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.

Recent Featured Articles:

The Tug Delta Delta

03/04/2018 In 1985 the Province of British Columbia did a one–off commemoration of the oldest vessel then still afloat. That happened to be the tug Delta by then a much restored yacht. Soon afterwards she was sold into U.S. ownership and left BC waters. No further vessels were thus honoured by the BC Government.


The Mission Boat Makehewi The Mission Boat Makehewi

28/03/2018 The Columbia Coast Mission Boat Makehewi was part of the history of Cortes Island. Contributor Susan Robertson shares images taken by her grandfather, Allen Robertson, that he took while working on board with the Reverend Alan Greene.


The Early Power Cruiser Songhee Songhee

26/03/2018 Contributor Garry Holland shares images of an early power cruiser (the Songhee) that was commissioned by his grandfather and built in Vancouver BC. His images are unusual because they capture the Chinese shipwrights who actually performed the yard work in her construction.


The Tug River Brave River Brave

22/03/2018 Contributor Loch McJannett share images of the tug River Brave, one of the many tug images he has captured on the Fraser River.


The Inland Ferry Osprey 2000 Osprey 2000

12/03/2018 Our freshwater correspondent Rick Howie shares images and facts about the Osprey 2000 – travelling the longest free freshwater ferry route in the world.


The Fathom No. 1 Fathom No. 1

07/03/2018 Contributor Patricia McKenzie is the daughter of Earl McKenzie the first owner of the tug Fathom No. 1. She shares images of the vessel when it was first built, and they include images of her father and mother.


A List of the Early RN and Other Warships on the Pacific Coast RN Warships

02/03/2018 A chronological list of the Royal Navy and other naval warships stationed on or visiting on the British Columbia Coast or on the RN Pacific Station 1778 to 1939.


The El Sueno – The Crack San Francisco Racing Yacht Which Brought Trade to the Core of the Northwest Passage. El Sueno

01/03/2018 Contributor George Duddy notes that "Yachts launched with great celebration and the breaking of champagne bottles sometimes later fade from memory having, in old age, been sunk or abandoned as derelicts in some backwater or on a lonely beach. The story of the schooner El Sueño is known in the western arctic only through a number of history glimpses. While her complete life, like that for other mysterious ladies may never be completely revealed, a compilation of scraps of her arctic history, with those of other places and times, evidences that she had a very unusual and significant life."


The Bamfield Lifeboats Bamfield Lifeboats

28/02/2018 Contributor Christopher Cole notes that there have been lifeboats stationed at Bamfield BC (on the west coast of Vancouver Island) for over 100 years. Originally established as a response to the appalling levels of loss of life in ship wrecks in the area the station continues to be a vital resource in the saving of lives at sea.


The Library of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia Library of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia

24/02/2018 The library of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Victoria has been accumulating books and photographs for more than 50 years. Since their recent move to new quarters they have been taking the opportunity to digitally catalogue and organize their holdings. This can be a useful resource for researchers and authors. Librarian Judy Thompson is your host and guide to the Library holdings.


Wildlife Tourism Wildlife Tourism

21/02/2018 Marine–based wildlife tourism in British Columbia is a significant specialized sector of the overall tourism industry. It takes special equipment and special skills to do it properly, in a sustainable and low impact manner.


The Library of the Vancouver Maritime Museum Library of the Vancouver Maritime Museum

18/02/2018 The library and archives of the Vancouver Maritime Museum are a significant resource for researchers and authors. Their holdings are extensive and perhaps the most useful part of their collection. Librarian Lea Edgar is your host and guide to the collections.


The Vintage Chris–Craft Ilika Ilika

17/02/2018 The Vintage Chris–CraftIlika demonstrates that a power cruiser built in 1964 can be a fun yacht as well as a fine example of a vintage vessel.


The Conversion of the YSF–216 to a Replica of the S.S. Beaver SS Beaver replica

16/02/2018 Contributor Mike Cruickshanks shared a collection of images he found that documented the conversion of an RCN Yard Craft into a replica of an historic vessel from British Columbia history. This was part of the 1966 celebration of the Union of Crown Colonies of Vancouver Island with British Columbia.


Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek Joost Schokkenbroek

14/02/2018 Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, is the new Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and vision to the job. He has a vision for the Museum which might turn out to be trans-formative, not just for the museum but for nautical heritage in British Columbia. We welcome him and introduce him to the nautical heritage community at large.


