Naval whaler to be reunited with last corvette in Halifax


S2 Natassia Lei
HMCS Summerside

A/SLt David Lindsay
PAO Maritime Forces Atlantic Headquarters


The last remaining Naval Admiralty whaler is slated to be reunited later this summer near the last surviving Flower-class corvette – Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Sackville located at the Naval Museum of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

HMCS Summerside collected the Admiralty’s trawler whaler on June 24 to bring it back to Canada.

Coming alongside in Portsmouth, the crew had their first look at the weathered wooden boat. At 16 feet long, seven feet wide and approximately half a ton, the clinker built hull bears witness to craftsmanship worked with expert hands.

The first reference to whaleboats was in 1756 and  they were introduced into Royal Naval service around 1810 when they were called whale-gigs. The trawler whaler, commonly referred to as a Captain’s gig, was used to take boarding parties to enemy ships. They had a secondary role as lifeboats.

This trawler was secured by Tim Lewin.

“Some 20 years ago, I began my cooperation with the Imperial War Museum by supporting an annual gathering of Second World War veterans for a Victory party to celebrate VE Day on board HMS Belfast. Through this relationship I came into contact with HMCS Sackville in Halifax, a sister ship preserved to the memory of the heroism of all those who served at sea. In the early part of this year, Commander Bill Gard of the Sackville Trust asked me if I could help them find plans to build a new Montague whaler, once the sea boat of every naval ship.

“This in turn brought me to the superb restoration craftsmen of Boathouse No. 4, part of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust. When I told them of my friendship with HMCS Sackville they told me that in their collection they had, awaiting restoration, an Admiralty Pattern skiff, the type of boat issued to all corvettes, RN and RCN. The Boathouse No.4 directors proposed that the most appropriate home for this very last surviving example of a corvette skiff should be Halifax, NS, with the last surviving corvette.”

HMC Ships Summerside and Kingston were re-routed to Portsmouth upon completion of their Baltic Sea mission ending in mid- June to embark the whaler.


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