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LaHave Islands Marine Museum


Accession number: 2006.1273.01
Category: Watercraft
Object type: Double-ender
Date: 1945 – 1946
Measurements: 324 in L
Marks/Label: The Ship Registry records state that "Vera Mae" was built by Harris Bush in 1946. The boat Length is 27' 5", Width is 7' 3" . The engine was An Acadia Gas Engine with ram of .08 Tons. Her registration #: #319632 and the registered owner as Ernest Willoughby Baker. Registering the boat was not necessary untill the the 1950's .
Vessel Name: Vera Mae
Culture: Nova Scotian
Narrative: Bush Island boats were built from materials that could be found locally: pine planking, steamed hackmatack timbers, and hardwood keels of oak, maple, or birch. The Bush Island boats were used by many of the LaHave Islands fishermen not just to catch fish, but also to take their families to church, to visit neighbours, to go to town, etc. The "Vera Mae" was used by her owner Ernest Baker in this way, but she was also used as the mail boat for the Islands. Ernest would take his fish catch to the fish plant on the island or to the one on the mainland. As his wife "Vera" was the postmistress for the Islands, Ernest would bring the mail to his home where the mail would be sorted for the various islands. A Bush Island boat could be built in 1 to 2 months. They were great sailing boats. They were fast and reliable. They were used in the inshore fishery, for hauling lobster traps, hand lining cod, halibut and haddock, setting gil nets, and dragging flounders for bait. They were also used for transportation by the people who lived on the water locked LaHave Islands, making them the equivalent of a pick up truck. In the earlier years the Bush Island boats used sail power instead of engine power.
Description: A 27 ft. Bush Island Boat - double ender - built on Jenkins Island (now called "Bell's Island"). This boat was powered by a "Make & Brake" engine made by Acadia Gas Engines of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The names of some of these smaller islands were changed when the roads and bridges were built in 1970's.
Manufacturer: Harris Bush