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Work boats of all vintages meet in bay's Spring Rendezvous

Gary Nunn, owner of the custom-built vessel Romance, at the weekend
Gary Nunn, owner of the custom-built vessel Romance, at the weekend's annual B.C. Workboat Association's Rendezvous on the Water anchored in Cowichan Bay.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Love of all working boats — old, renovated, and new — was what anchored some 30 vessels that visited Cowichan Bay recently.

Keith Williston sat proudly aboard his 43-foot retired troller MV Hardy Maid, describing the West Coast Work Boat Association's annual Spring Rendezvous.

"It's awesome. It helps the bay, and we get together as a community of like-minded people who love old boats."

Folks such as Roger Meuser who enjoyed swapping stories about work vessels like his 28-foot KT Williams, an open rescue-type boat he bought on eBay.

Meuser carefully decked his spacious craft with everything from berths and showers to a galley and heating — naming her after a young woman claimed by cancer.

"We've always had boats — now my kids have them," said Meuser, called "a wood whisperer" by brother Ralph, captain of 32-foot Fiberglas Barbie.

"We love this festival," said Ralph. "We've been coming since this started about 15 years ago."

Don Mossman of 37-foot Herself, called the Rendezvous "terrific."

"It's a good group of people who've done lots of work to bring these boats back; that's not easy; it's dedication."

Gary Nunn devoted untold hours building his sweetheart, MV Romance.

"If I had questions, I just asked people," he said. "Romance isn't heritage, but it's a classic design by Bill Garden."

For more about the association and gatherings, email Williston at boatdude@hotmail.ca.

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