Winterizing your boat – Fall haul-out checklist

Making a checklist – temperatures are dropping, and leaves are changing color. Can only mean one thing….boating season is coming to an end. Many boat owners let the seemingly endless amount of work in order to prepare for winter overwhelm them. Often to the point of not doing even some of the most basic necessary requirements in order to ensure next boating season isn’t spent sitting in a shipyard such as ours.

Lets take a look at some of these basics to ensure your boat makes it through the winter safely and so next season is spent enjoying the seas and not the shipyard. This checklist is designed to breakdown the various onboard systems and list what we feel needs to be done for each. This list is meant to be a starter checklist for a typical inboard cruiser or working vessel. For those tasks outside your comfort zone (and many will be), be sure to consult a full service shipyard such as Commodore’s Boats or hire a marine technician or shipyard in your area and without getting in the way, watch what they are doing and ask questions in order to familiarize yourself with your vessel.

Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with all-access capabilities. In short Commodore’s Boats has the experience and capability to repair/ restore/ maintain any aspect of  a vessel and the boatyard we operate allows owners to work on their boats side-by-side with our skilled shipwrights, mechanics, welders and electricians.


Exterior – Hull, Cabin, Flybridge

  1. Wash the hull to remove dirt, grime, algae, muscles
  2. Detail fiberglass gelcoat by removing stains, black streaks and oxidation. If the gelcoat is badly stained and/or oxidized, then compounding may be required. Ask us about our 4-step detail process.
  3. Clean and polish all metal hardware and than wax or coat with a moisture displacing lubricant to prevent corrosion and rust
  4. Scrub all decks, fish boxes, bait wells and exterior coolers
  5. Clean all canvas including dodgers, bimini, tops, curtains and strataglass. Clean with fresh water and mild soap. If mold is present than use a mold spray remover. Canvas zippers and snaps should be lubricated. Store ashore if possible.

Is shrink wrapping a boat a good idea? – the main reason to shrink wrap your boat is to protect it from weather damage.  Shrink wrap will help protect against rodents, insects, bird droppings, and dust. The wrap also provides greater warmth which may help eliminate pooling and a buildup of snow, along with the tight seal to withstand high winds. Ensure adequate ventilation. YES! Commodore’s Boats has the ability to shrink wrap your boat.


  1. Remove all food items, liquids (which can freeze and burst), bedding and clothes ashore.
  2. Clean the bilge and properly dispose of any oily wastewater. Oil absorbent sheets and proper bilge cleaner should be utilized.
  3. Store cushions ashore or prop them up to allow proper air circulation. Do not leave damp cushions on the boat.
  4. Clean all upholstery, cushions, carpets and curtains.
  5. Clean all cabinets, storage lockers , refrigerator and oven with a proper spray and leave all doors slightly ajar in order to promote proper air circulation.

Bilge Pumps

  1. Drain water from all pumps
  2. Visual check to check for damaged or worn parts and replace any if found or replace pump entirely
  3. Verify proper operation of all automatic floats, manual switches and alarms

Fresh Water System

  1. Drain fresh water system entirely including head, galley and add in antifreeze, Draining eliminates the requirement to flush the system in Spring, but double check all water is removed from the systems (inside pumps, hoses etc) in order to prevent freeze damage.
  2. Drain the water heater and leave all faucets open
  3. Open water tank plates and clean

Sanitation System

  1. Flush and drain completely and add a solution of antifreeze to the system
  2. Check all sanitation hoses for leaks, loose clamps and permutation. If a hose is suspect, wipe it down with a rag in hot water. If the rag smells such that it appears it has been contaminated  than replace the hose.


  1. Check for loose or corroded wires and terminal connections
  2. Top off wet cell batteries with distilled water
  3. Clean battery terminals and protect with a corrosion inhibitor
  4. Place batteries on a float charge or bring to a full charge monthly
  5. Unless they are being float charged, it is recommended to remove batteries and store in a garage or other warm and dry area


