Ship details:

Aklavik

Vessel image

Photo: Unknown

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Registry #1 150796 Registry #2 Registry #3
IMO# MMSI# VRN#
 
Name 1 1923 Aklavik Name 5
Name 2 Name 6
Name 3 Name 7
Name 4 Name 8
 
Year Built 1923 Place Fort McMurray Area AB Country Canada
 
Designer (nk) Measurement (imp) 51.3' x 15.4' x 5.6'
Builder (nk) Measurement (metric)
Hull Wood Displacement
Gross Tonnage 32 Type 1 Schooner, trading
Registered Tonnage 32 Type 2
Engine 35hp 3-cylinder engine Engine Manufacture Wolverine Motor Works, Grand Rapids WI USA
Repower Propulsion Screw
Rebuilds Call Sign
Pendant  # Masters
 
Owner(s)
In 1923-1931 she was owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, London UK.
 
Fate Registry closed Date
 
Named Features
Significance of Name
 
Anecdotes
The Aklavik was built in Vancouver and transported overland to Fort McMurray. She was floated down to Fort Fitzgerald where she was hauled out (still without her engines installed). A winch with multiple blocks nested inside each other was used so that progress was very slow - "We moved about an inch every hour it seemed like." Mickey Ryan portaged her with mules - cracking whips but they couldn’t move her. The Americam competitors Lamson Hubbard used two big tractors and pulled her through for $1000 per day. The HBC was "mad as hell that the mules couldn’t do it." he recalled. Going down the bank was easier - jacked down skids. Shear legs allowed them to lower the engine in for installation at Fort Smith. It was an old Wolverine from a tug back east She was floated down to Fort Fitzgerald where she was hauled out (still without her engines installed). Bunks were built into the foc’sle but most of the space was kept for freight. As they went down the river they met Pete Norberg. He came over the mountains at Fort Simpson. They had to go through the Sans Sault Rapids and hit many of the sandbars with their six foot draught. One mast was broken but with the Jolly Boat and the two canoes lowered over the side and filled with weight to make her heel over to draw less water - she made it through the rapids. Pete Norberg took over as skipper to Aklavik and then Henry Jorn took over after that. He recalled that "to a kid just out from Scotland this was high adventure. It seemed as though it couldn’t get any better." She made a made partial transit of Northwest Passage through Bellot Strait, September 2, 1937 from west to east to meet the Hudson Bay Company ship Nascopie and then return. Captain Scotty Gall was the Master of the Aklavik on that voyage with Jack Ford, Patsy kelngenberg and Ambrose and Ambrose’s wife and daughter as the crew. The schooner Aklavik was brought down to the Arctic Ocean from Fort McMurray in the spring during high water. When they came to the Sans Sault Rapids, just South of Fort Good Hope, there is shallow water. They had to make the schooner list so that she wouldn't draw so much water. She was later sold to Patsy Klengenberg, at King William Island NWT, who then chartered her back to the HBC. He was accidentally killed starting the heavy oil engine in 1947. The vessel was destroyed and sank as a result of the explosion. The engine had a heavy lubricating oil in the clutch. Patsy often put a blowtorch on it to lighten it up for starting on cold days. His adopted son was badly burned but survived after being pulled out of the water. He had to have many operations before he could resume a normal life afterwards. Patsy disappeared in the fire - he was assumed to have burned with the ship. A couple of weeks later Scotty Gall was going over the wreck and down in the water which had cleaered up in the fall he could see Patsy, burned and killed when he hit the water.
 
References
Interview by John MacFarlane with Jack Wood and Sven Johansson, at Victoria BC on 27/08/1991; Interview with E.J. Gall and Sven Johansson 27/08/1991 at Victoria BC; Canada List of Shipping; MacFarlane, J.M. (1992) Northwest Passage Challengers. In Resolution. Spring Issue. Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Last update
2015-05-16

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