Catamaran 2 Photos courtesy Bruce Elliott

For more than a decade, Bruce Elliott has been building his giant catamaran.

Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles better, he made enough money to stop working forever and take it easy. But that’s not Bruce Elliott. Instead, he devoted that windfall toward a 24-metre-long, 10-metre-wide catamaran with four washrooms, a laundry room, a galley kitchen with dishwasher, a dining room, a lounge and an indoor and outdoor bar.

Catamaran Design illustration by Beth Covey

As we climb up the port-side pontoon, I point out that his catamaran is a bit bigger than my apartment. Actually, it’s much bigger than my apartment. “Probably a bit more expensive, too,” he laughs. Elliott estimates it’s cost him $4 million so far, including labour. That labour has been largely his own, along with two workers at his yard in Yellowknife’s industrial Kam Lake area. It’s from here that Elliott runs his business, Fibreglass North.

Out the back window of his office sits his first passion project: a 2.7-metre-long speedboat that can get up to 80 kilometres per hour and tow two skiers. He designed it when he was 18 years old. “Everyone told me I was nuts and I told them then it would be the biggest thing to hit the marine industry.”

But it didn’t quite work out that way. He learned quickly that the major boat builders tinkering with early jet-ski prototypes didn’t take kindly to competition. Instead, they quietly blocked his orders for motors to run the little ski boats, he says.

CatamaranElliott had been building boats for years in New Zealand and Australia when he followed his wife to Canada. And he planned to continue. But in Yellowknife, built on the Precambrian shield, where part of the city is without sewer or water lines, he found another niche that put his years of working with fibreglass to use: holding tanks.

Still, his first love is boat-building. And he has certainly followed his heart. It’s been more than a decade since he started working on the catamaran, with many stops and starts along the way caused by illness and business. But this year, he says, is the year he’ll finally finish the project. “I’m 70—nearly 71— I think it’s about time.”

The massive boat is sheltered by a tarp over a wooden frame, which he keeps heated so he can work through the winter. When the catamaran is finished, a truck with an expandable bed will tow it out of the yard, down the road to the highway and then out to Back Bay on Great Slave Lake. He will make the move in the middle of the night, with a police escort, since the catamaran easily stretches across both lanes of any road in or around Yellowknife.

He plans to tour Great Slave Lake and then motor down the Mackenzie River. Elliott, his wife, and a paid crew will follow the Alaskan coast and head south to his second home in Nanaimo, B.C. He will affix the double sails currently being fabricated there and a longer keel that would never make it through the shallows of the Mackenzie. From there, they’ll follow the sun.

The Catamaran Count
Beds: Six (one captain’s cabin, two for crew, three staterooms)
Washrooms: Four
Living space: 111 sq. meters (1,200 sq.ft)
Fuel capacity: 3,785L
Estimated weight (loaded): 30,000 kg
Money spent on fibreglass used: +$100,000

- Elaine Anselmi, courtesy Up Here magazine www.uphere.ca subscription page

 

Destinations

  • Prev
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...


Rideau Canal Cruise

By Andy Adams, Greg Nicoll and John Armstrong with Robin Ball

If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you have, a vacation aboard a Le Boat Horizon 1350 can give you a whole new view of this magnificent waterway.

One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. Traveling this sheltered waterway aboard Le Boat, we were able to relax and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and historic locks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Read more about the Le Boat Rideau Canal Cruise...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

DIY & How to

  • Prev
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...

Dear Doris

Clarity Nicoll

I grew up in a sailing family. My mother comes from a long line of sailors, my dad works in the marine industry and my brother and I have travelled up and down the eastern coast racing with and against each other. Yet, somehow, I had fallen in love with a No,ON-sailor (please note, the use of capital letters).

I had tried to introduce Dustin to sailing with some success, however, with the fast-paced nature of racing, and experienced sailors always ready to lend a hand when someone yelled “pull the cunningham!!!!”

Read more about Clarity Nicoll...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...