The Classic Troller Kivi in the Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island

by Dan Rubin 2016


The Kivi in the Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island (Photo from the Ken Anderson collection. )

The Kivi is representative of the small trolling salmon boats that were built and used for fishing on the BC coast in the early part of the twentieth century. It was built by a very important sailor and boat builder, Allen Farrell, well known for his beautiful, functional sailing vessels.

Allen Farrell and his wife Sharie Farrell were amazing people. They grew up in Vancouver and together built more than forty wooden boats over a fifty year period, ranging from small rowing boats and dories to a number of larger sailing vessels on which they lived and cruised. They lived very independently and graciously and influenced many others by example.

The Farrells homesteaded in three different places on the coast (in Bargain Harbour, on Nelson Island and on Lasqueti Island) and sailed in their boats Wind Song, Ocean Girl and Native Girl to Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico and California. They were among the earliest local sailors to sail to the South Pacific, in pursuit of a dream many of us share. They actually lived it.

Kivi was the second small fishing boat built by Allen Farrell. She was built of locally milled wood beside the Farrell home in Bargain Harbour, near Pender Harbour BC. Allen had already built one fish boat, Grey Gull, in a boat yard located on the Maplewood Mudflats, on the North Vancouver shoreline just east of the Second Narrows. That area was a wonderful waterfront community at the time, where boat builders, fishermen and the well–known Canadian artist Malcolm Lowry worked and made their homes. Allen and his first wife Betty, moved north to Bargain Harbour at the end of the 1930s.

Kivi was used for fishing along the mainland coast for a few years, and Allen was on her when he and Sharie first met in 1945, after Betty left. Allen and Sharie shared the dream of sailing away to the South Pacific when they met and they began to live and build boats together. Their first voyage across the Pacific was in 1951 on the schooner Wind Song.

Kivi is an important part of BC history, and a valuable artifact that has been preserved and is now on display in the Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC.

Two books about the Farrells are Salt on the Wind: the Sailing Life of Allen and Sharie Farrell by Dan Rubin, and Sailing Back in Time: a Nostalgic Voyage on Canada’s West Coast by Maria Coffey. Both books are now out of print, but a new edition of Salt on the Wind is under consideration by a local publisher. Archived materials about the Farrells are currently on display in the Sunshine Coast Museum in Gibsons BC, on the Sunshine Coast.


The Kivi in the Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island (Photo from the Ken Anderson collection. )

Editor’s Note: Sue Tanner Ness reports that "Kivi means rock or stone in Finnish."

To quote from this article please cite:

Rubin, Dan (2016) The Classic Troller Kivi in the Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island 2016.

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