Halcyon II, our flagship vessel, is a West Coast pilot house cutter, designed by Ed MonkSr. and built at Nicholson Boatyard in Victoria, BC in 1948. She was built by Frank Fredette, a shipwright who went on to become a famous West Coast boat designer in his own right. Halcyon II, and sister ship Bendora, were commissioned by Maurice Green and his friend Ben Nickells. Maurice Green operated a Victoria lumber yard and talked his friend into having the sailboats designed and built. Halcyon II and Bendora are the only two sail boats designed by Ed Monk Sr. Both Maurice Green and Ben Nickells were Commodores at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and raced the boats extensively. Halcyon II placed well in club races and the plaques are still onboard the vessel.
Halcyon II had several owners after Maurice Green sold her. In 1994 Halcyon II was purchased by Harry Stamhuis of Maple Bay, BC. The Cowichan Wooden Boat Society received Halcyon II from Harry Stamhuis on April 21, 2012. Halcyon II has spent her entire life on the West Coast.
Halcyon II is complete wood construction in the classic standards of the era 1948. In 1981 she had a refit that saw her hull stripped down to bare wood. The work done on the hull included re-caulking, refastening, new keel bolts and a new stem band. The decks were given new 1” teak over ½” marine plywood, new bulwarks and covering boards of solid yellow cedar which is the same as the original construction. The cabin, bronze hardware, winches and windlass remain original. In 1983 she received a new hollow mast of Sitka spruce with stainless steel hardware. Over the years she has also received:
1985: new main sail, staysail, yankee jib custom made, hand finished
1986: new stainless steel tank for water, fuel and hydraulics, new 15 hp Isuzu diesel, new shaft and propeller
1990: new mast boot, new propane stove and sniffer, new battery charger, new running rigging, new windows bedded in “Lexel”
1991: new fab-all diesel heater, new shore power (110v) wiring, plugs, breaker and cord
1993: new electronics
Halcyon is the name of a bird in Greek legend generally associated with the kingfisher. There was an ancient belief that the bird nested on the sea, which it calmed in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest. Two weeks of calm weather were therefore expected around the winter solstice. This myth leads to the use of halcyon as a term for peace or calmness.