Boat Building

The Dorothy Project

May 23, 2014 West Wind Boat BuildingCompanyCustomer ProjectsShelley's Articles

dorothy-early1900

“Not only is she beautiful as boats go with her fine lines, but she is also a fine sailing boat, fast for her size, gentle to handle, and extremely seaworthy. And she is a lucky boat, too, in that her owners have always, somehow, managed to maintain her, repair her, and restore her in such a way that she is now fully restored, still sailing, and still looking beautiful.”

- H.C. Charlesworth (Former Owner), Dorothy I, A Sailor’s Legacy.

Dorothy experienced 11 owners in her life before her donation to the Maritime Museum of B.C. in 1995.  Under the auspices of the MMBC, she sailed proudly until February 2003 when she was taken out of the water in February 2003 and put into storage.

For nine years she stayed dry-docked at the SALTS tallship society. Hard decisions had to be made about her care. The Museum was rapidly being drained of the legacy fund to storage fees, but a full restoration was extremely expensive and they were unlikely to find someone to do it for what they could afford. Dorothy waited.

tony-grove-removing-dorothy-floor-timbers

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Tony Grove Woodworking School

May 22, 2014 West Wind Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingBoat Building

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“When a person reaches that time in their life when they possess a rich storehouse of experience and skills in a particular sphere, I believe they are almost duty-bound to pass on that knowledge for the benefit of future generations.” - Tony Grove

Master shipbuilder Tony Grove (see Dorothy Sails article above) will be spreading his wealth of knowledge to other promising woodworkers and shipwrights in his new school on Gabriola Island.

Designed for novices as well as advanced, courses will focus on woodworking skills and techniques for the marine environment with a few non-marine programs mixed in. All skills learned will be transferable to general woodworking.

He is now accepting students and course suggestions for next summer. Visit the school’s website at thegroveschool.ca.


Thanks to Tony Grove for use of his photos.

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A Little Body Sculpting to an Old Girl

May 16, 2014 West Wind Boat BuildingCustomer ProjectsReader's Corner

by guest blogger Ian McMurdo

1962 gillnetter

A Fraser River Gillnetter built at Albion Boatworks in 1962.  Originally gas-powered, converted to Perkins diesel 6-354 in the mid 80′s along with other technological goodies of the time such as Wagner hydraulic steering and autopilot.  A friend (former boss of mine) bought her from a retired fisherman about 15 years ago with the idea that converting this boat for pleasure use would be his retirement project.  He had built a 22′ cold molded sport fisher in the past.  When I worked for him about 10 years ago we did some work on this boat and his sport-fisher at that time.  I had to quit to go back to university, but we remained friends and four years later when I graduated and moved back to Vancouver he offered me half the boat in exchange for helping him to “finish” the project.

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Lady With Good Bones Seeking Gentle Hands

March 24, 2014 West Wind Boat BuildingCompanyMarineShelley's Articles

Rainbow Skiff

photo courtesy of LMS Museum.

Robert and Margaret Lawson (Ladysmith, BC) of Brisen Boatworks donated this HMCS Rainbow Skiff to the Ladysmith Maritime Society (LMS) in 2010.  She entered retirement through public auction in 1929, and since then has languished as a lady of leisure – enjoying recreational ownership until 1977.

At that point, Barry Philbrook took her over until passing her onto Robert and Margaret in 1999; having never fulfilled his dream of restoration.  As an aside, Barry built our treasured 35’ Ed Monk Sr. cruiser as a custom runabout for Owen Fowler; a means of commuting between Sidney and the Tortoise Islets (off Portland Island).  We are told this was Barry’s 3rd boat while still under apprenticeship; built at Philbrook’s & Son Boatyard (Victoria, BC) in 1957.

For the next 11 years, between Robert and John Rodd, much work was accomplished on the Rainbow Skiff; both archival information and actual restoration.  She was donated to the LMS in hope that restoration could find completion.

She is still waiting for her final make-over; task list available.  Person(s) with skill needed!!

Here’s the story.  Enjoy the read.

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UBC Sailbot Update

March 20, 2014 West Wind Boat BuildingMarine

UBC-sailbotLast issue we talked about our sponsoring of the UBC Robotic Sailboat team, they are gearing up for what should be an exciting competition.

They’ve made some great strides since that issue, especially in the construction of the cold-moulded hull and their control system and routing architecture… super nerdy and we love it!

Visit ubcsailbot.org for more updates on this project.

Photo courtesy of the UBC Sailbot blog.

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UBC Robotic Sailboat “Sailbot” Sponsorship

January 20, 2014 West Wind Boat BuildingMarine

We were approached to sponsor this unique boating project at UBC with some product. Dave Tiessen, Mechanical Team Lead, gave us some insight and what they want to accomplish.

UBC Sailbot is one of the most successful of UBC Engineering’s student teams. They are three time winners of the International Robotic Sailing Regatta, who are now attempting a greater feat, a challenge called “The MicroTransat”.

“The competition entails sailing an autonomous sailboat across the Atlantic completely unassisted. So far no one has succeeded in this challenge. We plan to be the first.” Says Dave.

The team has made smaller boats (2 metres in length) in the past and were made completely of carbon fibre. This time, however, the team has opted to go a different route.

“We are looking at a larger 5 m design. We are planning to build that in the cold moulded style, hence the need for marine plywood.” He supplied us a photo of the plans, but we’ll keep that hush hush for now!

Dave promises to keep us in the loop with their progress and we will follow the journey with you in our blog and newsletter. We wish them the best of luck with the build!

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