoric dugouts to 20th century fishing boats, tugs and yachts, the same cannot be said of fibreglass boats. For two to three decades fibreglass boat building was a thriving cottage industry on Canada’s west coast. Arie and Len DeKleer developed an enduring fleet of yachts.
Vancouver’s Fleet of Former U.S. Navy APc Vessels
01/11/2014 After the Second World War several Vancouver individuals and companies purchased former US naval vessels for use in the coastal transportation, tug boat and fishing industries. They were 103–foot wooden–hulled small coastal transports constructed in American yards for the US Navy and for the British under the Lend–Lease Program. A number of these vessels went into service on the British Columbia coast.
Featured Reference Tables:
The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve University Naval Training Division (UNTD)
- UNTD –Nominal List (pdf) Updated 27/03/2015
- UNTD –VIP List (Alphabetical (pdf)) Updated 13/09/2013
- UNTD –VIP List (Titles (pdf)) Updated 13/09/2013
- UNTD –Deceased (Alphabetical List (pdf)) Updated 09/08/2014
- UNTD –Deceased (Chronological List (pdf)) Updated 09/08/2014
Bill Clearihue has developed and updated a definitive Nominal List for the University Naval Training Division (UNTD) of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve which contains the names of almost 6,000 former members and details of their service. Other lists available from him 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. Clearihue will update these lists from time–to–time and they will be updated on this site.
Canada’s Admirals & Commodores
01/12/2013 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 Canada’s Admirals and Commodores was published (ISBN #0–09693001–2–3). Since that time we have been maintaining updates to the entries in that publication as well as tracking names of new appointments.
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New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!
Volume Four in series
The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four
For more information …
Site News: April 3rd, 2015
Databases have been updated and are now holding 47,291 vessel histories (with 2,576 images) and 48,536 mariner biographies (with 2,899 images).