  1. Change the oil and filters to prevent sludge and contaminants from resting in the crank case over winter. Run your engine up to operating temperature before hand (the warm oil is easier to change and have more contaminants in the suspension). Run the engine for 5 minutes afterwards to properly distribute clean oil throughout the engine.
  2. For gas engines use fogging oil to protect the engine where appropriate. Fogging oil coats the internal engine components to prevent corrosion. It displaces moisture from metal to protect cylinder damage at start up.
  3. Check cooling system zincs and replace those required.
  4. Check transmission fluid levels and change if recommended by the manufacturer
  5. Change primary and secondary fuel filters and clear bowls of water and sediment.
  6. Clean the engine exterior of oil and grime using engine cleaner or degreaser. Once clean, inspect the engine for corrosion, loose hardware leaks and other noticeable issues that should be repaired immediately.
  7. Flush the cooling system. For open systems, drain completely. For closed systems, drain the raw water side and fill with antifreeze, then check the level of antifreeze in the closed side.
  8. Inspect all hoses to ensure properly attached, leaks or signs of deterioration (soft, cracked, bulges, bubbles) and replace if questionable.
  9. Clean all water intake strainers, then drain or add antifreeze
  10. Block exhaust outlets and air inlets to prevent rodents and insects from coming inboard

Note: Always be sure to follow engine manual procedures as recommended by the manufacturer


  1. Remove all electronic equipment and store ashore in a warm, dry location to prevent damage and theft.

Running Gear

  1. Check the engine transmission to shaft coupling for loose or missing hardware, ensuring all shaft retaining bolts are secured properly.
  2. Check prop blades for corrosion, dents, bends, corrosion or misalignment. They should be sent in for service annually
  3. Check shaft cutlass bearings for loose and replace if worn
  4. Verify strut mounting bolts are tight and that all hardware is in good shape
  5. Check prop shaft for trueness and any signs of corrosion. This may require bringing the shaft to a machine shop where they can check for straight on a lathe
  6. Check condition of all sacrificial anodes (zincs) and replace if required. If they are worn they are worn, they are doing their jobs. If not this could be an indication of electrolysis.


  1. Inspect the system for corrosion, loose or missing hardware or wear and binding.
  2. Top off all fluid reservoirs and inspect hoses and seals for leaks (Hydraulic systems)
  3. Inspect and grease all cables, check sheave mounts for loose hardware and sheaves. operate the steering wheel fully from port to starboard while doing this inspection (Cable steering systems)

Fuel System

  1. Top up all fuel tanks to avoid condensation
  2. Add appropriate fuel stabilizers.  In addition to stabilizers, diesel fuel should also be treated with a biocide additive to inhibit algae growth. E-10 gas requires additional additives to prevent phase separation due to water absorption
  3. When using E-10 it may be suggested that you completely drain the tank then refill with fresh gas in Spring. Although draining a built in tank may be troublesome so a more practical solution is to fill to 95% capacity and allowing expansion. This will reduce condensation and minimize explosive vapors.
  4. When filling gas tanks use the highest octane available to compensate for octane loss over the winter.
  5. Once you have topped off the tanks and treated your fuel, run the engine for 15 to 30 minutes to disperse freshly treated fuel throughout the system.

To download the above checklist click here

Contact Commodore’s Boats at 604-247-2628 with any questions or to schedule a haul out for purposes of Winterizing your boat.


New Promotional Time Lapse Video on the Sponson Project “Lady Nell” is released!

Washington state crab boat

New Promotional Time Lapse Video on the Sponson Project “Lady Nell” is released!

Lady Nell is a Washington state steel crab boat out of Westport built in 1988. A  54′ boat was brought to Commodore’s Boats with the purpose of adding sponsons.  10′ to be exact (5′ each side which increased the beam from 19’6″ to 29’6″.

This raises the question….Why?

For a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new vessel and license it makes economical sense to widen the boat in order to create a near double deck space which accommodates many more crab traps and a safer, larger working area for the crew. The sponsons also allow an opportunity to increase fuel and water capacity through additional tanks and not to mention a larger fish hold. All combined the sponson project increases stability, performance which equates to a quick return on the owners investment. In some cases the investment can be paid off in just one season.

In addition to the sponsons being added to this vessel, Commodore’s Boats added in a new bulbous bow and hydraulic thruster. The new bow was added to enhance performance, speed and fuel efficiency. The bulbous bow can be filled or emptied with water ballast to achieve the desired trim of the vessel.

Commodore’s Boats is quickly being recognized as an industry leader in this type of project and are currently booking projects of this nature for 2019 and 2020. Although traditionally known as the wood boat experts of the Pacific Northwest it is clear by this video and project that we are much more. We have a separate metal/fab shop on site and are comfortable with both steel and aluminum as it relates to sponson projects. Our fiberglass shop is also more than willing to take on glass fiberglass repairs or sponson projects.