The Reinactment Ship S.S. Commodore II SS Commodore

12/02/2018 In 1858 the S.S. Commodore played a pivotal role in the history of British Columbia during the Fraser River Gold Rush. During the Gold Rush Centennial Celebrations in 1958 the RCN converted a vessel to recreate the Commodore as the Commodore II


Captain Orval Bouchard Captain Orval Bouchard

10/02/2018 Captain Orval Bouchard started his career in the Navy. He has been a Master or Mate in almost every type of vessel both on the east coast and west coast of Canada. He is now the master of one of the big BC Ferries. His career is a good example of the depth and breadth it takes to accumulate the skill set and experience needed for the job. He clearly loves his job and loves his ship.


The Wreck of the Vadso at Cape Lazo 1908.Vadso

07/02/2018 The Vadso was, in 1908, driven ashore on Cape Lazo BC and after being salvage she was towed to Comox BC for repair. Six years later this unlucky ship burned in Observatory inlet.


Wreck of the Tug Dauntless Wreck of the Dauntless

04/02/2018 The tug Dauntless had an accident at Chemainus BC which apparently did not permanently affect her career. But it is an example of how easy it was for an old steam tug to be overwhelmed and sunk only to be salvaged and put back in service. The images are dramatic but so far I can find no details of how the accident occurred.


The Alumna Alumna

01/02/2018 The Alumna was built as a four–masted schooner. Over the years she was cut down until finally she ended her life as a non-powered barge. She was towed by the tug Swiftsure II.


The Sternwheeler Moyie Moyie

25/01/2018 The preserved steam sternwheeler Moyie is a major attraction at Kaslo on Kootenay Lake. Contributor Rick Howie occasionally gets down that way and has captured images and facts on the history of the vessel.


The Tug Petrel Petrel

18/01/2018 The steam tug Petrel was a government vessel based in Victoria BC. She sank off Cape Mudge.


The Free Winds Free Winds

14/01/2018 Contributor Karl Staines shares images of the fish boat Free Winds which was once owned by his father. He shares images of the boat when it was on dry dock in North Vancouver in Mosquito Creek and also when she was in Horseshoe Bay in the water.


The Forestry Vessel Alpine Fir II Alpine Fir II

10/01/2018 The forestry vessel Alpine Fir II is a fine example of a re–purposed work boat, now a yacht. These handsome patrol vessels, now converted for personal use, are very popular with nautical history buffs and represent a significant period in the coastal forest industry.


The Monument to the Thermopylae Thermopylae

07/01/2018 The Thermopylae is often billed as the "only full rigged ship that called Victoria home port’. This is not actually true (there were others), but she was definitely the most beautiful and most famous. There is a monument to her in Victoria.


The Sailing Yacht Tiffany Tiffany

04/01/2018 The sailing yacht Tiffany is a great example of a classic yacht design executed on a reinforced plastic hull. She was locally built and finished. Contributor Yvonne Higgs shares images and details of design.


The tug JWP JWP

18/12/2017 The tug JWP sailed chiefly out of Victoria to Vancouver Island’s west coast towing for Cathels and Sorenson Ltd., and independent loggers Lamont, Rutger, Baird, Frank Baker and John Quinn in the Port San Juan area. In 1948 she towed a Davis Raft (of 25 million board feet) the largest ever towed into the Fraser River.


The Gillnetter Ocean Renegade Ocean Renegade

14/12/2017 The gillnetter Ocean Renegade can be seen during fishing season at different ports on the BC coast. Her owner/master is an affable fellow who enjoys talking to dockwalkers. Once there was a huge fleet of small owner–operated fishboats but changes in the environment and the economy has caused this fleet to shrink in recent years.


The Dog Star: Vintage Vessel Dog Star

12/12/2017 Contributor Rick Waddell share images from the life of the Dog Star a 1952 workboat in a second life as a power cruiser.


The McLean Shipyard, Prince Rupert BC McLean Shipyard

07/12/2017 The McLean Shipyard, located at Prince Rupert BC, a multi–generational pioneer business still operating on the waterfront. It is a vibrant small yard which is a treat to see. It combines the atmosphere of the past with a busy daily routine of ship repair and maintenance.


An Armchair Explorers Guide to the British Columbia Ferry Northern Expedition Northern Expedition

23/11/2017 The Northern Expedition is an exceptionally comfortable member of the British Columbia Ferry Fleet. She is more like a small cruise ship than a ferry. Here is a picture essay that gives an overview of the experience travelling north to Prince Rupert.


Featured Reference Tables:

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

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

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

Canada’s Naval AviatorsRobbie Hughes

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)

UNTD Nominal Lists

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’s Admirals & CommodoresBook Cover

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.


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: January 27th, 2018

Databases have been updated and are now holding 51,775 vessel histories (with 4,812 images) and 57,751 mariner biographies (with 3,552 images).


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