A Classic Wooden Boat

I spent my weekend boating up the west coast from Vancouver to Gibson's Landing, home of the TV show 'The Beachcombers'. The TV series, the longest-running dramatic series ever made for Canadian television, ran from 1972 to 1990. The café featured in the show, Molly's Reach, still survives today and is a local attraction in Gibsons.  Here's a pic of the cafe and this cute link to refresh your memory.



Accompanying my friend Wayne, we attended a fete for Carol and Paul who were celebrating their relocation to Gibsons. Imagine my surprise to arrive to their newly renovated home and discover they had stained it black. For those of you familiar with my blog, you know it’s my favourite colour for a house! Here's a pic.


Wayne is not only a best bud, but he is my mentor and the captain of the venerable sea-worthy Rhinegold, a 99-year-old 36-foot wooden displacement hull gas powered launch.


This unusual classic boat was constructed in 1911. It was commissioned by Theopolus Maxwell Davies III, a British dandy who arrived in Canada with a cook and valet to expand the family fortune. Shortly after its completion, Theopolus sold it to an optometrist and returned to England. The optometrist subsequently sold it to Colin Ferry, a Scottish insurance man who owned it for 65 years. Eventually, after changing hands, the boat fell into disrepair and was in dire need of restoration. In 1980, the Rhinegold came to the attention of Wayne and his partner, who purchased the boat and spent five intense years restoring it.

Today, this boat is one of the finest examples of wooden boats in Canada. Stunningly restored, it has a forward sleeping cabin, a galley with wood burning stove, a head with nickel plated copper Pullman sink similar to those used in train cabins, a salon with two banquettes that provide additional sleeping for two, and an open air covered cockpit that accommodates a dining table for four, plus the captains' wheel.


For fifteen years, I have had the privilege of exploring the west coast on the Rhinegold. Some of my greatest, and most remote, experiences with nature have been on this boat, with adventures as far north as Seymour Inlet. With life being a journey, how fortunate to have set sail on the Rhinegold with my pal Wayne!

~ Steven 


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