Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA) award for Keith Nelder



Mar 22, 2018

The 2018 Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association Conference took place at the Lord Nelson Hotel in downtown Halifax on 8th March. Organized by the NSBA this event drew forty-five industry professionals to hear speakers on the topic of “Finding and Keeping Young Employees”.

ZimmerAlthough the Nova Scotia boatbuilding scene is dominated by commercial builders, on this occasion the NSBA honoured a builder who has spent his career building and restoring recreational boats. For his significant contribution to the industry Keith Nelder, the owner of Big Pond Boat Shop, was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by NSBA Executive Director, Tim Edwards.

Over the past 20 years, Keith has played a significant part in the teaching of boatbuilding and marine service technician skills. He is an ABYC Master Technician, a Nova Scotia certified Boat Builder, a Nova Scotia certified Marine Service Technician and continues to mentor young Boat Builder and Marine Service Technician apprentices.

Sarah Lynn

Keith started building boats in South Africa when he was fifteen years old. In 1979 he sailed the Caribbean on his own 12-meter yacht. While living on the island of St. Maarten he owned TropicalsailsNV, a full-service stop for yachts and fishing vessels operating in the Leeward Islands. Keith moved with his wife to Cape Breton Island and opened Big Pond Boat Shop in 1991. After a couple of years teaching boatbuilding in South Africa Keith returned to Mahone Bay in 2010, where he re-established Big Pond Boat Shop, which specialises in recreational boats, both power and sail, up to 8 metres.

Keith and DaynaKeith’s daughter Dayna is a Marine Service Technician apprentice and now works with her father at the boat shop. Dayna’s sister Allison also works in the marine industry, so the Nelder name will be associated with boating for a long time to come.

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