2008 Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival

courtesy of Peter Tanner

The Deerleap parades elegance from her fantailaft deck to the tip of her bow. Below the main deck, the master stateroom and guest cabins all have private heads with showers. The lower cabins are accessed aft by a spiral staircase that exemplifies the Roaring Twenties, when this beautiful boat was built. The sumptuous luxury of the main saloon, with exquisite mahogany joinery work and beveled-glass china closets, is an excellent example of the opulence of that era. When you board this beautiful vessel today, it is difficult to imagine that during World War II, her exterior brightwork and hull were painted gray and machine guns and cannon were mounted on her decks. Her graceful lines and contoured hull slip through the water with the stately posture and gentle roll of one of the West Coast's finest grande dames.

Photos - Looking at the MV DeerLeap from dockside at the 21st Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival. This is the biggest Motor Cruiser/Yacht at the Wooden Boat show, and by far, the most interesting. The Deerleap is now owned by Richard "Slim" and Carolyn Gardner from Seal Beach California. It was built in 1929 during the roaring 20's - The Deerleap was built in Vancouver, British Columbia, by the Hoffar-Beeching Shipyards for Colonel McLimont, the president of Winnipeg Power and Light. McLimont wanted exceptional viewing capabilities aboard a comfortable and elegant cruiser, built specifically for excursions to Alaska. Notice the sleek bow with dual anchors.

The Deerleap's original design, which remains intact today, included a large combination observation saloon and formal dining room on the main deck, with French doors opening to a spacious covered aft deck. The lower deck encompassed crew quarters forward, a master stateroom amidships, and guest staterooms abaft the owner's cabin. McLimont used the boat extensively to cruise the Inside Passage with private hunting and fishing parties.

Photos - These photos are from the upper docks at Granville Island, on the Market place level looking down at the wheelhouse and bow.

However, just five years after she was built, McLimont sold Deerleap to the owners of Vancouver's Spencer Department Stores, who kept the boat through the Great Depression years.

Then, like many Canadian and U.S. yachts of her day, Deerleap was conscripted during World War II, painted gray, and equipped with deck artillery. It was also during those years that the original Hall-Scott gasoline engines were replaced with 120 bhp Vivian diesels, reportedly weighing 7,800 pounds each.

Photos - Detals of the MV Deerleap with crab traps at the ready on top deck (frame left) Port and starboard running lights (center frame) and the anchor capstan winch in the bow with a few plants growing to make it feel like home (frame right).


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© Ernestartist 2001 - 2008

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