Oct 26, 2017

Petite ShopIt could be said that Covey Island Boatworks put Canada on the map during the early days of wood/epoxy composite boatbuilding. Today the company has diversified into fiberglass commercial fishing vessels, selling inflatable boats and hybrid and electric propulsion systems from facilities in Lunenburg, Riverport and Liverpool. Things were pretty basic back in 1979 when the yard was established on Covey Island, one of the LaHave Islands in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, by John Steele and two partners.







The first boats were canoes and kayaks, but all were custom and composite wood/epoxy from the start. Soon the yard was building commercial vessels and by 1984 had begun to build pleasure boats. After struggling with the logistics of shipping and receiving materials from an island, the business moved to the mainland at nearby Petite Riviere, in 1987. The new plant was a former village store, which was soon expanded for the construction of 70' Ted Brewer gaff schooner Tree of Life, launched in 1991. By the mid-90's, the ownership structure evolved to four managing partner/directors plus a director elected annually by the employees. Employees were given the option of a financial stake in the company and today most employees remain part owners.

1st Yard On Covey IslandCovey Island Boatworks has now built more than 90 custom vessels, including lobster yachts and shoal draft motor yachts, as well as blue water sailing cruisers.
The yard's Petite Riviere plant was destroyed by fire in August 2008. As part of the recovery, company offices have moved to Lunenburg and a new yard has been established in Riverport at the mouth of the LaHave River.

In 2010, Covey Island expanded its yard facilities to Lunenburg, in partnership with Waterfront Development Corporation. Covey's presence in Lunenburg grew to include one two-bay building, known as the Marina Building, a showroom for its line of AB Inflatable Boats, and the operation of the Lunenburg Marina.

Lunenberg Shop
In 2013, Covey Island's company offices moved from Montague Street to Burma Road, placing it in strategic proximity to the Covey Island yard facilities in Lunenburg, as well as the Lunenburg Marina.

Tree Of Life

5 photos courtesy of Covey Island Boatworks