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Thread: Small open fising boats of Nova Scotia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Frenchman's Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

    Default Small open fising boats of Nova Scotia

    While on vacation in Nova Scotia this June, these green boats (and the grey one) caught my eye. I cannot recall the name of the small town but it was between Halifax and Lunenburg. They look like rowboats from a distance but are quite large and beamy close-up and their transom reinforcements suggest outboard use.

    I'm intrigued by their shapely sheer and low freeboard. A comparable old-style small displacement fishing boat from Newfoundland (punt) would be a bit smaller and higher sided, and usually with less sheer and a more upright stem and transom. In other nearby Nova Scotia communities I also saw higher sided boats.

    Does anyone know what they are called and how they are used?

    Green boats 1.jpgGreen boats 2.jpgGreen boats 3.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Pleasant Valley NS Canada

    Default Re: Small open fising boats of Nova Scotia

    I think that the place is on the Aspotogan Peninsula, possibly Blandford. The boat type is named different things by different people (I have a friendly, long-running argument with the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic about boat type names...), but they were primarily used for inshore net fishing, usually fixed-net traps for herring and mackerel. They were originally rowed, so have a small waterline beam when light, and fine entries and exits, but were very beamy with shallow deadrise so they could carry large loads. The freeboard was low so that it wasn't too onerous to pull nets aboard by hand. These boats were probably based on the ship's boats of large trading ships, and were developed for local conditions by individual boatbuilders over many iterations and generations. They eventually took on individual characteristics in each village, based on personal prejudices and local conditions. After a while, you could tell where a boat came from, and who built it, by its shape and details. Note that the bows are different between the two green boats in your posted photos. This is what fascinates me about local small craft of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For your modelling ambitions, you might want to contact the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax and/or the South Shore Ship Modeller's Guild in Lunenburg - they may have specific information.

    Here's a couple of larger boats of similar type from Prospect, NS with a good catch of cod:

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine

    Default Re: Small open fising boats of Nova Scotia

    Their shape reminds me of Walt Simmons' Christmas Wherries and larger Newfoundland Trap Skiffs:

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