Wildwood – From Naval Yardcraft to Yacht

by John MacFarlane 2014

Recently we received an email from Gord Tagg with a photograph attachment of the Wildwood 1 to share with readers. She is an example of a re–purposing of a vessel to extend her life.

Wildwood 1

Wildwood is a spectacular sight at the Fisherman’s Wharf on the Inner Harbour at Victoria BC. (Photo courtesy of the Gord Tagg collection. )

The Wildwood was purchased from the Government by Gary Kleaman who began the process of making her suitable as a live aboard. Her current owner, Gord Tagg, keeps her at the Fishermen’s Harbour floats at Victoria BC. Gord is still working and she serves as a home close to work. He says its not a big job keeping her in beautiful shape. She’s a strongly built work boat that requires minimal effort to maintain. Probably no more attention than one’s house. Its his first big vessel and he’s had to learn lots of new skills but now its all routine. She gets hauled out in Esquimalt for cleaning and maintenance. He’s obviously up to the task as she looks beautiful in the pictures.


Wildwood interior 2013 (Photo from the Gord Tagg collection. )

Tagg reports that she is a very comfortable boat to live aboard. It has two completely separate living areas. The wheelhouse is equipped with a small galley and seating around a table, stepping down to v–berth with double bed and head. It is a great guesthouse for visitors. The large main cabin is trimmed out with beautiful varnished woods large galley, queen bed, and ample storage which makes for a comfortable, cozy home over the last 12 years.


Wildwood interior 2013 (Photo from the Gord Tagg collection. )

The Wildwood is a former Canadian Naval Auxiliary vessel (YTL–553) built at Falconer Marine in Victoria BC during the Second World War. She was one of a group of three which also included the Oakwood and the Lakewood. Over the years she had many different roles – mostly carrying passengers.

She is powered by a GMC-671 (Jimmy) with blower 165 hp, single screw and cruises at 8 knots. Her robustly built hull is fir planking over oak beams with deck planks over 2 inches thick.


C.N.A.V. Wildwood while serving as a Canadian Naval Auxiliary (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection. )

After the Second World War she was used as a tow vessel, a general harbour work boat and at sometime a dive tender. She served many years in Esquimalt Harbour before being a assigned to the Nanoose Test Range where she was eventually laid up in 1996.


C.N.A.V. Wildwood while serving as a Canadian Naval Auxiliary Rigged for recovering torpedoes at the Nanoose Test Range on the east coast of Vancouver Island. She was rigged with special gear to recover torpedoes fired on the test range. (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection.)

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2014) Wildwood – From Naval Yardcraft to Yacht. Nauticapedia.ca 2014. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Wildwood.php

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