Raven Marine began more than 20 years ago as a yacht management company, overseeing pleasure craft in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area. Today, the full-service facility handles yacht maintenance and repair, as well as taking on major projects.
“Very extensive refits … that’s what we do,” says John Nassichuk, 62, the yard’s general manager. Areas of expertise include mechanical and electrical systems, diesel and gas engine installation and maintenance, plumbing and sanitation, and ancillary items, from watermakers to outboard engines to dinghy booms.
Refits are popular these days, Nassichuk says. “We see people from their 40s on up, people who have a real heart for a particular kind of vessel and want to outfit it as their own.”
Price is one reason. “A person can buy a good used boat and bring it up to the standards they want, a boat that’s close to new for a fraction of the money they’d pay for a new one,” Nassichuk says. “Some want to enjoy the years as they approach retirement. By the time they do retire, they will have the boat they want.”
Major projects are not always easy. The Nordhavn 43 refit, which took eight months, was “intense, detailed,” he says. But the relationship between the owners, Don and Jill Bernard, and the Raven Marine staff saw the concept through to completion.
“It became very close; you could see it develop,” Nassichuk says. “The staff shared the Bernards’ vision. The attention and care when the staff is connected to the owners goes far beyond that where it’s just another job. And the Bernards were wonderful people who respected the energy we put into the project.” He adds, “I am thrilled with the result.” Raven Marine, North Saanich, British Columbia, (250) 655-3934.