Haida Legend – former Skeena Cloud 45 ‘ wood fish boat

Haida Legend

Skeena Cloud arrived on late 2016 for a 5 month refit. With this vessel Commodore’s Boats established areas of rot in the wooden bulwarks, deck and wheel house. As a result most of the wood was replaced with aluminum without losing the look and lines of the original boat. A new aluminum command station was added along with electrical and hydraulic upgrades. Customer wanted to extend the stern ramp and ultimately renamed the vessel to Haida Legend.

In 1970-1993 she was owned by MacMillan Agencies Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1991-1994 she was owned by Aberdeen Fishing Corp., Vancouver BC. In 1995-1997 she was owned by J.L.K. Fish Co. Ltd., Richmond BC. In 2001 she was owned by Kokanee Fishing Co. Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 2003-2015 she was owned by George E. Berghan, Mayne Island BC. In 2016-2017 she was owned by Coldfish Seafoods Co. Inc., Richmond BC.

Crab Boat Voyager – Aluminum Sponson Project

starboard new

Crab Boat Aluminum Sponson Project

Commodore’s Boats always seem to have interesting building and restoration projects underway, and this Summer was no exception, with several jobs ongoing in a variety of materials, including a unique and specialized sponson project. . Tucked in on either side of the shop, there are a couple of aluminum crab boats both out of Tokeland, Washington, USA. There, Commodore’s shipwrights comprised of mostly welders under the direction of owner Bo Spiller are widening and lengthening the crab boat “Voyager” by adding two sponsons to the outside of the hull and extending the stern. The objective is to increase stability and working area.

Definition Sponson:

  • a projection on the side of a boat, ship, or seaplane.
  • a gun platform standing out from a warship’s side.
  • a short subsidiary wing that serves to stabilize a seaplane.

The following gallery are the original architectural drawings as provided by Bruce Culver Engineer. These adaptations are used as a starting point and are not always required on sponson projects. In this particular case the drawings were modified as the project moved along through collaboration between Commodore’s Boats GM Bo Spiller and Mark Tucker owner of F/V Voyager.

The sponsons are built up from a series of small bulkheads welded at regular intervals along the deck line and extending down to the chine.

When everything is welded in place, the boat will gain 3’6″ on each side. Some of the spaces in each sponson will be voids. However, under Bo’s direction, Mark the owner has opted to add extra fuel tanks, plus he’ll use the adjacent bay as a water storage area accessible from the lazarette.  Commodore’s is also going to add 5′ or so off the stern to further increase the working space and 3′ to the bow for waterline length.

When everything is completed, the overall deck and working space will double in area which will provide a better work environment for the crew and more importantly be safer. Deck space will double, fuel capacity will double and this will allow a more efficient crab boat that will require less runs from port to fishing grounds.

The biggest challenge for a project of this type is fairing the new work into the old and getting the whole thing to look “right,” as though it was designed and built that way from the start.  The final appearance clearly matters and Commodore’s is determined to give Mark a quality and more efficient vessel than he started with.

Confidence I – full recaulk on 82′ wooden fish boat


Confidence I – full recaulk on 82′ wooden fish boat

Confidence I spent a few months with Commodore’s Boats in the summer of 2016 for a full recaulk. New planks added, oakum and cotton pounded into all the seams. While staying at Shelter Island the owners of Confidence Fishing Company also decided to beef up the rolling chocks and shorten the stern ramp significantly. CSI work was performed including servicing of all valves and shaft and rudder work. Commodore’s mechanic also did some work on the steering system. All said and done Confidence I was in the shipyard for the better part of the summer and was launched in October 2016 without a hitch.


Built in 1941 as a patrol vessel at Star Shipyards (Mercers) Ltd in New Westminster. Confidence I now operates as an 82′ wooden fishboat.

In 1941-1944 she was in service with the R.C.A.F. as R.C.A.F. Haida for service with the Western Air Command Marine Squadron. In 1946 she was sold by the War Assets Corp. In 1949-1961 she was owned by Hiram L. Colville (MO), Vancouver BC. In 1966-1970 she was owned by H. Bell-Irving & Co. Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1971-1978 she was owned by Canadian Fishing Company Ltd. Vancouver BC. In 1979-1983 she was owned by Walter Kukulian, Vancouver, BC and Laurel Fish Packers Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1984-2003 she was owned by Emil K. Fishing Corporation, Vancouver BC. In 2012-2016 she was owned by Confidence Fishing Co. Ltd., Port Hardy BC.

Toke Point – Aluminum Sponson

sponson wrap towards the bow

FV Toke Point – Aluminum Sponson

Purchased in Alaska and brought to Richmond, owner Ron Tucker a crab fisherman out of Tokeland Washington has commissioned commodore’s Boats to sponson his new vessel. Sponsons on this boat are utilized to help stabilize the craft in choppy water or high wind conditions, or both. The sponsons also serve another purpose in that it increases overall deck work space and allows greater area to house crab traps. This makes the boat much more efficient and overall safer.

Steveston Lifeboat

Steveston Lifeboat

In 1944, the Steveston Lifeboat previously known as Artists Life was built by the United States Navy in Pearl Harbor as an Admiral’s barge, reportedly used by Admiral Nimitz as his launch at one time. In 1988, the classic wooden craft was purchased by marine artist and official Canadian naval war artist, John Horton, who uses it as his research vessel to this day. When John isn’t cruising the coast doing research for his next painting, he sails the Steveston Lifeboat on the Fraser River, where the striking orange and blue paint is a familiar sight as it conducts search and rescue and safety patrols, and escorts commercial fishing traffic along the busy waterway. Flying the flag of the Canadian Lifeboat Institution, the Steveston Lifeboat operates out of its home port of Steveston, south of the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C.

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M. V. Dorothy – 1930’s era pleasure craft


a 1930s-era pleasure craft

This is a 33 wooden motor vessel with quite a history. Totally rebuilt & restored for river & lake use in the Yukon Territory. It is carvel planked on oak frames using red cedar planking, galvanized fastened. Cabins are built with old growth fir bright finished. Decks and cabin tops are marine plywood covered with epoxy & cloth. The engine is a Volvo 2003T, turbocharged marine diesel.

MV Dorothy, a 9.9-metre, cedar-planked pleasure craft of the 1930s. Initially a private pleasure craft, the Dorothy was drafted into service with the US Army months after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.  Moved to Quiet Lake, Yukon, she was privy to the conversations of army officers supervising the construction of the Alaska Highway.

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Dredge #4 Dawson City, YT


Commodores Boats has been awarded the contract by Parks Canada to rebuild & restore the entire main bow structure of the Dredge to support the main gantry & digging arm.

The Dredge #4 displaces over 3000 tons and the vessel measures over 300′ in length, 2/3’s the length of a football field.

It was originally built in 1912 to extract gold from the Bonanza creek area.

Commodores has mobilized a crew onsite in Dawson City, Yukon for the multi-year contract. Work commenced Aug 02/2010.

We’ve completed five years of the agreement and will be continuing on.

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