Mahone Bay Plycraft

MAHONE BAY PLYCRAFT/INDUSTRIAL SHIPPING COMPANY

MAHONE BAY

CIRCA 1946-1962

THE MAHONE BAY PLYCRAFT CO. WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD TO BUILD PLEASURE BOATS USING A PROCESS THAT INVOLVED MOLDING PLYWOOD, INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL WOOD STRIP DESIGN THAT HAD BEEN USED FOR CENTURIES.


THE PROCESS HAD BEEN PERFECTED DURING WWII TO BUILD “MOSQUITO BOMBERS” FOR THE BRITISH AND THE EQUIPMENT WAS BOUGHT FROM A WINNIPEG COMPANY AT THE END OF THE WAR AND BROUGHT TO NOVA SCOTIA.

ALTHOUGH 15,000 HULLS WERE BUILT A YEAR AT THE MAHONE BAY PLANT, MOST OF THEM WERE SHIPPED UNFINISHED TO COMPANIES SUCH AS EVINRUDE, JOHNSON & MERCURY.


THE FIRST PLANT WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1956 & AFTER THAT REBUILT WITH A FOCUS ON FINISHING THE BOATS UNDER THE PACE SHIP BRAND.  UNFORTUNATELY, DURING THAT TIME, NEW COMPETITORS SET-UP SHOP AND THE SWITCH TO FIBERGLASS PLEASURE BOATS STARTED TO TAKE HOLD.

MAHONE BAY PLYCRAFT CEASED OPERATIONS IN 1962 AND WAS TAKEN OVER BY THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA’S INDUSTRIAL ESTATES LTD.

SEVERAL ATTEMPTS AT KEEPING THE SHIP BUILDING INDUSTRY ALIVE ENSUED, BUT IN 1975, THE LAST SHIP WAS BUILT IN MAHONE BAY - ENDING A TRADITION THAT HAD GONE UNINTERRUPTED SINCE THE 1700’S.

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