The Conversion of the YSF–216 to Replica of the S.S. Beaver

by Mike Cruickshanks and John MacFarlane 2018

YSF-216

The YSF–216 in the process of being converted to a replica of the S.S. Beaver. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

While cleaning up an office in the dockyard, Mike Cruickshanks found some old pictures of a project that looked interesting. They were going to be thrown out so luckily he saved them. They turned out to be a series of snapshots of the conversion of the ammunition lighter YSF–216 being converted in 1966 to a replica of the S.S. Beaver.

After the great success 1958 Centennial of the establishment of the Crown Colony and the Fraser River Gold Rush the British Columbia Centennial Commission was established to develop more centennial celebrations. Three more were developed until the last in 1970. They were all great successes both as tourism initiatives and for devloping pride in and awareness of our provincial history and heritage.

YSF-216

Masts, spars and rigging being installed. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

The second in the series of Centennials was in 1966 to celebrate the Union of the Crown Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The RCN, as part of their contribution, created a replica of the sidewheeler S.S. Beaver. They converted an ammunition lighter, the YSF–216 for this purpose.

YSF-216

The wooden sides of the ship being attached over the steel hull. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

She was built in 1957 at Esquimalt BC by Yarrows Ltd. 30.42m x 5.49m x 2.04m (104.0’ x 18.0’ x 7.0’) steel-hulled 154.32gt 111.88rt. She was powered by 2-170bhp diesel engines by Caterpillar Tractor Co., Peoria IL USA.

YSF-216

An approximation of the bowsprit being installed. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

A wooden facsimile of the hull was attached to the outside of the original steel hull. All the fittings to make the vessel resemble the original were fabricated in H.M.C. Dockyard Esquimalt including a windlass and cannons.

YSF-216

Some of the fittings being added were quite massive. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

YSF-216

Facsimiles of the windlass and cannons, (all non–functioning). (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

YSF-216

The sidewheels kicking up a splash. The side–wheels turned when the vessel was in motion giving the impression that they were powering the ship. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

The S.S. Beaver Replica

The finished S.S. Beaver replica (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

In 1972 she was purchased by the Municipality of Langley to moor as a floating exhibit. When this proved too costly she was sold for use a harbour cruise ship with the stipulation that she must sail to Langley at least eight times a year and be placed on display during Greater Vancouver Sea Festivals. She underwent several several renovations, including the addition of a dining room and discotheque. As a derelict she sank while at anchor in Cowichan Bay BC 07/05/2014.

She changed hands a number of times over the years. In 1957–1972 she was owned by the Royal Canadian Navy. In 1972–1973 she was owned by Municipality of Langley, Langley BC. In 1973–1975 she was owned by Embyr Enterprises Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1976 she was owned by Sceptre Equipment Sales & Service Ltd., Edmonton AB. In 1977 she was owned by Pegasus Charters Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1978–1986 she was owned by Merit Leasing Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1987–2004 she was owned by 306017 B.C. Ltd., Nanaimo BC. In 2013–2014 she was owned by 0760938 B.C. Ltd., Bashaw AB.

The S.S. Beaver Replica

The finished S.S. Beaver replica (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

These reenactment events were extremely popular at the time. Huge audiences would gather to witness them.

Arriving at Victoria

Canoes escorting the S.S. Beaver replica into the harbour (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

On arrival in Victoria Harbour the S.S. Beaver was met and escorted by canoes paddled by First Nations participants.

Reinactment

Lieutenant Ian A. Sturgess RCN welcomes BC Lieutenant-Governor George R. Pearkes, VC, on board the S.S. Beaver replica. (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)

Reinactment

Reenactment characters (from the left) Father Bolduc (Anthony Burton), centre Sir James Douglas (John Dunbar), right Captain McNeil of the Beaver (Harry Hill) on board the S.S. Beaver replica (Photo from the Mike Cruickshanks collection.)



To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. and Mike Cruickshanks (2018) The Conversion of the YSF–216 to Replica of the S.S. Beaver. Nauticapedia.ca 2018. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/YSF-216.php

New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: May 24th, 2018

Databases have been updated and are now holding 53,605 vessel histories (with 4,946 images) and 57,935 mariner biographies (with 3,460 images).


© 2002-2018