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post #1 of 20 Old 12-21-2017 Thread Starter
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Looking for my Grandfathers boat

Hey All!
New to the forum and I'm looking for some help too find my grandfathers boat. It's a 38' cedar monohaul that he built in the 80's. It was last seen in Esquimalt, British Columbia about 15 years ago. Its name was Sola Gratia. Any advice on where to look or who to talk too would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Ben

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post #2 of 20 Old 12-21-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

Here are a few photos. Thanks in advance.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-21-2017
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

Nice looking boat, I hope you find it. Is there a Canadian equivalent of the US Coast Guard Registry. I've searched a few boats on there, and there is a lot of cool information. There are listings of boats by name and often name changes are listed along with a trail of all the sales and list of owners. Sometimes boats get lost from the registry when a boat changes hands and a new owner fails to register it, or it is taken out of service or sunk, salvaged or abandoned in a yard. But if there is such a registry, you could get lucky.

When you say that, it was last seen in Esquimalt, British Columbia, does that mean that it was just seen there, or was that it's home port for awhile? If so, there could be some old timers there, a marina owner, diesel mechanic, rigging company owner or sail maker who worked on the Sola Gratia and might know who bought it next. If you don't live too far from there, it might be worth a trip to show the photos around. You might find some old salt sitting in a local cafe or bar who would recognize it and remember it. It's a fairly unique boat.

There are also some wood boat collectors' organizations. There is one in Vancouver, and one in Seattle, where people might know about it. Old wood boat collectors have a way of connecting and have a lot of informal networks. They tend to walk the docks at marinas and ports and notice one-of-a-kind wood collector boats and make note of them.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-21-2017
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

That's a pretty distinctive boat. We spend a lot of time in BC waters and I tend to pay attention to all the boats around us. I would remember having seen it if it had been off the dock regularly, esp in summer, unless she's moved south to the US or north to the central coast or beyond.

However it's a big area and we may simply have never crossed paths.

Edit: in one pic I can almost make out a license number.. looks like 21Exxxx, which is an old Ontario number IIRC. Is she from back east originally?

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

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post #5 of 20 Old 12-22-2017
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

I would concentrate on the hull registration numbers. See if you can find other pictures or better enlargement of those pictures. Then start searching those. I'd bet with the right equipment and the original photos or negatives you could read those numbers.

WINDHOVER
1999 CATALINA 36 MKII
NOANK, CT
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

Hey Guys! thanks so much for your help and advice, these forums never cease to amaze me.

Little extra info for those of you who are interested;
This boat was the second of 3 boats my grandparents built; the first one being a trimaran that their family of 7 built and sailed for a 6 month trip while all of the kids did did schooling via correspondence. The second boat being the Sola Gratia that grandpa and grandma built right after retiring (grandpa had a small prop repair and engineering shop) over a 3 year period taking at least one day to install every cedar board that comprised the haul. They then took an 8 month sailing trips from Kingston on Lake Ontario all the way down to the Florida Keys and back. The third boat was a canal boat that they lived on and did small trips around the gulf of Mexico. The cool thing was they built them all in Edmonton, Alberta which is a long way from any real body of water so they built trailers (pulled by station wagons with home-made goose neck hitches) to haul them to water. I'll try post a couple more photos of his other boats soon!

midwesterner:
- I have tried to search the historical register using both the name and the reg # but no luck thus far
- I don't know if the boat was based in Esquimalt or just passing through, I DO however know that Grandpa sold it to someone on Vancouver Island in 1991 and it was seen (by my uncle) in about 1996. Thats the last we have heard of it.
- Great idea to take a few photos along and pass them around to see if any of the local shops may have seen the boat. I am coincidentally headed to the island next week so I am going to do that. I will do some googling to try and find one of the wood boat clubs around as well.

Faster: Good Eye! Grandma was able to find the original registration which was indeed eastern (ontario) as they registered it in Kingston. The registration number is 21E14226

RobGallagher: As mentioned above the original reg is 21E14226.

I found a website called "National Vessel Registry Center Corp." that looks as though it will do some research for you if you provide a boat name and/or reg # for $55.00. Have any of you used this at all? Any other advice on where to go from here?

Again thanks so much for your input, its always so cool to se how many people are happy to help.

Cheers,

Ben
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-27-2017
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

At this point I would just call whatever jurisdiction in Canada handled that last registration. You might sit on hold for an hour and find out nothing, but I would try that first. Know any cops? They might have instant access to a database.

WINDHOVER
1999 CATALINA 36 MKII
NOANK, CT
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

Awesome! thats what i'll try next then. Thanks Rob!
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-27-2017
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

The 21Exxx number will be a vessel license, not a registration number (i.e. not with the Canadian Shipping Registry)

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Re: Looking for my Grandfathers boat

If you find the vessel are you going to attempt to buy it? Just curious.
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