Introducing the Nauticapedia

It is no secret that the maritime heritage " brand " struggles with many other themes (e.g. antique cars, art, stately houses) for the attention, interest and commitment of most residents of British Columbia. Once almost everyone on the coast was personally involved in a sea related occupation, or was related to or lived near someone who was involved, the times have now changed. Its difficult to get close to ships, wharves, marine industry. People are still interested but they have limited access to the stuff that is so fascinating.

If you don't live near a maritime museum or an archive with a significant holding of marine records the chances are its really difficult to carry out any research of your own. If you are interested in the maritime heritage of British Columbia you have to have your own personal library or the chances are you will have trouble finding this material if you do not, and at great expense.

Our vision is to celebrate and highlight the maritime heritage of British Columbia in all its aspects. Our goal is even grander. It is to celebrate the maritime heritage of western and northern Canada, as well as the Naval Forces of Canada. We want to make this information widely available.

We are trying to reach many audiences, each a niche with specific interests and needs:

  • genealogists and family historians;
  • regional, industrial, naval and maritime historians;
  • school & university teachers and students;
  • independent learners broadening their knowledge of maritime heritage;
  • journalists and writers;
  • marine buffs and ship watchers;
  • boat owners;
  • the general public and the casual web browser.

There are lots of websites around that have limited maritime heritage subject matter. We intend to provide information that is really useful to enthusiasts, genealogists, researchers, historians and anyone who may have any level of interest. Our resources should fill the gap for those unable to have ready access to a maritime museum.

We also intend to interpret the raw data into stories and narratives that bring paper records, dusty collections and libraries to life. We will share the personal experiences of mariners and their families who have witnessed the events of history first hand. We will keep the stories coming regularly so that there will always be something new to read and see.

The coast of British Columbia is an obvious geographical focus but there is a considerable maritime heritage elsewhere to be included in such a database to create broader appeal.

  • the Yukon rivers and Arctic Ocean;
  • the Northwest Territories rivers and Arctic Ocean;
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba lakes and rivers;
  • Southern interior BC rivers and lakes;
  • northern BC rivers and lakes;
  • and adjacent Washington State and Alaska where there are overlapping subject areas of interest or subjects (vessels, people, wrecks) that relate to western Canada.


Site News: March2nd, 2019

Databases have been updated and are now holding 56,584 vessel histories (with 5,550 images) and 58,184 mariner biographies (with 3,673 images).

© 2002-2019