YARMOUTH - A new boat shop under construction on Water Street is slated for completion in mid-May. Before the final touches have even been completed on the facility, it will be receiving its first hull.
Steve Corkum, owner of the giant building, as well as the welding and machine shop next door, says there’s a “good demand” for lobster, scallop and small inshore boats.
When asked why he chose Water Street as the location for the shop, he pointed across the street at the Lobster Rock Wharf slip.
“Short distance (to the water),” he said.
“A lot of boat shops are like a mile or two or five miles from putting them in.
“Hopefully we only have one set of wires (to move) and we should be good to come right out the gate and across the road.”
The interior of the building measures 125 feet by 55 feet, allowing two 50-footers to be built at the same time. Ten to 12 people will be employed when boat construction is underway. It will take about six to seven months to build each vessel.
The shop is designed to allow tourists a viewing spot.
“We’ve kind of built it with that in mind. When you go through the front door you’ll be able to go up the steps and see the construction,” said Corkum.
“If it causes a problem we’ll have to stop it, but if it doesn’t interrupt stuff it will be fine.”
He pointed to a boat hauled out and sitting in the Lobster Rock parking lot and commented on how local people tend to take for granted what visitors or newcomers might find interesting.
“You get to see what a boat looks like underneath. It gives you a whole different perspective.”
Corkum owns Corkum’s Wharf north of Rudders Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub and Yarmouth Sea Products, a company that buys lobsters and sells them throughout North America.
Corkum commended the town on its support of the project.
“It was good to work with in regard to getting the permits and the assistance of a forward-thinking council and mayor. They helped pave the way to make it happen.”
More about boat building
In 2016, the number of people employed in the boatbuilding sector, which includes builders, repairers and service providers, jumped by 11 per cent over the previous year to hit 1,350.
The industry in Nova Scotia has seen steady growth in employment since 2009 and a boom since mid-2014.