On a sunny day in the summer of 2007, Jim Roy entered the doors of our office. Following closely behind him was his faithful dog "Willie" - a beautiful border collie. Wade had told me that Jim would be stopping by, as he was interested in restoring a 1959 fishing boat that he had found in an old boathouse in East Ragged Island, near Lockeport, Nova Scotia.
Jim mentioned that he had brought with him some old buoys and cork floats from the old boathouse. I collect old fishing buoys, so I asked if I could take some pictures.
Wade mentioned that Jim was a writer and would be documenting the building process. I searched the internet and found the following commentary on Jim at the website "Basic Books", renowned publishers of serious nonfiction by leading intellectuals, scholars and journalists.
Gone But Not Forgotten
by Moira Goulden
In memory of Mr. Clayton Decker 1905 - 2007 the original crafter of this fine boat.
The Old Buoys
The one in the forefront was used for herring fishing.
Jim left shortly thereafter for his home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, but said before leaving that he would return in the spring of 2008 to work with Wade in restoring and converting the fishing boat into a pleasure boat.
Just as soon as the snow had melted and the first good days of spring had arrived, so did Jim and Willie. Jim was eager to get things underway and the first order of business was to retrieve the boat from East Ragged Island, where it had been stored and unused for many years. Wade and Jim ventured out to get the task done.
JAMES CHARLES ROY
James Charles Roy has been a travelling
"independent scholar" since 1970, when he left Time Inc.
He has written innumerable articles on Irish history and five distinguished books, including The Fields of Athenry and Islands of Storm.
Jim's books can be found at www.amazon.com
During the summer of 2007, Jim had the priviledge of meeting Clayton Decker, (the original builder of this boat).
Clayton, age 102, told Jim he had built the boat in 1959, primarily for fishing. Clayton was full of accurate information and he described in great detail how the boat was built. Jim had a variety of questions to ask, and Clayton answered while he recalled days past. He also had a few stories to tell about the local area, fishing and much more.
What a rare priviledge it must have been for Jim to talk to Clayton, a man who held a wealth of information, experience and wisdom of a generation past. He shared his comments of a culture that is quickly changing and fading in our lifetime.
A few months after Jim's interview,
Clayton passed away in the fall of 2007.
Read more about Jim Roy's interview with Clayton
in Jim's soon to be released book
"New Scotland - A Man, His Boats and Nova Scotia"
The original builder of this boat was Clayton Decker. Pictured above is Clayton's nephew, Amos Hagar,
who was on hand to help Wade and Jim haul the boat out of the boathouse and onto the trailer.
The boat arrives at the shop. I think Jim's smile says it all.
No introduction to Jim would be complete without a proper introduction to Willie.
Jim, his wife Jan and their two daughters found Willie in Ireland, when he was just a pup.
The family wanted a dog and this one fit perfectly.
He was brought back to America where he's lived happily and much loved for over 11 years.
Jim and Wade inspected the boat thoroughly,
followed by much discussion, measuring and planning.
The old fibreglass and the thot
(seat used to row) was removed. The boat was then flipped in order to glass the hull.
In these overhead shots, they are installing a new deck, curbs, and adding the centre console.
Professional Sign Smith Artist John Smith hand paints the boat name. John is well-known in Nova Scotia for his fine craftwork.
The boat was stripped of her old decking, curbs and washboards
and brought into the shop.
The boat was cleared of its contents.
The old engine beds were deteriorating, so they were removed.
The overall condition of the boat was remarkable for its age. It had been well preserved and protected in the safety of the old boathouse.
Everything was solid except a few timbers.
3/4" plywood was added to strengthen the transom and to provide a good glassing surface.
I looked the boat over and could envision what the boat might look like after restoration. She had beautiful lines and a nicely shaped hull.
You could almost imagine her out on the water during a fine summer's day.
Inside were the relics of fishing gear.
This stage revealed the excellent condition of the hull.
Willie included himself in the planning.
This boat is ready once again to give many more years of boating pleasure!
Willie was ready to go home and so was Jim.
We sure miss their company and hope to see them again some day!
Restoring old fishing boats and converting old commercial fishing boats into pleasure boats are becoming increasingly popular.
There are an abundance of unused boats that are perfectly suited for refurbishing.
We can provide you with some options, or assist you in determining the viability of a find.
We are custom builders and can work with you to develop any project you have in mind.
Whether your boat is to be a small runabout or one for ocean-going adventure,
Apple Island Marine can help you realize your dream.