If you have any questions please call to discuss. (604)247-2628

2018 Vancouver Boat Show Contest Winner

2018 Vancouver Boat Show Contest Winner

chosen from over 500 ballot entries is contest winner Darcy Hughes. Darcy’s ballot was selected and as a result he is a winner of $1000 towards boat restorations and repairs as well as $250 to be used towards a lift in/ out of his 50′ Monk Mcqueen on the travel lift through Shelter island Marina.

Congratulations to Darcy and we look forward to seeing “Warrior Monk” the 1969 built Monk Mcqueen in Spring of 2018.

Canadian Steamship Inspection (CSI)

Canadian Steamship Inspection (CSI) – From Transport Canada

Getting your 15 to 150 gross tonnage vessel inspected and certified

All small commercial marine vessels between 15 and 150 gross tonnage must be inspected and certified by Transport Canada. Any smaller vessel that carries more than 12 passengers must also be inspected and certified.

After an initial inspection, regular inspections are required. The frequency depends upon the vessel’s commercial use.

Initial inspection and certification

All small commercial vessels must be inspected prior to entering service and must have a valid operating certificate any time they are used for commercial purposes. If Transport Canada has not yet inspected your vessel, it’s your responsibility to arrange for an inspection. This can be done by contacting your local Transport Canada Marine Safety office.

Regular inspections

After the first inspection, regular inspections are required ― either every year or every four years. These regular inspections are necessary to maintain the validity of the vessel’s operating certificate. Read on to see which inspection schedule applies to your vessel.

Annual inspection

Vessels more than 15 gross tonnage or carrying more than 12 passengers must be inspected yearly. Such annual inspections begin after the initial inspection/certification mentioned above.

During the annual inspection, the Transport Canada Marine Safety Inspector inspects the vessel externally and internally. The following are checked:

  • general condition of structures, equipment, and their operation
  • maintenance records, and validity of certificates
  • lifesaving, fire-fighting and fire detection equipment
  • watertight and fire-resisting door/window systems
  • quick-closing arrangements in fuel system
  • main and auxiliary steering gears
  • hatch closures, scuppers and sounding pipes
  • safety guards and rails
  • pressure vessels and pressure-release arrangements
  • bilge-pumping arrangements and oil record books
  • safety notices and instructions
  • navigation and radio equipment
  • electrical equipment and switchboard safety
  • ship-side valves
  • crew accommodation
  • cargo gear safeties

Advise the inspector of any changes that have been made to the vessel or how and where it is used since the last inspection. Accident investigations frequently find that modification to the vessel was a contributing factor.

Inspection every four years

Vessels between 15 and 150 gross tonnage that do not carry passengers, and fishing vessels in this size range, only need to be inspected every four years.

The items checked are similar to the items verified during an annual inspection.

Passenger vessels more than 15 gross tonnage or carrying more than 12 passengers must undergo a more extensive inspection every four years.

Inspection fees and other information

Fees for inspections vary according to the type and size of vessel. Transport Canada’s fees for vessel inspection and related services are based on the Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees.

For further information on inspections and certifications call 604-247-2628. We are inherently familiar with the regulations and checkpoints used for CSI inspections and have the skills, manpower and training required to ready your vessel for CSI.


Pacific Fishing Magazine Features Commodore’s Boats in May Publication

Pacific Fishing Magazine Features Commodore’s Boats in May Publication

In the latest edition of Pacific Fishing Magazine, Commodore’s Boats was featured in the “Around the Yards” section of the May edition. Pacific Fishing Magazine is a very reputable publication and is known as “THE” business magazine for fisherman. Pacific Fishing is published for commercial fishermen and seafood business professionals. Bo Spiller owner of Commodore’s Boats said, “nearly everyone that’s involved at any level in the fishing industry is aware and subscribes to Pacific Fishing Magazine.” Bo himself reads the magazine regularly nearly cover to cover and has since he was a young adult and working in commercial fishing. “Pacific Fishing was on many tables, in many galleys of boats I fished on.”

Around the Yards

Pacific Fishing
The wooden seiner Nafco was in the shipyard for keel repairs. Photo courtesy of Commodore’s Boats

Wooden boat specialist Commodore’s Boats in Richmond, British Columbia, was busy over the winter with a number of commercial fishing vessels, along with steady work converting fishing vessels to yachts.

