Port storage upgrade
Harbour authority takes on project to restore bait sheds
As West Point lobster fishermen were setting their gear for the fall season, construction foreman Jason Greenan and his crew were just getting started on a project to restore and beautify the port’s storage sheds.
Now that the season has wrapped up, so is the work on the storage sheds, once called bait sheds, seen lining the wharves of most fishing harbours on P.E.I., Greenan said some of the 30 individual sheds contained in two long buildings, were rarely used anymore and the structures were in need of repair. “You could put your hand through them,” he said, explaining the plywood on the walls “had its day.”
There’s now steel on the walls and roof and some sills were repaired and others replaced. Some of the decay, Greenan said, was the result of leaking water taps.
Sections of walls had to be re-enforced and material from some sheds had to be removed.
The 200-foot building nearest the Harbourside Centre, containing 20 storage sheds, is close to 50 years old, and the 100-foot building next to it is just a few years younger. On Tuesday, the day after West Point fishermen finished landing their gear, Greenan and his crew of Grant Buchanan and Jody MacDonald were putting the finishing touches on their project, attaching handpainted and colour-co-ordinated signs on the sheds’ new wooden doors.
Each door has the name of one of the port’s boats on top in a bright colour and a nautical or fishing-themed design of the same colour underneath.
All of the signs and designs were hand-painted by Julie Rose of Follow Your Heart Woodworking in O’Leary. It took her about six weeks to fill the order.
“They’re the sharpest looking bait houses in Canada,” remarked long-time West Point fisherman Wayne Livingstone as he observed the project’s progress from the shelter of his truck.
Nearby, Spencer Ellis was inspired to put his Dawn til Dusk storage building to use and was clearing out long-forgotten materials to move in rope and buoys.
“They were in rough shape,” harbour authority secretarytreasurer, Amy Butler, said in describing what the two buildings looked like prior to the project.
With a craft shop and the Harbourside Centre right on the wharf, having the storage buildings freshened up makes sense.
“It just makes the whole area look better,” she said.
The harbour authority covered the cost of materials, including the artwork, and labour costs were covered through Skills P.E.I. and the Employment Development Agency.
Besides providing the port’s fishermen with storage space for their gear, Butler said the 300-foot length of storage serves another practical purpose. It provides a wind and sand break for the boat pond.
The project runs until Oct. 27. Remaining components include building some flower boxes at the outer end of the storage sheds and a general cleanup of the area.
A repair and beautification project was carried out on the West Point Harbour’s storage sheds this fall.
Jody MacDonald, left, and project foreman Jason Greenan look on as Grant Buchanan confirms the sign on a storage shed door is level. The 30 storage sheds in two buildings on the West Point wharf were fixed up this year. All the sheds got new doors with hand-painted signs and new siding covered the buildings.