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Carol Collins (left) uses the bandsaw to cut parts for a garden obelisk, while Joy Davis (centre) cuts dados in her kitchen door frames, watched by instructor David Skelhon.

Six enthusiastic women attended the Maritime Centre’s Womens Woodworking Course this winter, with projects ranging from garden cold frames to kitchen cabinet doors. Some had no previous woodworking experience whilst others wanted to use the Centre’s machines to complete projects.

With such wide ranging projects it was challenging for the instructor, but students appreciated the opportunity to watch the progress of other projects and see techniques such as laminating curves, milling lumber, and using tools such as biscuit jointer and the big resaw bandsaw.

The course is running on Saturday mornings for 7 weeks, with the first 2 sessions dedicated to safe operation of the shop machines and the remaining sessions for project work. Students can book shop time after the course to finish their projects.

Demand for the course was considerable and another is planned for later in the year.

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 cwbs@classicboats.org

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.