Stevens Boatworks

Stevens Boatworks is a traditional boatyard and marina in the historic village of Chester on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Committed to excellence in boat construction and maintenance, our yard utilizes time-honored workmanship in building and restoring strong, seaworthy vessels. Our marina offers safe, secure slips and moorings and inside or outside winter storage. We build lasting relationships with our customers and are committed to upholding a legacy dating back to the end of the Second World War.

Over the past 15 years, Stevens Boatworks has gone through a major transformation from a basic waterfront shed, with wood-working tools and heavy tackle to haul boats, to a full service boatyard. During this period, we have completed a number of large and small assignments, from structural and cosmetic repairs to new construction of power and sailing vessels. Following is a selection of projects finished by the yard over the last decade.  

Hover the cursor over each image to read the caption. Use the left and right arrows to move through the images.


The Stevens 26 was designed by Mason Marine Designs after extensive archival research into the traditional inshore fishing boats of southwestern Nova Scotia and eastern Maine. Our objective was to take the best of the old and match it to modern demands. This boat can bring you home safely through seas daunting to lesser boats and its 45 HP engine the boat moves comfortably and economically at 8 knots.


Designed in 1944 by the renowned naval architect William Roue, who also designed the famous Bluenose fishing schooner, and winner of the International Fishermen’s Trophy. The one-design-class sloop is still very popular, with some 300 boats still sailing. While the boat was originally designed for carvel construction, many were later built in fiberglass. Stevens Boatworks’ bluenoses were all built with mahogany planking on white oak frames and all are still sailing. One took the Bluenose Championship in 2010.


This 40-foot yawl was commissioned in New Hampshire in 1945. Since she was constructed during the later war years, problems with the fasteners, including keel bolts, had developed and needed to be addressed, along with the resulting impact those problems had on the main structure. Also, the boat’s long hiatus as a semi-abandoned project had allowed water to enter and cause significant rot damage. We performed partial replacement of the timbers, along with new floors throughout. We replaced the sternpost and much of the dead wood and re-attached the cast iron ballast. We partially rebuilt the house and replaced all the wiring and mechanical systems. We installed a new diesel engine, and the vessel was re-launched at Stevens Boatworks in the Back Harbour.


The owner of this vessel had purchased a nearly-finished hull by the well-known Chester builder Lloyd Barkhouse. We were asked to complete the job and outfit the vessel as a motorsailer. Our work included finishing the cabin and pilot house; complete new spars and rigging and new sail plan; new engine installation; head and galley; all plumbing and wiring; and installation of full instrumentation, including radar and GPS.


Stevens Boatworks was asked to build a small cutter in the tradition of the British Channel Cutter, a boat suitable for possible future circumnavigation by her owner. In accordance with plans and specifications by the well-known naval architect Lyle Hess, the boat was built with the best of materials—Pennsylvania white oak, with mahogany carvel planking and silicon bronze fasteners throughout. Stevens Boatworks finished the hull, complete with deck and house. The boat was placed on a new, heavy-duty trailer, built by our associate machine shop, and transported to Ontario for interior work and rigging by the owner. 


This is a copy of a small boat salvaged from a beach in British Columbia. Although the hull was pretty rotten, there was enough material to take measurements and even copy some of the planking. The boat was then set up in our shop and rebuilt with white oak frames and structure and marine plywood lapstrake planking. Since its launch, we have had a number of interested parties asking us to build more of them.


The Dunroin was designed and built in 1949 by Captain Gerald Stevens (“GL”), the owner of the yard at that time. The boat had been ordered by an American family who spent the summers in Chester, and it was always cared for by this yard. It is still going strong and is well known in the waters around Chester.