Daigle Welding’s biggest-ever boat, a $2.8-million yacht, barely fit out of the company’s shop in North Campbell River on Wednesday. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River firm builds their biggest-ever boat: a $2.8 million yacht

Daigle Welding and Marine puts its finishing touches on deluxe fishing vessel

“It’s like a baby being born,” said Steve Daigle, founder of Daigle Welding and Marine on Wednesday, as he looked at the newly built fishing yacht, its bow protruding from the doorway of his shop in North Campbell River.

This baby weighs in at around 70,000 pounds. The 53-foot yacht is the largest vessel ever built by the company, which opened its doors in 1985.

It’s worth $2.8 million, and being delivered to a buyer from Portland, Ore., within the next few weeks, said Daigle. The buyer worked with the company’s naval architect on the design after approaching Daigle three years ago.

That work came to fruition on Wednesday, as workers prepared to transport it to a nearby marina. The yacht just barely fit through the shop’s doorway in North Campbell River, with scarcely an inch of clearance on each side.

“We had to bring in a boat-moving company from Vancouver, with all their hydraulics and dollies and everything to move it outside,” Daigle said.

The boat runs on two diesel Caterpillar engines that together boast nearly 1,700 horsepower. The two propellers are worth $29,000 apiece, said Daigle.

Each propeller on this newly built yacht is worth $29,000. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

It’s also equipped with an outboard motor for trolling. Indeed, the boat was specially designed as a luxury fishing vessel.

The buyer is an avid sports fisherman with a penchant for tuna fishing, Daigle explained. The boat is outfitted for a deluxe fishing experience.

Stepping onto the stern, Daigle pointed to an area that will hold a glass-faced tank for live bait.

“The live bait will actually swim around in there,” said Daigle.

Nearby is an area for bleeding the fish, a machine for vacuum-sealing the catches, an ice machine and a deep freeze.

Steve Daigle looks under the hood of his latest creation, a luxury fishing yacht with two 835 horsepower engines. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

As for the living quarters, it boasts amenities like a dishwasher, trash compactor and wine cooler in the galley.

There’s a dining area, which converts into a queen-sized bed, as well as three “staterooms” (sailing lingo for bedrooms), each with a 30-inch television connected to a satellite system.

There’s also a washer and dryer, three “heads” (toilets) and two showers. One of the heads is on the deck, by the fishing area, which is convenient during a big fishing day.

“When you’re tuna fishing [and] there’s blood and guts everywhere, and it’s raining out, you don’t want to be walking into a nice cabin covered in blood,” said Daigle.

Even the boat’s dinghy is deluxe: it’s an 18-foot welded aluminum boat with a 120-horsepower engine. That’s several times more powerful than an average dinghy, and considerably larger, according to Daigle.

The buyer is a fan of river fishing, and the jet-powered dinghy is perfect for that, Daigle explained.

“He can go out in the middle of nowhere, launch his jet boat and scoot up a river somewhere,” he said.

The vessel is in its final stages of construction. Daigle is planning to transport it along Highway 19 after rush hour on Wednesday – with the help of that boat-moving company from Vancouver – to the Fresh Water Marina boatyard, located one kilometre away.

There, its motor will get tested and the finishing touches will be put on the vessel, including its mast and rigging.

And although she hasn’t been in the water yet, the boat already has a name: Another Round.

@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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Each propeller on this newly built yacht is worth $29,000. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

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