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The shipyard of Bas-Caraquet has a “beautiful problem”

The shipyard of Bas-Caraquet has a “beautiful problem”

A text by René Landry

The revival of the naval industry at Bas-Caraquet has been slow and painful. After financial difficulties, the takeover of the New Brunswick Naval Center by the provincial government has seen better days on the horizon. Then, as the construction and repair of boats has gained momentum, the job site ends up with what might be called a beautiful problem.

The construction of a huge floating dry dock, by the Groupe Océan company, results in a lack of space for the boats. Large modules, which will be grafted to this dry dock, are where normally the boats are stored for the winter.

Modules for the manufacture of a floating dry dock are found in the place where, normally, we see boats Photo: Radio-Canada / René Landry

Fishing boats from the Caraquet region, which are usually reassembled at Bas-Caraquet, had to turn to Shippagan.

Captain Jean-Guy Mailloux’s lobster fishing boat is still at the Caraquet wharf. The owner is getting impatient.

I was ready to take my boat out of the water for a long time, he laments. They tell us that there is no place on the site. There are big iron modules that take the place. It’s badly organized. There are some fishermen who have been forced to bring their boats to Shippagan. I’m afraid if it continues, the ice cream will take and the boat will remain trapped at the dock.

Captain Jean-Guy Mailloux’s lobster fishing boat is still at the Caraquet wharf Photo: Radio-Canada / René Landry

An old trawler, inactive for several years, the Lady Shippagan, is also waiting for her turn at the wharf of Caraquet. He was amputated from his cabin, in particular, to lighten it and thus make it easier to go back with the help of the new ber cavalier of Bas-Caraquet, able to lift a ship of 300 metric tons.

Here’s what’s left of Lady Shippagan, a large 38-meter trawler, inactive for several years Photo: Radio-Canada / René Landry

According to a Regional Development Corporation official, Bruce Macfarlane, this is a temporary fix and everything should be back in order soon.

There are a lot of activities happening at the facility and for the moment space is limited, he says. Groupe Océan New Brunswick is working to complete the construction of a dry dock for the Government of New Brunswick, which requires space. It is unfortunate that some fishermen have decided to go elsewhere to have their boat lifted and taken out of the water, but this question of available space is temporary. The situation should return to normal in a few weeks.

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