Monthly Archives: January 2012

A member's boat is hauled out on the Maritime Centre's ways last year; rebuilding the ways is our major project for 2012.

Our Heritage Ways Are Important For Members And The Local Community

The Covey Marine Heritage Ways is an authentic piece of Cowichan Bay history. Originally built and operated by Ron Lindsay, owner of Covey Marine, these ways are of the traditional railway type design and one of five that operated in Cowichan Bay for many years.

Ron generously donated the ways to the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre in 2006 and we took on the task of relocating them to our site as part of our interpretive displays. During the move they were brought up to modern environmental standards.

Six years later, after hauling many boats, the ravages of salt water has taken its toll and the complete refurbishment of the carriage is now required. This has also created an opportunity to further improve the ways by increasing its capacity for hauling larger boats. New maintenance services will also be available, including scrubbing, antifouling, zinc replacement plus mechanical and hull repairs.

The ways has become a valuable asset for the Maritime Centre, generating income and providing an important service for boat-owning members. The ways are also important to the local community, bringing in business to stores and restuarants nearby. The cost of the rebuild has been estimated at $25,000 and we are launching a fund raising campaign to achieve that target. If you can help please contact Suzan at

Maritime Centre ways operator Lance Underwood has undertaken the task of rebuilding the carriage and with the help of Centre volunteers, the ways should reopen in the early spring.

Ways operator Lance Underwood cuts up the badly corroded steel carriage of the old ways.

The chilly view from a dock next to the Maritime Centre this morning. Lasquiti Fisher, tied to the dock, belongs to members Tony and Alma Owen.

Temperatures hovered around -5C today in Cowichan Bay and by lunch time we had about 10 cm of snow. Hopefully the forecasters have got it right and it will all be gone by the weekend!

A block is screwed to extended frame to hold the gunwale inplace.

We have some nice, tight-grained Douglas Fir gunwales, (3/4″ X 1 3/4″) for the Bolger Dory. We decided not to use fastenings and instead use as many clamps as we could rustle-up to hold the gunwales in place while the epoxy cured. However, epoxy is a great lubricant until it’s squeezed from a joint, and without screws to locate the gunwales, we had ensure they didn’t slide around as we clamped them in place. This could be tricky, as the gunwales needed to be bent with considerable force in two directions to conform to the sheer of the boat.

So we screwed a locating block to each of the extended frames (which will be cut-off when the boat is removed from the building jig) and used these with clamps to hold the gunwales into place (see picture above).

Bob and Brian made a “dummy run” with clamps and blocks before doing it for real which is a great way off ensuring the process goes smoothly and avoids last minute scrambles for extra clamps, rope, wire or anything else needed to “tame” a highly stressed piece of lumber!

It went very well and once we turn the hull over any plyood proud of the gunwales will be removed using a router and pattern bit.

Brian makes a "dummy run" to make sure things go smoothly when we use epoxy.