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Boat Building

Le Beaufils:

A sloop of approximately 20 tonnes. Belonged to Charles d’Entremont, son of Jacques I, the youngest son of the Baron Philippe d’Entremont. Samuel Vetch, the administrator of Port Royal, confiscated it in 1714, after the English seized the post in 1710, but returned it to its original owner following the steps made by his nephew, François du Pont du Vivier from Cape Breton.

Moïse bought an old barn in Pubnico Head; he took it apart and dragged the wood to West Pubnico to build a boat shop where he would work until his death in 1925, except for the few years he lived in Lockeport. Charles d’Eon married Léonice, Moïse’s daughter, and inherited the entire property. When Charles died his wife sold the business to Oscar d’Entremont; he had already been renting it for many years. He started working there after Moïse had died. He sold the building in 1959 to Leslie J. d’Eon. – Translated from Nos vieilles maisons (page 68).

Le Bonaventure: After d’Entremonts returned to Pubnico in 1766, Benoni d’Entremont built a boat that he named Le Bonaventure, in which he sailed to Halifax and even as far as Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Benoni even had an encounter with pirates one day, in the autumn of 1778, at Port La Tour. They took his ship but he managed to retrieve it.

Peak of Construction: Before the end of the 18th Century, we also find the names of two boats the Sea Flower, a vessel of 30 tonnes built by Simon à Ange Amirault; and the Micmac, belonging to Etienne d’Entremont of Lower West Pubnico, a 26-tonne vessel. Between 1800 and 1847 other names such as l’Arc-en-ciel, la Reine and Calypso, the latter being a vessel of 50 tonnes. It wasn’t until the second half of the 19th Century that the construction of boats in Pubnico reached its peak. During this time, 130 were built along the littoral of the harbour, some being of great size, for instance the Barboroni of 100 tonnes, l’Uncle Sam of 95 tonnes, and le Civilian of 97 tonnes.

Brothers Simon and Jérémi d’Entremont, sons of Jacques T. d’Entremont (“Jacquot”), contructed lobster boats in Jacques T. d’Entremont’s barn. Here we see Henri Pothier, Hilaire Pothier, and others that are not identified.

Le Tibel: In discussing the oldest boats, we should mention one that wasn’t built in Pubnico but is nevertheless part of our history. It was called the Tibel and belonged to Jean-Baptiste Duon of Port Royal, the ancestor of the Duon (d’Eon) family of Acadia. Jean-Baptiste Duon settled in Port Royal at the beginning of the 18th Century, where he married Anne Hébert on 27 February 1713; they had thirteen children. Their fourth son, Abel, known under the name of Tibel, inspired the boat’s name. During a certain time, Jean-Baptiste traveled along the East Coast of Nova Scotia and especially to Louisbourg to transport provisions. It is on one of these voyages that the Tibel was shipwrecked off the shore of Port-à-l’Ours. The crew managed to save themselves but the vessel was lost.

These are barrels of salted bait (salted herring and/or mackerel). Salted bait is often used because it stays on the trap longer, seals won’t take it off the traps and most of the time it is the cheapest bait.


In the history of Pubnico the main industry has always been fishing, and the places that were most frequently exploited were the following three: Brown’s Bank, Banquereau Bank, and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. When fishing on Brown’s Bank we were never gone longer than two weeks, generally only one week, but on the Grand Banks it was a different story. First, only the largest boats could take part in this type of fishing. During the season we made two voyages. For the first one we left Pubnico towards the end of March (if the winter had not been too rigorous) and we would return near the end of June. Usually, we tried to rush home for La Saint Pierre, patron of the parish, which is on 29 June. After about ten days we would set sail again for the Banks to return around mid-September.

Barrels of salted bait.The large boats carried a crew of about twenty men. One can imagine all the necessary provisions that were needed to nourish everyone on this voyage of nearly three months. It was necessary to store the following on board:

Forty barrels of flour; some salted meat barrels; potatoes, dried apples, molasses; and about forty barrels of fresh water. We also filled four or five barrels of fresh water intended to receive the cod liver oil that we would save during the voyage. We needed at least one hundred barrels of clams for bait.

Amirault’s Hill (Buttes Amirault)

Joseph Moulaison III (The Ancestor of all Moulaisons of Nova Scotia) The exploits of Joseph Moulaison at the time of The Dispersion are shrouded in mystery. A native of the Pobomcoup area where his fa


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