First Shipyard Purchased
Marine Surveying & Design
Settled in Chilliwack
Spiller Marine Services is a Marine Business with 60 years of history on the West Coast of Canada. Alec Spiller, the sole proprietor of the business spent his teen years fishing the Northwest Coast of B.C. and the Gulf of Alaska on Wooden salmon trollers, seiners and bottom trawlers after making his first commercial salmon seining trip at the age of 11. After 4 years in the Navy 17 to 21 he started an apprenticeship in the famous “Wahl” shipyard in Prince Rupert, building wooden fish boats and cutting lumber in the company sawmill. The “Wahl” yard in its heyday built ten west coast gillnet boats at a time, finishing one a week and they were known for their perfect lines. Over 500 fish boats and yachts were built in the original yard in “Dodge Cove” in Prince Rupert harbour.
Alec purchased the shipyard and saw mill in 1970 and continued in the “Wahl” tradition building graceful “West Coast” fishing trollers, old style fishing sailboats and batten seam mahogany speed boats. A large part of his business was doing major renovations on the Northern fishing fleet including Hull lengthening, Wheelhouses, New sterns, Caulking etc... In addition some large sail training vessels were designed and completed out of wood using “East Coast” fishing schooner and sloop designs using lines from “Chapelle” and the “Smithsonian Institute”. Alec was the last commercial wooden boat builder in BC building fishing boats and yachts under the “Dodge Cove Boatyards” label. He moved to Chemainus in 1983 after starting the “Spirit of Chemainus” in Dodge Cove and completed the Hull decks and cabin in Chemainus and another sailing vessel the “Ocean Light” in Ladysmith.
Alec started Marine Surveying and Designing after losing his New Shipyard under construction in Ladysmith BC to an Arson fire in 1986. He moved to Victoria and bought a half share in Meadows Marine Surveyors at the time one of the major marine surveying companies in BC. Alec has been an active player in the marine industry of BC ever since, Building, Designing, Rebuilding the Working Fleet and Pleasure Boats etc. Alec continues to survey and do design work plus project management for minor rebuilds and major renovations.
“Spiller Marine Services” home base is now located in Chilliwack BC. Alec serves the Lower Mainland and all of BC in his business. He has been asked about traveling to other parts of the world for surveying jobs and for his expertise on design and building of working vessels. Alec is working with the National Research Council of Canada on new designs of working vessels using modern composite material construction.
Part of Alec’s retirement plan is building small boats in a new woodworking shop in Chilliwack BC, building working Sea Skiffs and small coastal cruising vessels with modern materials and continuing the marine surveying business on the Coast in Marinas and Working Shipyards.
Traditional designs of West Coast Troller fishing vessels and yachts using modern materials are available and conversions of old yachts and tugs in the Project management end are an ongoing part of his business. The Business has intimate knowledge of available boats for sale on the coast and welcomes inquiries as to your needs. “Spiller Marine Services” can build to plans or custom design any type of workboat or yacht.
Alec Spiller is available as a Design Consultant, Project Manager and Marine Surveyor anywhere in the world.