In a notable recognition of maritime history, Dorothy, a 127-year-old sailing boat from Vancouver Island, has been nominated for an award by the UK-based Classic Boat Magazine. As the oldest functional sailing boat in Canada, Dorothy holds a special place in the country’s maritime heritage, according to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.


Measuring 30 feet (nine meters), this sailing yacht has been nominated in the “Restored Sailing Vessel under 40ft” category by Classic Boat Magazine. Anya Zanko, the events and development manager for the Maritime Museum of BC, expressed pride in Dorothy’s nomination, emphasizing the passionate support she has garnered on the coast.


Dorothy, originally built in 1897 at the James Bay boatyard (now Laurel Point Inn in Victoria), achieved recognition by winning Queen Victoria’s birthday regatta in 1900. Acquired by the museum in 1995, the sailing boat underwent extensive restoration on Gabriola Island starting in 2012, led by Tony Grove.


After changing hands a few times, Dorothy found her current home in Ladysmith. On May 27, 2023, she was relaunched into Vancouver Island waters for the first time in two decades. The nomination for this prestigious award in the UK adds an international accolade to Dorothy’s rich history.


As the only Canadian vessel in her category, Dorothy represents a piece of maritime history that continues to capture the hearts of enthusiasts. The anticipation of her potential win in the award category has only heightened the pride felt by her supporters and the Maritime Museum of BC.