127-year-old Victoria yacht wins a ‘Classic Boat 2024 Award’

127-year-old Victoria yacht wins a ‘Classic Boat 2024 Award’
Maritime Museum of BC
The SV Dorothy is shown.

A century-old yacht built on Vancouver Island is among the winners of this year’s Classic Boat Awards, which were unveiled by U.K. magazine “Classic Boat” on Wednesday.

The 127-year-old SV Dorothy has made local headlines before, after the nine-metre (30 foot) wooden yacht took to the waters for the first time in 20 years in 2022.

Now, two years later, Dorothy has taken home the award for best “restored sailing vessel under 40 feet” (12.2 metres) from the Classic Boat Awards.

Dorothy was the oldest vessel in the category, being built in 1897 in Victoria.

The Maritime Museum of BC, which now owns the boat, says it’s the oldest Canadian-built sailboat in the country that still sails.

The second oldest vessel in the category was the SV Clan Gordon, a restored Scottish sailboat built in 1911.

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The SV Dorothy is pictured in 2023. (Janelle Huopalainen)

“The Dorothy story is truly remarkable. A very large percentage of the vessel is original,” said Maritime Museum of BC collections and exhibits manager Heather Feeney in a release Wednesday.

“The Maritime Museum of BC collection includes extensive documentation, photos and objects from her past including the original invoice from J.J. Robinson, photos from the turn of the century (not the last century…the previous century) and trophies she won in regattas at Cowichan Bay and Victoria,” she said.

Moving forward, the museum plans to have Dorothy sailing between festivals this summer, and being showcased in youth sailing programs.

The 127-year-old yacht will also be in Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Labour Day weekend, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, for this year’s Classic Boat Festival.


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