The 62-foot seiner Nafco was at Commodore’s for repairs during the March herring season after it hit bottom, causing keel and keel shoe damage, said Ryan Galovich, business development manager at Commodore’s.

“Some scarfed sections were knocked out, and there were some planking issues – bruised and scuffed planks on port side,” Galovich said. Other problems included disturbance to copper cooling pipes, the sonar dome, and the sounder transducer.

The Adriatic Star, a 68-foot wooden fishing vessel, was in and out quickly March 10-11 for planking and patching to stop persistent leaks.

The Western Commander, a 75-foot seiner, was in for planking, outside cooling pipes, caulking, and repairs on the keel shoe.

The Princess Colleen, a 55-foot Frostad-built wooden boat, was in to repair leaks and plumbing. It also had the bow thruster rebuilt.

Commodore’s Boats has recycled and repurposed an 1880s-era Rumely Co. steam tractor. With wheels removed, the tractor is being used as a steam generator to steam planks.

For a link to read the article click here

Commodore’s Boats Mobile App Is Now Available!

Commodores releases phone app

Commodore’s Boats Releases Mobile App!

Commodore’s Boats is pleased to announce its new mobile phone app. In a continual effort to allow customers as an efficient way as possible to stay in touch with all the latest developments including updates on current and past projects Commodore’s Boats new mobile phone app is ready for download.


Released: 22 April 2016

Version: 3.7



Requires 7.0.1 or later.

Compatible with iPhone.


Requires Android 4.1.1 or later.

Compatible with Android phones.


Requires HTML mobile browser.


Commodore’s is a full service shipyard that specializes in boat repair, traditional wood boat construction, marine restoration, marine repair, classic working vessels, traditional tugboats, aluminum river craft, and jet boats.
Located at 6911 Graybar Road in Richmond, beside beautiful Vancouver, B.C. We service the lower mainland, including Vancouver, Delta, White Rock, Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver and more.
Commodore’s Boats is fully insured with Commercial General Liability, Ship-Repairers Legal Liability, we’re Secor Certified and we’re always in good standing with Worksafe BC.

For download click on the following link:

Enjoy and share.

The Legacy of North Coast Boatbuilding – Wahl’s Shipyards, Prince Rupert

The Legacy of North Coast Boatbuilding –  -Wahl’s Shipyards, Prince Rupert (from Wahl to Spiller)

Over 100 years of wooden boatbuilding on the North Coast have left their mark. While wooden boats don’t last forever, if well-maintained they can live a long time. In many harbours along the BC coast and beyond, you are bound to find a boat that was built in the north, and probably built by the Wahl family and in the later years Alec Spiller, father of Commodore’s Boats current owner Bosun (Bo) Spiller. The legacy continues as many of those same wooden boats tend to be restored or repaired today at Commodore’s Boats.

The Wahl Shipyards were by any measure the most successful Prince Rupert boatbuilders, and one of the province’s most notable. As many as 1100 boats came down the Wahl ways over 50 years, and their distinctive lines are recognizable in harbours all along the BC coast.Wahl’s Shipyards, Prince Rupert

Ed Wahl, a cabinet maker from Norway, had first come to North America at the end of World War I to fish with his brother in Alaska. Back in Norway he married Hildur Olsen, and the young couple emigrated to Canada.

“Dad, he went to Norway and got married and came right over again. He knew Mom when he came to this country but then he come over to see how things were and he figured that this is what he wanted so he just went over and married my mother and came right back again,” said Iver.

They lived first at Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island, where Ed logged. Then in 1923 the family moved north to Port Essington, travelling in Ed’s little gillnetter, the Viking. There he fished and also began boat building. ‘He just started on his own,’ said son Iver. “It came natural to him, I guess.”

Hildur assisted him, helping to rib the boats and plank them. Times were tough and they could seldom afford labour. The first boat out of the Port Essington shed was the Norman which he used for gillnetting and to travel to Prince Rupert to get supplies. He built a number of gillnet boats for the canneries. That was in the transitional days when powered gillnets were permitted in northern waters (beginning in 1924).

Around 1928 or 1929 the Wahls left Essington to join a new fishing settlement that was starting in Dodge Cove on Digby Island, across from Prince Rupert. The first boat out of the Dodge Cove shed was the Fram.

