SHIPPING NEWS: Winnipeg to French Creek

The Katharine de Montrose is the Shipping News boat of the week

Katharine de Montrose was built in Winnipeg but now calls French Creek home.

Katharine de Montrose was built in Winnipeg but now calls French Creek home.

If a boat is going to break apart at sea, says Dick Lennox, it’s most likely to happen when it falls off a wave and slams into the trough of a wave.

When that happens, he said, the seam between the hull and the deck can peel off, turning the boat into a giant seawater scoop before it goes to the bottom.

That’s not going to happen to the Katharine de Montrose. Lennox made sure of that when he built the unique 45-foot junk-rigged sailboat. Rather than a deck seam, he used two layers of fibreglass that  wrap the entire hull, making her seamless and sturdy as they get.

“It was a labour of love,” he said. “It was 30 years in the making in my backyard in Winnipeg.”

Katharine de Montrose was launched in Lake Winnipeg and sailed there until a drought dropped the water level to the point where the ship could no longer be launched.

At that point, Lennox decided to move to the coast and he and his wife sailed her for the next three years out of Vancouver before moving her to French Creek three years ago.

For more on this boat, check out the Life Network’s show, Magnificent Obsessions, which details how and why he built it. It can be accessed at



• The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 59 in Bowser/Deep Bay is looking for a few good people to lend a hand when they race to the rescue of mariners in distress.

The 15-member team has three openings for new members.

Applicants need to live between Fanny Bay and Qualicum Bay, have (or be willing to obtain) a pleasure craft operators certificate and a restricted radio operator’s certificate, a marine basic first aid certificate and a criminal record check.

The unit responds to maritime distress calls and conducts marine search and rescue missions.

Call Larry Highcock at 250-757-8612 or visit for more information.



• If you’re thinking of starting to enjoy the boating life, there are a few things you need to know. One of the most important of these of course is how to go boating safely.

That’s not too hard to learn, thanks to the Ballenas  branch of the Canadian Power Squadron, which is offering a four-session boating basics course starting on Sept. 3 at Kwalikum Secondary School in Qualicum Beach.


If you miss that, don’t fret. The Nanoose Bay chapter of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron is offering a basic boating course starting on Oct. 10 and running until Nov. 7.



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