The Westcoast Work Boat Association Keeps Marine History Alive


Oct 25, 2018

Each year the Association conducts two rendezvous. The first is in early May at Cowichan Bay BC and t one in late September (just a few weeks ago) at the Kanaka Docks on Salt Spring Island.

The Westcoast Work Boat Association rendezvous promote work boats and showcase their vessels to the public. In the communities that host them, a Westcoast Work Boat Rendezvous provides an opportunity for people to walk the wharves, meet members, learn about the heritage of the work boats and learn about their new lives as west coast pleasure vessels.

Cape Horn IIWork boats are large vessels with sophisticated requirements to keep them well maintained, safe and reliable. Retired workboats generally come without operating or maintenance manuals. The rendezvous provide members with the opportunity to share ideas and experiences as well as obtain practical information from those members who are seasoned experts in work boats.

Although some of their members have active workboats, most of the members use retired workboats, many of which have been converted for pleasure cruising on the west coast. Many member vessels are from the fishing industry such as trawlers, gillnetters and seiners. Other member vessels included are tugboats, forestry and fishery boats.

Alpine FIR IIBritish Columbia and the Pacific Northwest have a very rich work boat heritage and over the past century have attracted skilled and experienced shipwrights from Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK and Japan. The British Columbia west coast is rugged and the weather can be very stormy at times. Work boats are designed to be sturdy and seaworthy which is one of the major reasons members of the Association have chosen work boats over others.

For most members a WWBA Rendezvous is about getting together with good friends who share a love of workboats. They visit each other’s boats for “Appie Night” and contribute their best dishes to the “Pot Luck”, and join together for the “Sail Past” before all the boats head home.

For complete information about the Westcoast Work Boat Association go to:

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