The Yacht Scud

by Robert Lawson 2017


There are no original photos of the Scud. This vessel is very much like what the Scud would have looked like at the time of her completion with an open deck configuration. (The photo is taken in Esquimalt across from The old Hudson’s Bay Company storehouse.) (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )

The Scud first appears in the registry in 1915 (#669) although she was built in 1907. This is a photo of the Scud near Brentwood Bay in the late 1990s. She was later renamed as Charuja.


The Scud dry berthed near Brentwood Bay BC. (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )

She was an open deck design 26’ 8": x 7.0’ x 3’ 6". Harold Page believed that she was originally built around Oak Bay and Trail Island. I have since discovered that she was probably built at the foot of Montreal street where T.C. Jones and his son T.D. Jones had their boat building facility. Tom Denny, in a letter to the MMBC, stated that, as a youth, he operated the vessel between Foul Bay and Trial Island delivering mail.


The Scud (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )

I believe that she was originally owned by David Jones. In 1920 she was transferred to William Grant (a printing pressman) and in 1932 to Charles G. Banner (credit manager at the Hudson’s Bay store). Banner changed her name to Charuja. It is thought that it was he who added the cabin work. Banner was transferred to Vancouver in 1938 and as a result he sold the boat to Harold Page’s father, John E. Page. For the next 23 years (1938–1961) it remained in the Page family possession. They used it extensively around Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Bay, and the Gulf Islands. The Pages sold the boat to Jean Paul Destrube. In 1967 the vessel had passed to the ownership of Herb Winfield. The last owner, at least up to about 2003, was Julius Treigys who lived near Brentwood Bay BC.


The Scud (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )


The Scud (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )


The identification carved into the hull. (Photo from the Robert Lawson collection. )

The engine was originally a Union single cylinder make and break spark engine. Page states that "This equipment was inclined to fail at awkward times so my father converted this engine to jump spark operation using a roller–type Cuno timer, a vibrator coil from a 1912 Cadillac and a regular 1/2 inch taper threaded spark plug. This conversion served satisfactorily ever since. The engine also was fitted with a governor ... and among the spare parts was a Union vaporizer. This was truly an amazing piece of machinery.

Simple and rugged in design it provided reliable service for close to 60 years. During the 23 years of our ownership the engine never once failed to get us home. It was very undiscriminating in its taste, running quite acceptably on various mixtures of gasoline, kerosene and benzine, even kerosene mothballs!On one occasion the cylinder-head gasket blew, and although salt water was running down the piston skirt, the engine kept running. Conservatively rate at 5hp by the manufacturer, the nameplate indicated 6.08bhp, presumably by actual test. At 400rpm it drove Charuja at 8 knots with gasoline consumption of 3 quarts per hour. At trolling speed two gallons was sufficient for a whole day’s outing." The engine was a Union (#5616) and was sold as a 5hp (6.08bhp) at 400rpm to the Hinton Electric Company, Victoria BC (they were the Union Diesel engine dealers in Victoria BC at the time). It was shipped up to Victoria on the freighter in 1907. A 10" three-bladed propeller was sent with the engine. The engine was equipped with a governor and controller. Scud

An open base Union engine from the internet. It has a later Schebler style carburetor which wasn’t as fussy as the Union vaporizer but lost the fuel versatility. (Photo from the internet.)

In 1967 Harold J. Page approached the Maritime Museum of British Columbia about acquiring the Union engine from the Scud. His family had, he explained, owned the vessel for many years. He felt that it was a significant artifact and that it should be preserved. Apparently the Museum acquired the engine as an artifact part of their collection.

The Union engine from Scud was an open base single cylinder with make and break ignition. It ended up in the basement of the Maritime Museum in Victoria. I sent a request to have it de–accessioned in 2001 as I had organized some interest in bringing Scud back to life but my request was refused and the interest evaporated as it was predicated on the boat having its original engine.

To quote from this article please cite:

Lawson, Robert (2017)The Yacht Scud. 2017.

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