Historic boat gets new life

Chelsea Powrie

There will soon be a new historical attraction for the public to explore in the area of the S.S. Sicamous in Penticton. 

A tugboat that was first launched in 1948 on Okanagan Lake has been moved to a new spot on the lakeshore, where boardwalk access will be constructed to allow visitors to experience the piece of history. 

It's called Canadian National Tug No. 6, and it has been moored in Penticton waters ever since being transported from Kelowna into the care of the S.S. Sicamous Marine Heritage Society in 2007.

On June 5, the tug was rotated and moved to its new home closer to the S.S. Sicamous with its bow facing forward.

"It doesn't look like it's just landed, it's ready to go and work again, but unfortunately it won't happen," said Matt Verboeket, director of the S.S. Sicamous society.

The society wants the public to be able to access this piece of history. 

"To let people see how hard people worked in those days to keep things going," Verboeket explained.

The boat was a key part of connecting the South Okanagan to northern ports and railways.

"It ran on the lake for a number, quite a few number of years, it used to move barges with fruit and any other products that needed to go up to Okanagan Landing that needed to be distributed the rest of the country, basically," Verboeket said.

A sturdy pier and boardwalk will soon be built to connect visitors to the boat's new moorage. The society hopes it will help enrich the community's understanding of local history.

"And for the younger people to learn something other than electronics," Verboeket said with a chuckle.

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