The Torhavn – Restored Fishboat Yacht

By Ron Drinkwater 2013


The Torhaven at anchor. (Photo from the Al Collishaw collection. )

I thought these pictures of the historic old Torhavn would be interesting. She was on the hard having her spring cleanup and looking just fine.


The Torhavn being moved at the marina for maintenance. (Photo from the Drinkwater collection. )

She is normally on a mooring in Canoe Cove and still has the old two cylinder Easthope engine. All the marina staff were on hand when the Easthope was fired up, a few loud backfires and then the steady thump – thump, my guess was about two or three hundred rpm.


View of the stern post and bottom. (Photo from the Drinkwater collection. )

I was acquainted with Tor Miller (the builder) from the boat show days and it was nice to see the old boat looking so grand.


The upper deck and coach works. (Photo from the Drinkwater collection. )

The website Easthope: The Engines and the People Who Built Them recounts Frank "Tor" Miller related this story of the engine in his vessel Torhavn. 1946 May 5 a two cylinder 10–14 hp engine, was sold to an unknown purchaser and delivered to the fishing dock at the north end of Gore Street in Vancouver. Several years later it was purchased by George Cooper and installed in his troller. In 1958 or 1959 Tor purchased the engine and installed it in the 32 foot Torhavn equipped with "live tanks" for cod. On the advice of another owner of an Easthope engine, Tor replaced the original Schebler carburetor with a Ford Model B. The engine was installed with salt water cooling. Tor considered the use of a fresh water cooling system and was told by several men that it would not work. Apparently these self-professed experts had installed or seen such systems which did not work because of absence of a header tank. Such an arrangement failed as soon as the system lost enough water that the pump was air locked. On a visit to the shop in Steveston Tor was told by Joe Easthope that freshwater cooling would work provided a suitable header tank was included above the engine.


Beautifully maintained, painted and back in the water at Sidney BC. (Photo from the Drinkwater collection. )

Marine author Dennis Minaker states that "My grandfather George Louis Springett (1897–1962) grew up in Maple Bay, BC. Following the First War he raised a family of six as a live-cod fisherman, working out of rented homes in Sidney plus several Gulf Islands. After bait-herring were jigged in Active Pass, he would head out to local waters fishing for cod. With the boat’s live-tank full of fish, he would then return to Active Pass and sell his catch to packing boat operators from the mainland. A full hold might contain a ton of fish, selling during the Depression for two or three cents a pound. George owned a number of fish boats over the years. His third and finest boat was built on commission by Huey Rodd at Canoe Cove, near Sidney, BC., in 1939. Original cost of construction: $750. Originally, its thirty–four foot length was propelled by a one-cylinder engine. Well cared for, it received a annual cleaning in dry dock at Ladner. Tor Miller was the principle owner of this boat, moored for many years at the Oak Bay Marina. It could often be seen at the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria Harbour. In 2004 it was displayed as a tourist attraction in the small cove that fronts Butchart’s Gardens."

To quote from this article please cite:

Drinkwater, Ron (2013) The Torhavn. 2013.

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