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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Nafco – 1941 Fish Vessel

Nafco 1941 fish boat

Nafco – 1941′ fish boat in for some repairs. Insurance specifications indicate the following work is required.

Vessel hit bottom causing the following damage:

  • keel shoe damaged/ scraped and a section missing from bow to stern
  • keel damaged including a 6′ section port side midship and a smaller section starboard side
  • scarf piece knocked out
  • 4 planks bruised or scuffed port side midship
  • copper cooling pipes dented and disturbed port side
  • upper wood guard disturbed
  • sounder transducer disturbed
  • sonar dome disturbed starboard side
  • other minor damage

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Ella Mckenzie – 36′ converted wooden tug boat

Ella McKenzie

The Ella Mckenzie is a good example of an old work boat/tug boat that was restored for pleasure use. Built in 1942, and 36′ long, this old boat is received new decking, planking, a new bow stem, guard planks, new guards, covering boards, new rails and new ribs throughout the boat.

Convert your old work boat into a pleasure craft!

“We bought the Ella Mackenzie in 06 and brought it to Commodore’s for a complete retrofit. It required extensive woodwork, decking, guards, bulwark, capping and new stern timber. Its a bit of history and we love the old girl.”

– Pelle W. (owner Ella Mckenzie)

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Zapora – 1927 built 61′ Seiner

1927 built 56' Zapora

Zapora – 1927 built 61′ Seiner

Built in 1927 the Zapora in Prince Rupert is a regular visitor at Commodore’s. Formerly known as the Justina Pearle, Zapora has come to Shelter Island and Commodore’s Boats to replace some planks above the water line. Red Cedar is the recommended wood product to be used. Subsequent caulking will occur and while this old girl is out of the water we will splash some fresh paint and replace the zincs.

Zapora was built in 1927 by Prince Rupert Drydock and Shipyards.

In 1927-1931 she was owned by Lars Voge, Prince Rupert BC. In 1937-1949 she was owned by Lars Solewaag, Vancouver BC. In 1956-1961 she was owned by Zapora Fishing Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1966-1972 she was owned by Clyde R. Smith, Prince Rupert BC. In 1973-1987 as a seiner she was owned by Kenesa Fishing Ltd., Prince Rupert BC. In 1989-1993 she was owned by Loman E. Daury, Prince Rupert BC. In 1994-1997 she was owned by Zapora Fishing Ltd., Courtenay BC. In 2001 she was owned by William M. Leighton, Prince Rupert BC. In 2003-2004 she was owned by Vargas Seafoods Co. Ltd., Comox BC. In 2011-present she is owned by Kenneth G.R. McGill, Victoria BC.

(information courtesy of

Maille III – Aluminum Gillnetter/ Shrimp Troller

Maille III - aluminum

The Maille III was one of Commodore’s Boats more interesting aluminum boat projects and as a result was featured in “Western Fish and Seafood” magazine as written by David Rahn.

Read full article here

The project showcases our quality aluminum work by adding two sponsons to the outside of the hull. The objective was to increase stability and working area and at the same time give the boat a new flared bow and more graceful sheerline.

The sponsons are built up from a series of small bulkheads welded at regular intervals along the shear and extending down to the chine. Up forward the bottoms of the bulkheads start off level and then gradually take on a few degrees of downward twist as they reach the stern. This serves to increase the submerged volume, and therefore the buoyancy, at the after end, just where it’s needed most.

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Martha K – 60′ Table Seiner

60′ Table seiner built in 1929 by Y. Nakade of Steveston

She was in for new timbered stern (ring timbers),new shelves, re-ribbed, all new deck beams,new deck & aft cabin.

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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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