In Dodge Cove, the business became a family venture. Besides Ed, Hildur’s brothers Ole and Otto worked in the shed and Ed’s sons joined in as soon as they were old enough. “I guess that he figured that we were all going to be boat builders,” said Iver. “So we all wanted to work with Dad, because he was a wonderful man to be with, you know”. At the age of ten, Ernest sanded the hulls. Iver’s first job was to putty nail holes. He also tended the steam box fire, swept the floor and packed wood.

For years, the Wahls worked only with hand tools. They didn’t even have a band saw in the early years of the Depression, though Ed managed to save enough to buy one from Paul Armour later on. He kept fishing during the summer to make extra money, putting it back into the business to buy tools and enlarge the boat shop.

Wood was easily obtained in the 1930s. Fir and oak came from Vancouver, while most of the yellow cedar came from John Group at Oona River. Jimmy Donaldson of Brown’s Mill, near Port Essington, also supplied them with a good deal of lumber. “If he had a good log, he always used to let us know that he had it,” Iver recalled, “and then Dad would ask him, tell him what he’d like to have cut, and he’d saw it. Then we got our own mill.”

Production increased phenomenally during World War II. The Japanese boat builders in Cow Bay, Osland and the canneries were expelled from the coast in 1942, while at the same time most canneries were renewing and enlarging their aging fleets to meet the increased demand of the war. Wahls built for all the canneries on the Skeena – Nelson Brothers, BC Packers, Canadian Fish, North Pacific, Cassiar. There weren’t quite so many boats for Inverness because they used mostly seine boats.

Local red cedar was usually used for planking on the smaller gillnetters, but larger boats were built of imported fir. Finding enough wood was a constant problem. To meet the increased demand, Wahl built his own sawmill in 1946 next to the boat shed. Four men worked milling while three hand loggers logged and beach combed. The canneries helped gather wood as well.


Just as the war-time demand for boats was building, another war-time demand hit the Wahls. The boys Henry, Iver and Ernest, were called up to go into the army. It would be impossible for Ed to run the business by himself. A recruitment officer came over from Rupert and visited the boat shop. He agreed that two boys could stay, but one would have to enlist.

“To this day I think it was the toughest decision our Dad ever made, to say which one had to go,” said Iver. “The General asked Dad which one, we’re going to take one, but which one are you going to let go he said to dad, and Dad had to make that decision. Well he couldn’t say nothing. We were all right there. Well, he says, take the youngest one, and that was Ernest. So we thought, Henry and I, to heck with this. Ernest’s not going alone, we’ll all go. So we were all prepared to go, you know, but Dad he took it so tough, that we decided that we’d stay, and Ernest went.”

Ernest spent two or three years in the army. He stayed in the force after the war, but contracted tuberculosis and lost one lung. While in Vancouver General Hospital, Ernest took a math course and a drawing course. After that, whenever they needed plans for boats that fell into the steamboat classification, Ernest created them.

Still the demand for boats grew. Their record year was 1944, when they launched 47 boats in ten months, including forty gillnetters and 7 halibut boats. North Pacific Cannery records show that in 1944 Wahls supplied the cannery with’ two 32′ boats for $1050 each, four 30′ boats for $735 each, and two 15′ seine skiffs at $115 each.

In 1946 , Ed Wahl was featured in a Waterfront Whiffs column. Wahl said they built 43 boats in 1945, and in this year there were plans for 30 gillnetters, two halibut boats, a troller and a packer for Canadian Fishing Company.

‘Mr. Wahl says that he builds his gillnetters in three sizes, the basic moulds of each being similar. The 30-foot model is the standard boat used on the Skeena River fishery, while the 31-footer is designed for the rougher waters off the river mouth. The 32-foot model is popular among fishermen who fish in the inlets and in the rougher costal waters. Mr. Wahl’s shop has capacity for building five of these small vessels at a time, in addition to other work. The covered shop will accommodate a vessel of 65-foot length on the marine ways… This Digby Island enterprise, which is known among fishermen all along the coast, is carried on by Mr. Wahl with the assistance of his six sons and 12 hired employees. Mr. Wahl is proud of the assistance given by his six sons, even though two of them are a bit on the young side. Ray and Raoul, who are twins, will make good boatbuilders when they get older he believes. The four older ones, Henry, Ivor, Ernest and Bob, are already pretty handy in the shop.’ (Prince Rupert Daily News, March 2, 1946)

As many as thirty-six men worked in the yards then. “It was really hectic,” remembered Iver. “It was from eight in the morning till eleven at night. We took turns to got to town on Saturday to get all the supplies and that. Then a lot of the guys, sometimes you got half a day off. That’s the only time you got your time off. Then on Sundays you get half a day off. The whole crew. We were 26 men in the shop at that time. But we were crawling over everybody, just like sardines in a can.”

