“Scout” – a Charlotttetown Snipe

The dominant racing boat at the Charlottetown Yacht Club from the mid-1940s until the late-1960s was the Snipe. The boat was both a local and international favourite as over 30,000 boats have been registered from the beginning of the class in 1931 until the present. At 15.5 feet the boat could be easily built from standard timber and later plywood.


Public Archives and Records Office Accession 3466 item 87.109.9

The two-person boat provided lively sailing and a range of regatta opportunities as there were large fleets elsewhere in Atlantic Canada. Many Island sailors took their boats to regattas in Shediac. often towing the boats back and forth behind motorcruisers.

“Scout”, the Snipe in the photo above, was owned by Billie Bourke, daughter of Hal Bourke, one of the original Yacht Club members. In this photo she is shown at the helm with Eileen Porter as crew.  The photo probably dates from before 1946 when changes were made to the Railway wharf. [Thanks to Jim Bennett for helping date the photo] Behind the Snipe most of the wharves of Charlottetown Harbour can be seen. At the time they were identified as Pickard’s Coal Wharf, Buntain  and Bell Wharf, the Marine and Fisheries Wharf,  the Ferry Wharf and the Railway Wharf.  The opening span of the Hillsborough Railway Bridge can be seen beyond.  Today, all but the Railway Wharf have disappeared, either eroded or dredged away or buried under the massive Department of Transport Wharf now housing the Charlottetown Convention Centre.  The Railway Bridge has been replaced with a road bridge and the old bridge abutments have mostly tumbled into the channel.




6 thoughts on ““Scout” – a Charlotttetown Snipe

  1. Jim Bennett

    This picture must have been taken prior to 1946 because the Charlottetown Marine wharf (west side) was rebuilt to its present condition then, assuming that the wharf showing in that picture was the marine wharf.

  2. sailstrait Post author

    By the Marine Wharf do you mean the Railway Wharf (where the cruise ships now dock) or the Marine and Fisheries Wharf (which is where the Peake’s Quay marina is now located)? I agree that the photo certainly could have been taken before the changes to the wharf and have amended the text accordingly.

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