The Museum is reopening!

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is reopening for visitors after nearly 3 months of closure to limit the spread of COVID-19. Please visit their website to see their current exhibits and hours, and for full details of their health and safety procedures. Good to see them back in action, in addition to their Virtual VMM offerings!

How the piano got here

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When it rains, we put up the tent on the dock, and keep working!

It was another good day at the dock, with work continuing on the Auk in the shed, and Enke on the dock.  Enke’s interior has been cleaned and scraped, a coat of varnish on all the brightwork, the mast has had a split filled with epoxy and varnish started.  She’ll be back in the water soon!  The mast needed a new sheave on top for the halyard, so Arnt used our great old drill press (thanks Kristyn!) as a lathe, using a rasp to shape the sheave.

Another installment of Life in the Harbour, thanks to Duane:

Want to help the Museum?  Here is a very creative way….buy books and support a local business.  Win Win!
The piano continues to be put to good use:

And, part two of Rob’s ’round the island story is published in Passions magazine – it starts on page 20:

We’re back!


With the gradually improving situation regarding Covid-19, and the relaxing restrictions, we reopened our workshop on Saturday, with some restrictions.  We limited ourselves to 4 or 5 people in the shop, and have a list of other things to do out on the dock.

Thankfully it was a nice day, weather-wise, and so we started on some maintenance on the boats, beginning with Enke.  We got a coat of bottom paint, washed the sail, took the mast back to wood, and are in the process of repairing a minor split in the mast, readying it and the boat for some fresh varnish.

A recent addition to the dock, arranged by Sheila, Bruce and Duane, is a piano!  We’re fortunate to have several wonderful players who have put it to work, and enlivened the dock!  Thank you Tom, Rob, and Duane for the gift of music, and to Duane for the video.


It felt so great to be back, even in a rather limited way!

The Maritime Museum is continuing to add interesting content in their #VirtualVMM site, including this look at one of the models in their collection.

Covid Classic Singlehanded Series


Some of the Heritage Harbour boat owners were itching to get out for some friendly competition, and so a challenge was sent around.  Oarlock & Sail participated with all three sailboats – we had decided to limit the number of people at the dock for this, so the invite was only sent to some of the more active sailors.

It started with a very low wind and strong incoming tide, so just getting to the start line was a challenge for most of our engine-less boats!  Everyone eventually made it across the start line, but by that time the racers had become impatient, and the race was started on an “as you come” basis.  The clear winner was not even under sail, as Tom in the Vogler took advantage of the low wind, and made it ’round the gravel barge first!  Other than that, the results were a bit foggy, due to the staggered start – Arnt & Valerie in Anja were perhaps the next across, but whatever the results, the breeze came up, and everyone had a good time!

The fleet consisted of:

  • Bruce in his freshly rigged and christened dinghy Polaris
  • Barry with his turquoise boat Dagon
  • Duane on the lovely  Querencia
  • Arnt and Valerie on Anja
  • Dale S with his SCAMP Luna
  • Bob in Enke
  • Ingrid in Ragna
  • Daniel in Button Swan
  • Tom in Vogler
  • Bourton as observer in his aluminum workboat

Some more photos and video from the day are available here.  Thanks to Valerie and Dale for your photos!!  I expect I’ll update this once Duane has a chance to make his photos/videos available.

As promised, here are a couple of videos from Duane – thank you!


The Northwest Maritime Center has a series of online workshops available, on Navigation & Seamanship, as well as a Build a Pram course.  The pram course involves a kit, but you can register to observe the process for free.  The Navigation series are $75 per course.

While we wait

Duane has put together another video of miscellaneous happenings at Heritage Harbour over the last few weeks:


 Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum  is posting lots of videos of various things – tours of some of their exhibits and buildings (the rope walk is pretty fascinating!), as well as full-length classes on tool sharpening or knot tying.  Worth a look!


