A Heritage Pakistani Freighter on the BC Coast

by Robert Lawson 2017

Pakistani vessel in Genoa Bay BC

The Pakistani vessel berthed in Genoa Bay BC. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

The only boat associated with Expo ’86 that appeared in Genoa Bay BC was a large Dhow built by Jousef Bros. in Karachi, Pakistan. It was sent over by the Pakistan government as part of their participation.

Pakistani vessel

The Pakistani Vessel underway about 1992 in Genoa Bay, on a maiden voyage with the Gardner diesel engine. Sadly some later owner ran it out of oil and it seized up and was too expensive to repair. (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection.)

If the vessel was named it was never displayed on the hull and she was not registered.

After the show was purchased by George O’Brien to convert into a yacht. He installed a 5–cylinder Gardner L3 engine and added a shipping container with large bronze ports as a deckhouse. The boat was more or less permanently berthed in Genoa Bay and Cowichan Bay for several years. He died around 1997 and his widow sold the boat.

Pakistani vessel in Ladysmith BC

Cal Gourley states "She sank in Ladysmith Harbour. Here she is refloated and fixed up. Just prior to leaving Ladysmith." (Photo from the Cal Gourley collection. )

Pakistani vessel Fibreglass

Cal Gourley states that "Her hull was fibre–glassed in Maple Bay BC." (Photo from the Cal Gourley collection.)

It went through several parties before ending up being owned by the wharfinger of the Ladysmith Maritime Society. Marvin and his wife Heather lived aboard and installed a new engine, a Rolls Royce diesel, and rigged it as a schooner in hopes of taking it to Mexico. The hull proved to be built of substandard material and was seriously rotten so they fibre glassed the whole outside. The last I heard was that they were care taking a property on Cortes Island and living aboard.

Editor’s Note: After publication of this article we were contacted by Geoff Hill who wrote "I had been hired by George O’Brien to work on the dhow,as we called it. George had a hatch cut into the deck so we could lower a huge Louis the 14th armoire down into the stateroom. This was a ridiculous enterprise as the rickety piece of furniture was very loose and flexible and only by the Grace of God did it land in one piece. Then the deck was rebuilt over it and the priceless antique was sealed inside the dhow for good. I worked on that boat for many months. I understand that it was never meant to be anything but a static display for EXPO. Then George thought he would rig it to go to Mexico. The builders plate from the Jousef Bros. stated that their company started business circa 445AD or something of that order. I remember being quite impressed by that.".

To quote from this article please cite:

Lawson, Robert (2017) A Heritage Pakistani Freighter on the BC Coast. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Pakistani_Vessel.php

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