Tony Grove – A Boatbuilder’s Perspective - West Wind Hardwood

Silva Bay Shipyard School – July 2016 – Photo by Jan Nielsen
Not so open any longer; the school has closed its doors and is the home to local businesses.


A True Renaissance Man

After completing a four-year boatbuilding apprenticeship that started in 1980, Tony Grove honed his skills as a shipwright, specializing in wooden boat restoration/construction, boat interiors building and custom furniture design. This led him to instructing at the Silva Bay Shipyard School on Gabriola Island BC. Tony taught traditional Boatbuilding plus a course (the first of its kind) that he designed on Ship Cabinetry/Joinery. Tony eventually became the school’s head instructor; leaving the school in 2005 to spend time with his family, working for himself as a custom woodworker, boatbuilder, artist, writer and teacher. A true renaissance man!

With the Silva Bay Shipyard School closed, the circle has come full round with The Grove Woodworking School  tucked amongst the trees on beautiful Gabriola Island, B.C.  Courses and Workshops focus on woodworking skills and techniques for the marine environmentwith all skills being transferable to general woodworking. A few non-marine programs will be offered as well. Course material is designed principally for novices; those for advanced learners will be noted.


“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.” -T.G.


Tony also has worked as a commercial illustrator and artist, producing work for Vancouver clients and magazines. One of his largest projects was in 1989 where Tony illustrated a book for the United Nations through the FAO, which has since been published into several languages for distribution around the world.

His love for art and wood, allowed him to naturally combine his skills to start a successful business in the field of custom furniture design and building. In 1995, he co-founded the “Lava group” a collaboration of some of the most creative furniture designer builders in BC, where they came together for an annual exhibition of new furniture designs.


Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival September 2002
Here’s proof in the pudding that we’ve known Tony for many years.
Photo by Jan Nielsen

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