#Virtual VMM

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is putting a lot of work into their online presence on their #VirtualVMM site, sharing a library of photo archives and a great virtual tour of the St. Roch.  If you’ve ever wanted to sneak past the “No Access Beyond this Point” signs, now’s your chance!  You can also explore right down to the engine room, although it’s missing the smell of diesel fuel.  But you do get as much time as you want, to look around and study everything in sight!

If you’re able to, the museum could really use our support during this time, either by renewing your membership, or buying raffle tickets for their current fund-raiser.

Anja is sailing!



A huge congratulations to Arnt & Valerie on getting their beautiful boat Anja out on the water!  She’s looking amazing in these great photos taken by Dale S.

Dale also sent a couple of photos of Button Swan and Ragna being enjoyed.

Button Swan


And a couple of items from our wharfingers, Sheila & Bruce:

Ahoy all,
the suggestion has once again arisen that we have a Heritage Harbour pennant or burgee. To that end we are proposing a friendly contest with no prize other than that the winner will get to see their work flying from whichever boats choose to fly the finished project.
There are many templates on line for designing these. If you do not feel artistically inclined then please just submit your ideas in descriptive form and we will see if they can be incorporated into a design.
A burgee is a type of pennant that identifies a boating organisation or marina. It is larger at the hoist than at the fly and can be triangular, tapered, or swallow-tailed. It is traditionally flown on sailing vessels from beneath the starboard spreaders or on power boats from the bow. Either type of vessel can fly it from aloft abaft the mainmast on what Americans call a pig stick or the rest of the world calls a monkey gaff.
We would suggest that the words, HERITAGE HARBOUR, be somewhere in the design and you may or may not wish to incorporate the VMM logo.
Deadline for submission is June 15th. We will post the submissions without revealing who the designer is. Enter as many designs as you want. Each vessel owner gets one vote and the entry with the majority of votes will win.
We will find someone who can make these and they will be sold to boat owners at cost.
Hope that you have some fun with this.


we have heard from Neil Thinn with his update on Northern Spray who has gone back to her original name of Hermanos Y Hermanas.
Neil spent seven months at Port Angeles working on the boat. He writes,
“We had a good year last year repairing the boat at her new home in Port Angeles. Frankly we are really pleased with her. We replaced the aft deck beams,
got rid of the wet locker, replaced the stern deck, removed the wheelhouse and deckhouse, rebuilt the aft deckhouse and have started with the installation
of the mid deck beams, installation of the mast keelson and completion of the partially demolished forward deckhouse.
Hermanos Y Hermanas was renamed Northern Spray after being purchased from Gig harbour by Sam Mckinney, while he was working at the VMM,
prior to docking at Heritage Harbour. We just found out recently Sam was the founder of the Oarlock and Sail Wooden Boat Club, and donated funds
to commence wooden boat building shed while founding the club at Heritage Harbour. Sam was a really great contributor to Canada and the museum,
we are also grateful, he saved our boat.
Repairs: The 3 inch by 5 inch beams and deck house framing and planking are made out of African Mahogany, the deckhouse roof is made out of old
(or first) growth cedar. (16 or more growth rings to the inch, I’m told) Currently HYH is in her shed on the hard at PA.


Anja’s new mast, Luna arrives at the dock

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Although things have been mostly quiet at the boat shed, there has been some activity at the dock:  Arnt & Valerie have been busy working on Anja, and they’re getting close to raising sails!  Tom is making great progress on Ern’s cabin top replacement.  And Dale S. has brought his sweet little SCAMP down to the dock.

Arnt & Valerie enlisted the help of Tom and his son Arnt to bring the mast down the ramp and into place on Anja.  After getting my camera positioned, I pitched in as well.  Since then, Arnt has been busy getting all the rigging ready, and is getting a bit more sail area added to the mainsail.  Anja is looking gorgeous!!

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Since the boat launch ramps are closed, Dale S. has arranged to keep his SCAMP Luna at Heritage Harbour.  Arnt & I helped him launch her from the beach.

