"They just don't build them like that anymore," is the inevitable comment evoked from most most in discussions about the pleasure cruiser Bardick (now Fifer again). Visiting waters away from home she is the subject of many awe-inspired dock-side remarks in praise of her elegance and charm.
Built in 1928, Bardick has come a long way and weathered her fair share of alterations and innovations and also many changes in ownership and name. Today she stands loftily in her boathouse at Burrard Yacht Club, stolidly refusing to be humbled by any of the shiny, plastic vessels that come and go and find shelter in her close proximity. She is proudly owned and pampered by Barry and Dick Hume who acquired the right to call her theirs in 1972, and who agree to share use of her on alternate weekends.
Bardick was built by Hoffar-Beeching Shipyards of Vancouver, which amalgamated with Boeing in 1929. She was first called Deerleap and her owner was A.W. McLimont, head of the Winnipeg Light and Power Company. A year after she was first registered she went back to the shipyard, and was taken over by a new owner in Victoria, Sir Frank Stilman Barnard K.C., M.G., who had been Lieutenant-Governor from 1914 to 1919. She was given the name Quenca on July 26th, 1929.
The annals of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club record that Deerleap once belonged to Colonel Victor Spencer, but it was a different vessel of the same name which the Colonel owned. This Deerleap was a more recent craft, and longer, and she was used by the Defence Force during the war. She was eventually sold to a buyer in the United States.
In 1936 Quenca passed into the hands of the Canada Trust Company and one John Litton Mara as joint executors of the estate of Sir Frank Barnard who died on April 11th of that year. She was transferred to Captain William Marr Crawford of the Empire Stevedoring Company and registered in the Port of Vancouver once more, on October 5th. In January 1937 Captain Crawford changed her name to Fifer (his original), but a month later, it seems, he decided to build a new boat, and wanting to retain the name Fifer, he changed it again to Grampian I.
In 1939 Captain Crawford took delivery of his new 110-foot vessel which had been built for him at Burrard Dry Dock. Here he left Grampian I in the hands of the new owner, Colonel Clarence Wallace. Captain Crawford's new vessel, Fifer, was meant to be used as a world cruiser and was to have been taken to Scotland; however, it was wartime and such a cruise was out of the question. The captain died before before he could return with his fine ship to his home in Fife County, and it too eventually became the property of Clarence Wallace. This boat is still well known on the West Coast of Canada by the name of Fifer.
Bardick, then still Grampian I, changed hands again and became the property of the Powell River Company and the pride of the Foley family in 1940. Her name was changed to Kitten F in November 1941 and she retained that nomenclature until 1967. During her years as Kitten F she had a skipper, Charlie Fisher, who had been brought out from Scotland by Mr. Wallace Senior for his vessel Walithy. Fisher served on Kitten F for most of her duration in the Foley family ownership.
The Foley's yielded ownership to a close family friend, George William O' Brien, in 1955 but the name, Kitten F remained with her. When O'Brien died he left Kitten F to Mrs. "Kitten" Foley for whom the vessel had been named. Registered under the name of Burrows Yacht Charters, she was back in the Foley family, but when she was sold to Hollis O'Hanlon in 1967 she was renamed Barbara O'H due to a misunderstanding that the name change was required.
She now entered a very interesting era of her history. Her new owner carried out a major job of reconstruction, altering the living quarters and main cabin considerably and increasing her overall comfort---fortunately without detracting at all from her graceful and elegant appearance, but rather enhancing it.
In the hands of Hollis O' Hanlon, Barbara O'H took on a new facade with the addition of 11 feet to the length of her lounge. The former nine-foot main cabin was cozy and had allowed plenty of aft deck space, most of which, however, was taken up by protruding twin staterooms.. They rose about 14 inches above the level of the deck walk-around and the lengthen the lounge it was necessary to bring the stateroom ceiling down to the topside's deck level. To do this without losing any headroom in the twin staterooms the aft cabin area had to be dropped equally deeper into the bilges.
Taking this vessel from one shipyard to another the owner was told repeatedly that there was no way the desired alterations could be made without reducing the headroom in the staterooms aft. Eventually he found a yard prepared to tackle the job. O'Hanlon himself did much of the redesigning of the house, which was then subjected to some major reconstruction with the help of well-known shipwright, Wright Chappell. They took the vessel up the Middle Arm of the Fraser River and tied up at Richmond Tug for an entire winter while she was being rebuilt.
In order to carry out the alterations it was necessary to take up the deck, remove all the cabin fittings, bulkheads and sole as well as the water tanks underneath. These were damaged and out of service in any event and without them the boat still carries up to 700 gallons of fresh water.
The aft twin cabins had been rebuilt, with their original headroom, the deck was relaid and the main cabin extended. Careful attention was paid to detail and the original finish was copied in the added section so that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between the original and the new woodwork inside or out.
The final touch was the addition of stabilisers at the curves of the bilges. Prior to this addition the vessel had been notorious for the way she rolled and for the number of cases of Mal de Mer experienced aboard. The O'Hanlon's used her in the summer months as a charter operating from the Bayshore Inn marina in Coal Harbour.
The vessel, now Bardick, sleeps up to eight people in comfort and two more without difficulty. She is 67'8" in overall length and has a 15'6" beam. Bardick's all-wood hull is mainly fir and her ribs are oak, closely spaced and very solid. Her cabins, staterooms and wheelhouse are panelled with heavy, hand-crafted teak and her deck and soles are also teak. She is equipped with three heads, one of which is en suite. The dining salon is located below forward of the spacious, enlarged main cabin and access is gained via a steep teak companionway.
Forward of the dining saloon there is a small but adequately equipped galley complete with a gas range and oven and a 12 foot refrigerator. One of her four staterooms and one of her three heads are in the forecastle.
Bardick carries 750 gallons of fuel for her twin 102 horsepower Gardener 6L3 diesel engines which burn a total of about five gallons an hour at a cruising speed of ten knots. She runs at 700 rpm or 800 at a push, giving her a maximum or cruising speed with very little engine wear. There are more than 1,000 of these engines in operation on the west coast and this fact assures service and availability of parts which will keep Bardick going indefinitely.
Originally, the boat was fitted with twin 175 hp Hall-Scott gasoline engines, which were the basis of her original overall design. She was probably built around the engines along the lines of the popular and speedier luxury cruisers of her day.
The engines were exchanged for Gardeners in 1936 so that her present power plants are over 40 years old and still going strong. The cruiser is equipped with navigational aids such as depth sounders , Wood Freeman automatic pilot, ship to shore radio and her steering is mechanical which, her owners say, they prefer to hydraulic. She has an oil furnace for heating and hot domestic water service and runs an auxiliary engine for 110 volt AC electrical power.
Bardick is the joy of Barry and Dick Hume and their wives, Leona and Bunny. Barry Hume ran her to victory in the 1972 Boomerang predicted log race and was the winning novice in the 1974 International event. Dick Hume, on his alternate weekends, runs her up to Lasqueti Island and finds sheltered coves in which to anchor and relax, fishing or simply enjoying the restful, quiet, away from it all.
The Hume brothers renovated some of the panelling, woodwork and paintwork in the galley and forecastle and also some of the exterior finish, as well as sections of the engine room. It is necessary to keep a constant hand at a boat of Bardick's dimensions, and her owners spare little in devoted care and attention to her.
The name Bardick is derived from a combination of the first names of the Hume brothers as a result of a lengthy debate over which combination of the wives' names was to be used. Tired of vacillating, the brothers registered her for themselves.