A Little Body Sculpting to an Old Girl - West Wind Hardwood

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.


Well… we worked on it together another 5 years and then he’d had enough (old body and other reasons…) but gave me the option to keep her and continue with a very favourable moorage arrangement in place that makes it all feasible.  He’s still involved in some capacity but not putting in the work days anymore.  For those 5 years we’d been chipping away at small things with the boat in the water 95% of the time and almost always remaining cruiseable in some capacity.  This past May 2013 I decided it was time to step up and address the much-needed hull work, so I had the boat hauled and moved to a site where I’ve got some good secure space for a reasonable price.  I outfitted a container as my shop and built the Stimson shelter you see in the pics (lifesaver)… so now I’ve got my own little boatyard which was a lot of work in itself.  I’ve committed to sacrificing almost all my free time until this is relaunched, which will hopefully be this summer.

Ian would appreciate any help with the vessel to make his target relaunch date. The vessel is located in North Vancouver and any interested wooden boat enthusiasts in the area willing to put in some work please email ianmcmurdo@gmail.com.

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