Through the 1950s, modernization of the fishing fleet continued, and Wahls were the premier boatbuilders of the north coast. On one momentous occasion, they launched seven boats in one day: one large gillnetter, 46 feet, five 34-foot boats and a halibut boat built for Don Lindstrom. By the time the last two gillnet boats were launched, the tide had gone down so low that they dropped and capsized when they hit the water. “No ballast, light as a feather,” Iver remembered. “But nothing hurt. They looked so funny with the keel up in the air.”


In the early days, each of the boys had his own job. Iver started with caulking, but had to quit that when the constant pounding caused hearing problems. But as business grew, they all worked together. Iver would plank one side while Henry planked the other. Henry and Iver did the main construction of the hull and the planking, while Ernest and Bob put the top work on, the deck, the wheelhouse. The twins helped with the planking, holding on to the end.
They seldom used plans to build a boat, only five or six times when someone would buy blueprints and have the Wahls build from them. Iver found, when working with a large crew, it was easier using blueprints. “It’s hard the way we done it. You had to put a man on the job. He had to measure everything out for us before you can go to work yourself.” Iver described the process. “When you plank the boat, there was two men on each side to put the planks on and Henry and I were sawing them, cutting them out in shape. Boy, you sure didn’t have much time to stop and light a cigarette. You got so used to cutting planks, you don’t need to measure any more. Both Henry and I, we got so used to it that we just looked at it. The only time you actually measured up, was when you got to the top. To get the right sweep to the boat, the sheer line. You didn’t have much time to start fooling around measuring. Dad, he taught us that. He was very strict. He didn’t like to see lumber wasted either. We had to pick the boards to make the right curve. He taught us that.”

By the end of the 1950s there was so much business that the Wahls decided to expand. In 1959 they opened a second, larger boat shop in Prince Rupert, at Fairview, near the Co-op plant and just a hop across the harbour from Dodge Cove. Twenty-two men were working at Dodge Cove, and fifteen at Fairview. “Both yards have plenty of work lined up to keep full shifts going all winter,” reported the Daily News in December, 1959. The first boat to be launched from the Fairview yard was the Lori Anne, a troller for Atle Arntsen. The keel was laid in November and the hull was launched on December 30, 1959 and completed in January.

“We took so much work that we had to get it built,” said Iver. “They were both going and the mill was going too, because they had so much lumber, house lumber and stuff to cut.”

By this time, the boys were insisting that Ed slow down. The physical work was taking its toll. He stopped building, and only looked after the business end, but it wasn’t enough. On March 16, 1961, just when the family had got the Fairview yard going full swing, Ed died at the age of 65.

In early 1967 part of the shed at the Prince Rupert yard caught fire. Iver recalls this as the worst thing to happen in the history of the Wahl shipyards. “We felt so proud we worked so hard, just got it all paid off, it was ours, we didn’t owe anybody a nickel and then we lost it in the fire. The insurance was nothing. We were lucky, we weren’t in financial difficulties. We had enough to get well established again.”

They did. They rebuilt and continued to produce vessels that were the envy of the coast. But things were changing. The dynasty of wooden boat building on the North Coast was giving way to new technologies and diminishing demand. People were turning more and more to fiberglass and aluminum to build new fishing vessels. In the early 1970s they sold the Dodge Cove shop to Alec Spiller, who continued to employ Iver. In 1976 the Wahl brothers sold the Fairview yards to the Okabe family. Ernest and Henry’s son Eddie both set up boatshops near Vancouver, expanding from the wooden boat legacy to build fiberglass vessels.

Under the ownership of Alec Spiller, Wahl Shipyards continued to build wooden vessels in the Wahl tradition with the distinctive Wahl appearance. The last vessels being constructed were the Miss TJ, Nordic Rand, Ocean Tigress and the Ingibjorg K.

The last Wwahl09ahl boat from the old Dodge Cove Shipyards was the 40′ x 12 1/2′ troller Legacy built by Larry Wahl with the help of his father Iver. It was fitting that it was not a boat for sale to someone else, but a boat that Larry would fish himself. By 1989, he was in the market for a new troller. He knew he wanted a wooden boat. Would it be beyond the realm of possibility to have a new Wahl boat? With the help of Iver and other members of the family, it was possible. Gary helped on the project, as did Martin, son of Bobby Wahl. The Legacy was launched on April 26, 1990 at 2:30 a.m.


