Another feather in collector's hat collection

John Schut displays his latest hat acquisition – the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays.

John Schut displays his latest hat acquisition – the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Retired construction worker John Schut has a unique hobby.

The 61-year-old who lives in suburban Vancouver collects warship baseball hats from around the world. He has 457, with the last hat arriving in the mail a few weeks ago.

“Before the package arrived I was eagerly checking my mailbox. I had even been looking at my mailman a few times to make sure he wasn’t wearing it.”

The latest hat, the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays, was sent to him by Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Public Affairs.

He was expecting an HMCS DeWolf hat, but they were all handed out during its recent visit to CFB Esquimalt.

“It’s so cool to have the Bernays’ hat. I think it will tide me over until the Harry DeWolf returns to Halifax later this year and sends me one of theirs,” he says. “Receiving the Bernays’ hat was a really nice gesture by the RCN, which I truly appreciate.”

The caps line the walls of a spare bedroom in his home and he uses a leaf blower to keep them dust free. 

The first in his first collection was received over 40 years ago when he toured MacKenzie-Class Destroyer HMCS Saskatchewan at CFB Esquimalt.

“During that tour I learned some of the visitors collected ball caps and other navy mementos; so I said to myself: ‘Hey, I want to do that too.’”

Amongst his collection are hats from the navies of the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, China, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, France, and Mexico.

He has built relationships with many navy public affairs offices, who graciously send him a hat if he can’t make a ship tour. 

He also has amassed 400 coffee mugs from navy vessels and a collection of (non-military) Zippo lighters.



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  1. ALFRED GRIMA says:

    Geat colection of Caps John. Personally i collect naval zippo lighters and been at it for the last 26 years. Living in Malta in the Med. Sea has its benifits as through the years have seen many warshipd visiting the island. Even some Canadian Frigates with very interesting tours onboard. Ebay has helped alot.
    No British Caps. I will see if i can get my hands on a Cap of the Armed Forces of Malta Maritime Sqd Boats.

  2. Penticton's cap guy says:

    Cool collection

  3. IAN MONTEITH says:


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