dr martens fisherman sandals old Sunnyside rodney boat being refurbished and replicated
A 75 year old rodney, a boat that belonged to his dad, is now getting a full restoration not to mention fibreglass moulds made of the unique artifact.
Derek’s grandfather Hayward started building the rodney in October, 1941.
The rodney is 75 years old. Derek’s grandfather Hayward built it for his son, Derek’s father Harvey, on his return home from the Second World War. The little boat was launched in May, 1942.
It was a gift for Hayward’s son, Harvey, who is Derek’s father, who had been serving in the British Merchant Marines in the Second World War.
“He (Hayward) said, ‘When you come home, I’m going to have a nice little rodney for you,'” explained Derek.
It was used throughout the inshore fishery over the years.
“It was a workhorse,” remembers Derek.
The boat is 53 inches wide, 15 feet long and only six inches deep. His dad told him he would row from Sunnyside to Chance Cove in the small vessel filled with capelin.
Derek vividly remembers rowing the boat in the harbour as a boy.
Judging by his wide grin, and the excitement in his voice as he talks about the little boat, he is passionate about returning it to its former glory.
He is looking forward to a day in the near future when he will take the boat out again.
“I can take it, slide it out and scull right across the harbour and back,” smiled Derek.
“That’ll be a fun day.”
The rodney is more rare for small boats in Newfoundland. Different from the dory or punt, Derek explained this particular rodney is unique itself.
The boat is 53 inches wide, 15 feet long and only six inches deep.
Loading it onto the trailer for the trip over the highway was not easy, as the boat was quite fragile. “She’s shaped like a small version of the Blue Nose,” says Derek. “If you see rodneys that are around Newfoundland that are made through the fiberglass moulds, she’s actually a sleeker, more streamlined version.”
The boat was put away in 1985.
It remained in storage in Sunnyside until this past spring. It still has its original paddles, thole pins, and sculling oar.
Derek arranged to have the boat restored by Max Bursey of St. Phillips.
Bursey is related to the Reids of Sunnyside and jumped at the chance of working with a boat like Derek’s.
“He’s (was) very anxious and eager to get at this,” Derek laughed. “He said it was all he was thinking about since he’d seen her.”
In fact, on the day they arrived at Derek’s summer home to take away the rodney, a crew of friends and fellow boat builders arrived with Bursey totalling over 100 years of collective boat building experience.
Bursey told The Packet he’s been building boats since 1972.
“When I came back down (to Sunnyside) in 1958, I saw those little boats and I was very impressed,” said Bursey.
He says, in all his years, he’s never built a rodney.
“(But) I’ve built 75 or 80 . . . a lot of small boats,” he says.
Once he makes his own reproduction with moulds from this one, it will be mainly a show boat, he says.
“My intention is to do a fibreglass replica of this one. I’ll make one for Derek and I’ll make one for me, and that’s it.”
The 100 plus year old house in Sunnyside, built by Hayward Penney. This isn’t the only restoration project Derek’s been involved with.