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:

McLure and Little Fort Reaction Ferries McLure Reaction Ferry

21/09/2016 Contributor Richard Howie shares images of the freshwater river reaction ferries operated by the British Columbia Government across the Thompson River.


Monument to HMCS Aurora HMCS Aurora

15/09/2016 Contributor Christopher Cole tells about the background to a memorial to HMCS Aurora that sits in front of the Merchant Navy, Army, Navy & Air Force (ANAF) Hall at Sidney BC.


HMCS Stettler: a snapshot of an operational history HMCS Stettler

07/09/2016 HMCS Stettler was a Frigate of the RCN built for the the Second World War. She served in the North Atlantic against U–boats until the end of the War. Afterwards, she was transferred to the Pacific Coast. With the advent of the Cold War she was re–commissioned. Besides carrying out patrol duties she served as a training platform for naval personnel.


Moving Nested Fishboats: Sharing Local KnowledgeMoving Nested Boats

01/09/2016 British Columbia fishermen share local knowledge of how they move inner nested fishboats at crowded floats so they can depart for a day’s fishing. It’s not as easy as it looks!


BC Coast LighthousesLighthouse

01/09/2016 Captain Alec Provan has shared his collection of images of BC coast lighthouses in a series of articles. This link will take you to the index page.


Power Cruiser Seamus Seamus

30/08/2016 The power cruiser yacht Seamus was the childhood home of contributor Glen Billwiller who shares memories and images from his current home in Western Australia.


HMCS Sans Peur: Second World War Armed Yacht HMCS Sans Peur

28/09/2016 HMCS Sans Peur was a British–built luxury yacht that was commissioned into the RCN in the early days of the Second World War. Based in Esquimalt she carried out patrol and training duties. She was transferred to the East Coast toward the end of the War and passed back into civilian service still afloat as late as 1975, and possibly later, in Japan.


Pacific Pilots 1858–1958 Pacific Pilots

20/08/2016 Contributor Captain Hill Wilson compiled a list of Pacific Pilots and this is a compiled list of all the known appointees who served as Marine Pilots on the British Columbia coast from colonial days to 1958. Almost without exception these are all Master Mariners and therefore carry the title of "Captain" before their names.


Solander Island LightSlander Island Light

15/08/2016 Contributor Captain Alec Provan teams up to share his photograph of Solander Island Light, a spot that is very difficult to access and one which is not open to the public due to the environmental sensitivity of the island.


Arctic Barges – An Unusual Tribute to the Fur TradeArctic_ Barges

10/08/2016 Contributor George Duddy shares the research he has undertaken on the vessels used to transport goods and equipment into the Arctic from Canadian ports. The L.A. Learmonth, Scotty Gall and Johnny Norberg carry names charged with the nautical history of the Canadian Arctic Ocean.


An Album of Images of the RCMP St. Roch RCMP St. Roch

05/08/2016 Contributor Kirk Friederich shares an album of images of the RCMP St. Roch collected and taken by his father Constable John Friederich RCMP who, in 1940, served as Assistant Engineer on the voyage north into the Arctic. He was apparently an enthusiastic photographer who recorded some interesting views of the early part of the voyage.


April Point Connector April Point Connector

02/08/2016 Contributor Greg Bellavance shares images and background to the rebuild of the crew boat Hornet into the passenger vessel April Point Connector.


The Final Days of HMCS Cape Breton HMCS Cape Breton

01/08/2016 Contributor Jordan Rowand shares images of the last days of HMCS Cape Breton. The stern and engine was the focus of an unsuccessful struggle to preserve a magnificent example of marine engineering in an accessible site on the shore of Vancouver Harbour.


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.


Tugboat 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.


Salvage Tug 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.


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: August 28th, 2016

Databases have been updated and are now holding 48,269 vessel histories (with 3213 images) and 57,304 mariner biographies (with 3170 images).


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