Yawl Chack Chack, originally called Odamit. Built 1923, Roberts Creek by Harry Roberts. The photo, taken about 1930 at Malaspina Galleries, Gabriola Island was orginally published in Rudder in an article by Harry's niece and my grandmother, the writer Marjorie Roberts.
The Trail of Chack-Chack
In 1889 my grandfather's uncle Will Roberts pre-empted 160 acres at what became known as Roberts Creek on the Sechelt Penninsula of British Columbia. This property was inherited by my grandfather Harry Roberts, who had arrived from England in 1900. Harry ran a sawmill and built boats at Roberts Creek, as well as his landmark log house The Castle, until the Depression when he moved aboard his boat and sailed north. He acquired another 160 acres at Cape Cockburn on Nelson Island where he built the log house Sunray, raised his family, ran a small farm, and designed and built boats until his death in 1979. His book The Trail of Chack-Chack is about his life. Harry was also a classically trained painter and completed many landscapes of the BC coast, and was a host and friend of painter Emily Carr.
It followed from my Grandfather's influence and his surroundings that my father grew up designing and building boats, houses, and whatever else he needed and, in the same way, that it was natural for me to take to drawing boats as soon as I could hold a pencil. I drew boats all through school and continued to draw through the winters after I went to work on fishboats. I also worked on tugs, beachcombers, and coastal freighters, sailed my Flying Dutchman, and by 1984 was designing boats full time. In 1986 I started work at Bruce King Yacht Design. During my 14 years at BKYD, I had the opportunity to work with the fine naval architect and engineer, Chris Franklin and to help create what are among, arguably, some of the world's finest yachts.
In 2001 I started my own yacht design and naval architecture practice on Gabriola Island; here I can look east to Roberts Creek and north toward Sunray and Nelson Island. I was a Director at the Silva Bay Shipyard School on Gabriola Island until 2009. I organized the Shipyard Raid, an annual 8-day staged sailing and rowing race for traditional sail and oar boats.