He’s now keeping her at the end of the dock beside Ragna, and taking her out regularly to enjoy the fine weather we’ve been having!  Yesterday he and I crossed paths out on English Bay – always a pleasure to sail in good company!  The Oarlock & Sail boats have been getting out quite a lot lately as well, which is great to see!

And finally, Rob had an article published recently in a magazine over on Vancouver Island, describing Ern and Odin’s journey around Vancouver Island a few years ago (part 1 of 4).  It’s always fascinating reliving that adventure!


Covid coping

Just to expand on the mention of cheap or free subscriptions in the last post:

Small Boats Monthly:  follow them on Facebook or Instagram, and look in their recent posts – you’ll find their One Month Free offer for their online magazine.  You get access to their archives as well.

Off Center Harbor:  sign up for an 8 week membership for only $5 (US), and get full access to their extensive and captivating video library.  That’ll keep you busy for quite a while!

Small Craft Advisor:  sign up for a free one-year subscription to the digital version of their magazine.  You can download pdfs to keep, if desired

As for Oarlock and Sail Wooden Boat Club, we’ve had a few new members join recently – unfortunately, because of the current situation, getting together to do an orientation and training in the boats is unrealistic, so, until we can gather safely and freely again, there will be no more orientations. We trust you will understand, and we will welcome you after this is over.

In light of our reduced activities, we are extending everyone’s membership by two months.

For existing members of OSBUG (Oarlock & Sail Boat User Group), please be mindful of other people on the dock, and keep the required 2m separation. This of course precludes going for a sail or row with people outside of your own isolation group. On your own though, or within your group, it’s a great way to isolate!

If you do use the boats, please use the sanitizer and wipes provided in the shed to wipe down the oars, tiller, spars, locks, door handle and any other surfaces that you touch. One of our members has a pair of gloves dedicated to going sailing, and washes them and hangs them to dry in the sun – this sort of thing could help in preventing the spread.

Unless we are required to stay at home altogether, the boat shed and boats are available for members’ use and enjoyment.  There are parking passes available in our boat shed – please write the date on it in marker and display in your windshield.

COVID-19 Hiatus

Last week we decided to discontinue our Saturday workshops for a while, until the pandemic has been brought under control.

Before that happened though, we got the stem glued to the inner keel, and have a good start on the shaping.  The joint between the two has been faired, and the bevel for the planking started.

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The inner keel has been (temporarily) fastened to the transom – when we do the final fastening, we’ll countersink the screws.

Duane is continuing to record video of our work – here’s some of the glueup of the stem and keel.

It’s always interesting to see the less-common tools that people have – Brent brought this sweet little round-over plane – it makes quick work of softening an edge, and does so quietly, without dust!

Our boats are going out regularly – last weekend before ‘social distancing’ came into effect, Dale and I enjoyed a peaceful sail in Button Swan – even with a light wind, she moves along steadily.  We split an apple with Dale’s souvenir of his participation in the first leg of the 2017 Race To Alaska.  That day’s conditions were not nearly as peaceful!

Over on Anja, Arnt is doing beautiful work on the cabin top!  After cutting off the coaming, he cut out the hole in the deck to make way.

The following Saturday, he enlisted a bunch of club members’ help to bring the cabin top down from his truck to the dock, and then onto the boat.  Duane was there to record much of it!

It’s fascinating to see it coming together so beautifully!

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Although we’re not working in the shed, the dock is still open if you want to come down on your own to use the boats (if you’re an OSBUG member) or to just enjoy a bit of an escape.  There’s a gentleman who has been enjoying some sketching.

And, with all the changes in our lives, some companies are providing cheap or free entertainment.   If you follow Small Boats Magazine (an online magazine) on Instagram or Facebook, they are offering one month free, which includes access to their archives!  Off Center Harbor (an extensive video resource) is offering an 8 week membership for only $5, an amazing deal!

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Until things improve, stay well, stay safe.