Refresh underway for the Lancet historic boat in New Denver

·2 min read

The Lancet, an historic pleasure boat on display at the Silvery Slocan Museum in New Denver, is being freshened up.

“However lovingly the Lancet was restored, the years have taken their toll,” said Henning von Krogh, Silvery Slocan Historical Society president.

Heat, ice, snow, and wind have dulled the bright white paint and topsides. The brightwork on the rub-strakes, floorboards, and the canvas-covered decks have also taken a beating over the years.

After consulting with several boat historians who specialize in restoration, the society decided to first sand and repaint the exterior planking.

In July the Lancet and the cribbing it rests on was raised slightly so that volunteers could get under the boat and access the planking. The Lancet’s refresh project will be done in phases. The next step will be to sand the topsides, varnish, and replace or repair the canvas decks. Ultimately, the society wants to place one of its inboard two-stroke engines back in the rear of the boat by the propeller shaft.

The boat was built by Dr. J. E. Brouse in the attic of the old hospital in New Denver in 1906/07. These pleasure-built motor launches were very popular in their day. Von Krogh’s book, Early Boats on Slocan Lake, says they were “frequently built locally and boat houses lined the shore from Bigelow Bay to New Denver and Silverton.”

The Silvery Slocan Historical Society rescued the derelict Lancet from north of Nemo Creek in 1995. It was restored in 2006-07 and placed on cribbing in the courtyard of the museum along with interpretive signage.

Von Krogh’s book says the Lancet is probably “the only Kootenay-built wooden motor launch known to have survived to the present.”

If you are interested in the history of this boat and its restoration, visit the museum at the foot of New Denver’s main street. You may see the Lancet refresh in progress! In the courtyard (beside the Apple Tree), you will find some informative signage with pictures depicting the Lancet in its heyday – and its ‘sympathetic’ restoration in 2007.

Unfortunately, restoring the craft to ‘water-going’ status was beyond the resources of the society.

Margaret Scaia, Local Journalism Initiative, Valley Voice