Serial entrepreneur digs ships

Ian Maxell, of the Ralmax Group of Companies, has great big plans for the defunct Point Hope Shipyard, a Victoria institution for well over a century. If you were at the November 18 meeting of the CIMarE Vancouver Island branch, you would have learned about a brand new shipyard, not just being proposed but built. With the site preparations well under way. I am excited to see such an investment in the marine bushiness.

The site was a collection of derelict buildings and an inefficient operation that had continuously been patched up to a point where it just collapsed. The new business plan, though, seems well thought out and the property layout looks very efficient. Not very surprising of an idea considering the golden touch Ian Maxell seems to have on his other businesses.

It’s nice to see someone vision matched with deep pockets to create a buzz in the community. The new shipyard is scheduled to open in the spring, when Phase 1, the site is readied for construction and the marine railway is in place. The buildings will come in phase 2, and include a small warehouse / workshops for numerous subcontracting within easy access to the jetty and yard, a bit of a novel idea. Plus much more…

In my view the big deal is a new yard, from scratch, you don’t see that everyday. With a lift capacity of 1200 tons, twice the previous capacity. The boats will be hauled out horizontal, as opposed to the “trim” position they used to come out. Once a boat is out of the water, they can stow on land on various “spurs” using a “roundtable”; so more than one vessel can be worked on at the yard, at the same time. The yard will also have covered paint and sandblasting sheds and machine shops strategically placed.

Obviously the capacity is just about the right size, allot of BC Ferries or Coast Guard vessels, Alaskan crab boats and many yachts are too big for small boatyard, but the esquimalt dry dock is just too big to be efficient. The west coast will definitely become a serious place to fix ships and boats when they open up for business.

Based on what I saw and heard I am quite impressed and wish them well. Some more details. I could not find a site plan, which would make the above much more clear, but it looks like the archetectural firm, which gave the presentation, has a spot on their website for it check it out – de Hoog + Kierulf architects.

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