Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I go about finding out what happened to a vessel at the end of its life?

Entries in the vessel database often indicate the ultimate fate of the vessel. There is no requirement for an owner to report what happened to their vessel and sometimes the only indication that something has happened to it is that it is not re-regeistered. The most common fate is simply "struck from registry" meaning that it has probably been broken-up for scrap or beached.

List of vessel fates

Can two vessels have the same name simultaneously?

Currently no two registered vessels in Canada may have the same name. In past Shipping Registers some common names were in use by several vessels simulataneously. Licenced vessels may use the same names - and even the same name as that of an existing registered vessel as these names are not 'official'. This can be very confusing for the researcher.

Why are there gaps in the vessel ownership records for some of the vessels?

The vessel ownership records in the database are drawn from many different sources and are slowly being compiled. This means that frequently there are gaps in the records that will be eventually filled-in, some day in the future.

How Complete is the data?

The process is on-going - it would be difficult to ever say that the recorded data for a vessel or a biography is ever 'complete'. Some entries are complete - that is to say there is some data covering most attributes over the entire span of its life. Others are still in a preliminary form. It represents the "best available data to date" approach. Updates are being made constantly to make the database more complete and more accurate. This will carry on indefinitely.

What are the prefixes used in the vessel names?

They usually denote their status as naval or government vessels. A complete list can be looked up in the abbreviations section below.

What are the abbreviations used in all of the searchable databases?

Here is documentation of the abbreviations in use, and their expanded meanings.

List of Abbreviations in Use in the Searchable Database

What are the numbers in parentheses in the vessel names?

If the number following the vessel name are enclosed in parentheses this indicates that the identical name has been used by other vessels. The number in parentheses distinguish one vessel so-named from another. Other names (arabic or roman numerals) the numbers are part of the official name of the vessel.

The other terminology used in the databases is defined the table link below.

Vessel Hull Materials

A list of the terms used to classify the materials used in the construction of the vessel hull.

Vessel Types

A list of the terms used to classify vessels in the searchable database and descriptions of how the terms are applied.

Vessel Measurements

Detailed description of the terminology used for describing the dispacement, dimensions and other aspects of a vessel.

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
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Site News: Aug 28th, 2018

Databases have been updated and are now holding 55,238 vessel histories (with 5,108 images) and 58,142 mariner biographies (with 3,618 images).

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