A large hand-built boat that had become a local landmark in a North Saanich neighbourhood was finally sold and towed away May 7, 2018.                                (Ragnar Haagen/Black Press Media)

A large hand-built boat that had become a local landmark in a North Saanich neighbourhood was finally sold and towed away May 7, 2018. (Ragnar Haagen/Black Press Media)

Big steel boat sails away from Sidney yard

The project was 25 years in the making for Charles and Joann Pike

  • May. 7, 2018 5:30 p.m.

It’s something the whole community came out to see, the moving of a giant steel boat that over time had become part of a North Saanich neighbourhood.

Construction began in the early 1990’s by retired mariner Charles Pike. Along with family and friends, but always under his watchful eye, Charles and his wife Joann crafted this boat in their yard at the corner of Fifth Street and Henry Avenue in Sidney.

Carefully constructed with loving care both on the inside and out, it was finally sold and towed away Monday afternoon to what Joann said would always be a “sweet” memory.

The 25-year project had become too much for Charles, now 82-year-old. The boat was bought by an engineer in Alaska who will finish off the twin-mast schooner.

Dozens of onlookers stood outside in the sunshine while workers awaited the proper permits to tow the large boat. There was clapping, and cheering, and lots of photos as it slowly moved away from the only home it knew. Most of the onlookers lived close by in the tightly knit neighbourhood and many of them had grown to know the couple and their beloved project.

Charles of course was the ringleader, but the whole community supported the project.

“Everyone had been very supportive. We have wonderful neighbours and they were encouraging (Charles) and interested in the project,” said his wife Joann.

“Charles had a lot of people who admired his ability to design this project. We’re happy to be sending it to this new home and decided a few years ago it was ready to move on.”

Once they both were able to let it go within their hearts, it became an easy decision. And Joann wants to remind everyone that this is not a bittersweet memory by any means, as everyone involved now calls it a win.



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

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