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Richmond Boatbuilders

Learn about the skills and techniques of wooden boat builders in Steveston, including the stories of the Kishi family of Richmond.

Smaller light blue boat displayed in front of a larger wooden boat that is white with a light blue stripe and red bottom, displayed inside a wooden building

This boatworks was built in the 1930s by the Kishi family and was originally called Richmond Boatbuilders. The Kishis and other Japanese boatbuilders crafted 24 and 26 foot wooden gillnetter fishing boats in this shop – sometimes up to four at a time.  The original steambox, boiler and boat ways are still intact. Gillnetters and trollers were still being repaired in this facility until the late 1960s, but mostly by boatbuilders of European decent that occupied the shop during and after the Second World War.

Today, exhibits in the building explore the history and experience of the Kishi family, one of many Japanese Canadian boatbuilding families in Steveston. Exhibits and interactive displays throughout the building examine themes of immigration, entrepreneurship, discrimination, Internment and resilience. Unique boat building tools and hands on activities guide visitors through the process of boat design and construction and instill an appreciation for Japanese boatbuilding and west coast maritime heritage.

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Silver Ann – Britannia’s Last Wooden Gillnetter

Watch this video about the Silver Ann – the last wooden gillnetter built in the Richmond Boatbuilders building at Britannia in 1969.

Feb 1, 2023 – Richmond Boatbuilders is currently closed to the public for envelope repairs.