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 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.

Fishing Skiffs on the Skeena River Skeena River Skiffs

01/01/2018 Before fishing vessels were commonly powered by engines their crews rowed and sailed them. Tugs would tow them into the general area of operations and drop them to fish. The tugs returned later to two them back to the cannery.

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.

The Mission Boat Wm. H. Pierce W.H. Pierce

03/12/2017 The Mission Boat Wm. H. Pierce was one of a fleet of mission boats that made huge contributions to the quality of life on the coast. Judd Gallagher shares two images of the vessel from its service time.

FD–3 FD-3

30/11/2017 The FD–3 Contributor Pat Simon shares images of this vintage vessel which is still afloat in a modernized form.

The Tug Hope Tragedy The Tug Hope Tragedy

26/11/2017 The tugboat Hope was a bit of a ‘bad luck’ ship. Twice she was involved in marine accidents, the second a most tragic event culminating in the loss of a number of passengers who were being ferried to a salvage operation.

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.

The Lug–Rigged Peleg Peleg

19/11/2017 Contributor Nicol Warn is noted for his research into the construction of the dugout canoe Tilikum. He sails an owner–designed and built vessel which is distinctive and different from what you normally see on our coast. It is currently lug–rigged but was originally envisioned as being junk–rigged.

The big tug Salvage Queen. Salvage Queen

17/11/2017 The big salvage tug Salvage Queen was celebrated in her day for the exploits of her crew. Even by today’s standards she was a large vessel.

Wreck of the Steamer Mariechen Mariechen

10/11/2017 In 1906, battered by storms, the old tramp steamer Mariechen lost power and drifted onto a rock in Alaska. She was salvaged by the B.C. Salvage Co. tug Salvor only to sink again at Seattle before she was scrapped.

The Arctic Schooner Anna Olga Anna Olga

07/11/2017 Contributor George Duddy has extensively researched the long, varied and significant career of the Arctic schooner Anna Olga. In Canada’s Western Arctic this vessel is an example of nautical heritage seldom shown to those of use living in southern Canada and one that touched the lives of many living in the Arctic.

HMCS Ontario HMCS Ontario

03/11/2017 HMCS Ontario was a Light Cruiser based at Esquimalt in the 1950s. She was a ‘big ship’ in a navy becoming dominated by destroyers and beyond proving a training platform she had outgrown her usefulness.

The Nautical World at Lake Winnipeg Lake Winnipeg

01/11/2017 It always comes as a surprise when people realize that Lake Winnipeg on the Canadian prairies is one of the largest lakes in the world. More surprising is the amount of nautical activity that has taken place there. Contributor Gloria Gathercole shares images taken at Gimli MB.

The Prairie Freshwater Passenger Vessel Lord Selkirk II Lord Selkirk II

30/10/2017 The prairie freshwater passenger vessel Lord Selkirk II was an unexpected sight on a river in the center of Canada. She is gone now but contributor Gordon Olafson has assembled some photographs to bring her memory to life.

The Lifeboat of the Doomed Valencia Valencia

28/10/2017 The freighter Valencia was wrecked on the west coast of Vancouver Island. A Wikipedia article states "Estimates of how many people died in the sinking vary; some sources list that 117 people were killed, while others claim that the number of fatalities was as high as 181." In a bizarre incident my Grandfather found the last missing lifeboat of the vessel nearly 30 years after the wreck in a farm field on the Alberni Canal. There are a lot of false and junk stories told about this lifeboat – here is one with actual evidence.

The Arson of the Tug Florence Filberg Florence Filberg Arson

24/10/2017 Contributor Drew Clarke tells the sad story of the arson of the old tug Florence Filberg at Sooke Harbour with a series of images taken by Chris Auld.

Volunteers at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia MMBC Volunteers

11/10/2017 Bob Bell and Captain Adrian Bull are just two of the volunteers who provide the continuity and backbone that has sustained the Museum for more than 50 years.

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: November 13th, 2017

Databases have been updated and are now holding 50,543 vessel histories (with 4,571 images) and 57,599 mariner biographies (with 3,482 images).

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