Cape Race was built in 1963 under a British flag as the first all steel trawler constructed in Canada by shipyard of George T. Davie & Sons, Quebec. She was built at the height of the shipbuilding era still anchored in meticulous tradition and at the rise of fisheries industry. Most of her parts, plates, manifolds, even chairs have no less than 3 Lloyd’s inspection certificates. Her construction costs where helped in part by government subsidies of 5,000,000 CD$, quite a sum in 1963.
All designs and subsequent alterations on the vessel where done by John W. Gilbert Associates, renowned naval architects from Boston Mass. Cape Race was built to the strictest North Atlantic standards and was subject to tough bi-annual certificate inspections by Canadian Coast Guard.
She fished the banks of Northern Atlantic from Newfoundland - South as a side dragger from her homeport of Louisburg, than Lunenburg, N.S. until she was converted to a scallop dragger in mid1980’s. In 1996 she was rebuilt with over $1,000,000 CD$ invested, and re-powered with a new 3512 Caterpillar engine.
She has worked in the roughest waters in the world, 12 month a year continuously, until she was purchased in the end of 2005/6. She is featured in 1990's PBS documentary "Savage Seas", a stunning document showing some extreme conditions that these boats and the man who sailed them where subjected to.
Cape Race’s first skipper was a Newfoundlander Orlando Vallis, who brought his young bride on a maiden voyage trough fog from Quebec. Many of the skippers well known to North Atlantic fishing communities rotated at her helm since. As Captain Vallis’s son writes: “These boats were all worked hard, typical for dad, they fished year round, two weeks +/- at sea for two days home, with only a week or so off at Christmas and a few weeks off in the summer for a refit. Growing up in a town like Louisburg, the fish plant and the boats figured large in our lives and fired the imagination of young boys like me. In many ways, the skippers of the trawlers were like celebrities to us, and we followed the news of their success and failures like some kids follow baseball and the like…”
Cape Race lines evolved from the elegant forms of sailing dory fishing schooners of North East. Her interior combines the 21st-century's highest safety standards with the authenticity of the classic 19th-century North Sea fishing vessel. Remains of workboat atmosphere have the warmth and character, generated from her impressive past life.