Over the years, the Wahls built between 1,000 and 1,100 boats. They have been sent as far away as Norway, Kodiak Alaska and Seattle. There are few harbours along BC’s coast that don’t have at least one Wahl boat tied up.

[Unattributed]: Citing Sources: [][April 5, 2016]

Commodore’s Boats installs a bow thruster and davit system

This may not be earth shattering news and have little relevance to the outside world except that Commodore’s Boats have done a fantastic job at branding as the “wood boat experts” of the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Islands of BC. We hear often its a dying trade and there are hardly anyone building or restoring wood boats any longer. This may be true; its up for debate. Likely a good conversation to be had over a few pints of ale or litres of port. However its important to note on last vessel query search there are still over 2000 wooden boats registered as operating vessels in British columbia. Several hundred of those wooden vessels are work boats either as tugs or fish boats. No tell on how many wooden boats are still floating in the Pacific Northwest which includes the state of Washington. This writer suspects 5000 or more. this likely is a to-do project to establish a firmer number.

The reason for this news blog is not to once again to showcase commodore’s Boats skills and expertise as the wooden boat experts (our website has numerous wooden boat projects for you to scan through) but is an attempt to disclaim the notion that commodore’s are “ONLY” wooden boat experts.

As an example yesterday this writer was speaking to Hector a customer with a fibreglass restoration in the shop and he indicated at his marina with his circle of friends and marina patrons that they were shocked to hear that Commodore’s Boats did anything but wooden boat repairs. Why are they working on your glass boat? was the question being asked.

We thank the boating community for recognizing us as a credible wooden boat experts and yes we still position ourselves as wood boat experts but this news blog will showcase a couple of unique fiberglass projects currently in the shop.

65′ Fibreglass Ketch – bow thruster installation

Customer approached us with his 65′ fibreglass sail boat he had recently purchased and wanted a bow thruster installed in order to easily maneuver his boat when docking or leaving the dock.

The challenge being that there was no bow thruster previously installed so Commodore’s had to establish the best location in consideration of what would be in the way when deciding on where the holes would run from port to starboard side on the bow structure. That included climbing into the front of the boat, removing the floor structure in the shower compartment to ensure that cutting and drilling through the fibreglass would not disrupt the integrity of the boat as whole.

The first step in the installation was to clear out the shower in the bow of the boat in order to ensure the tube could be slid through the holes unobstructed. This involved removing the shower catch pan and floor in order to get access to the head.

The edges of the two holes were then ground back three to four inches for good fiberglass adhesion and the tunnel was pushed through, plugging the holes. Using alternating layers of fiberglass cloth and chopped strand mat, our fibreglass expert then glassed the tunnel in place. As he did so, he built out the tunnel’s leading edge to help the water break away and prevent it from swirling into the tunnel at higher sailing speeds, thereby reducing turbulence.

While the outside glasswork was curing, we also glassed the tunnel into place from the inside to form a watertight seal. As soon as the glasswork was fully cured, the motor was installed. With the unit wired up and tested, all that remained to be done was to install the propellers after the inside of the tunnel was painted with bottom paint. Once the painting was finished the props were mounted and the boat was ready to launch.

34 Silverton – davit system install

Customer approached us with his 34 Silverton fibreglass boat. He also purchased a used davit system out of the United States. The davit system was an older Roskelly- Ollsen system built in Seattle. The purpose of the system was to swing his 500 lb dingy off the stern of the boat. The davit system weighs approximately 200 lbs.

Challenge was to ensure that once the davit system was installed it appeared as if it belonged. It was necessary that the system was aligned correctly onto the swim platform so that it appeared aesthetically pleasing to eye. The bigger challenge was to ensure that the swim platform was reinforced to ensure that the added weight of the davit and dingy did not create stress and damage to the transom or swim platform.

The solution was to install the davit centrally and as close to the transom as possible such that the dingy would raise and lower without hitting the swim platform. It was than decided to reinforce the swim platform with stainless rods and have them tied directly from the base of the davit carrying the weight through to the transom thus alleviating any added stress to the swim platform. Finally all the electrical would be run through the transom and onto the batteries providing the power required to raise and lower the dingy.