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(Published on March 2006 – JEC Magazine #23)
Covey Island Boatworks, a company based in Nova Scotia, Canada, has been given the Export Growth Award from the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA). It received the accolade at the NSBA’s annual conference in Halifax in September 2005.
The company was noted for its high percentage of export orders, which came mostly from the US, UK and Caribbean. It primarily sells sailboats, lobster boats, pleasure cruisers, motor sailers, and sport fishing boats. Most of its ships range in size from 9 to 25 metres.
Covey Island has been building boats and selling them around the world since 1979. Both its sail and power boats are known for their use of wood/epoxy composites.
This type of composite gives ships the elegance of wood, while the epoxy used also makes the hull and structure more durable and costeffective.
Covey Island Boatworks President John Steele is optimistic about the company’s future. He said, “We look forward to building more unique and challenging boats, like the over 80 we have to date. We expect our success, which we believe results from focusing on quality, staying on the cutting edge of our craft, being price competitive and also maintaining a strong marketing programme, to continue into the future.”
He added that they were currently building a 15-metre hull with a construction method they have never used before – nor, to Mr Steele’s knowledge, has any other company. Mr Steele described the hull of the 15-metre ship as a threelayered wood sandwich plus a one-inch core of ATC’s Corecell foam, and an additional three wood layers. Wooden veneers typically sandwich a core of balsa or strip-planked wood.
In October 2005, the company won another export award at a business excellence awards ceremony in Lunenburg County, Canada.