Boat Building Archives | West Wind Hardwood
Romancing the Carlotta

Romancing the Carlotta

In Italian, the meaning of the name Carlotta is an Italian form of Charles, meaning strong.

And indeed strength has followed Carlotta since her conception in 1899. She’s shown strength through her 118 years; there was “a daring World War II escape from Guernsey as the Germans were landing at the airport. She’d been laid over by hurricane force winds until the mast trucks were almost hitting the water…dropped four feet from a travel lift, towed by rowboat completely around Texada Island…in the 1970s she fell over on her beaching legs, smashing her port side frames in.”

Carlotta has also required the strength of her owners. More recently The Mohan’s who found pleasure and passion for 10 years, were ushered into personal heartbreak and tragedy leading to her to her most recent sale in 2014. The newest owners continued her restoration and contacted Abernethy Gaudin Boatbuilders in Brentwood Bay (Vancouver Island) British Columbia, Canada.

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Near and Far: 1966-1967 – Dorval, Quebec

Near and Far: 1966-1967 – Dorval, Quebec

Certified in Business as a Woodworker/Boatbuilder

As I was told by Ove, and gracing me the fact that I may have disremembered the finer details, of plans to emigrate from Denmark to Canada, were confirmed.  Officials told Ove that settling in Quebec could not be stressed enough as after all; there were only wild forests and lumberjacks in British Columbia.  In 1960, the West Coast was considered a woolly, unrefined place to live and raise a family.  Eventually, the day came in the late 60’s with the rise of the FLQ, Ove’s dreams were fulfilled and the Nielsen Family moved to British Columbia.

Ove’s Shop in Quebec

Jan ~ Daddy’s happy helper.

“Puddleduck” Launch in 1984

“Puddleduck” Launch in 1984

In 1980, while pregnant with our first daughter, Jan started the lofting process for Puddleduck. She was a 21.5’ Howard Chappelle hull and Bill Garden topside; launched in 1984.  The young gentlemen on the sailboat are two fellows we hosted for 3-months through Canada World Youth.  This non-profit organization pairs Canada with a partner country; spending 3-months in both countries.  Participants live with host families, taking part in unique opportunities as a volunteer; discovering other cultures; learning another language.  Our token Canadian is Lloyd; Our Philippine friend is Greg.  We still keep in touch with Greg.

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Tony Grove – A Boatbuilder’s Perspective

Tony Grove – A Boatbuilder’s Perspective

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.

tony-grove-bio

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.

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