Ship ashore: Camping in a fishing boat

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A fishing boat out of the water.

That’s the draw for Jacob Boy, a lobster boat buried to its waterline in the woods of southeastern New Brunswick, just outside Alma.

“We were looking for something unique,” ​​said Melissa McMillan, co-owner and operator of West River Campground.

After considering parking a transport truck and converting it into accommodation, Melissa and her husband Scott decided that an old fishing boat would be more appropriate.

“I said to Scott, I said, ‘We need a fishing boat. You know, we’re in Alma, it’s a fishing village, we need a fishing boat’ “said Melissa McMillan. “So, of course, we laughed about it. And he left.

WATCH | Discover the lobster boat transformed into rustic accommodation

Jacob Boy lobster boat converted into a cabin for camping

After more than 30 years of lobster fishing, the vessel Jacob Boy was brought ashore and converted into a cabin for rent for families.

For approximately 32 years, Jacob Boy sailed the waters of the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy to fish for lobster. The logbook for the boat, still displayed in its cabin, shows that it was built in 1988 and was first fished in Yarmouth. It was then sold to fishermen from Alma.

“It changed hands here probably three times before it retired and then we bought it from a gentleman down the road,” Scott said.

The McMillans bought Jacob Boy and moved the boat from the ocean to their campsite last fall.

Jacob Boy was a fishing boat in operation for over 30 years. (Submitted by Melissa McMillan)

From then until June, they worked to restore and renovate, transforming the working fishing boat into a kind of “cabin”, suitable to accommodate a family.

“There’s been a lot of cleaning,” Melissa said. “They had to get down into the bowels of it. And then the building started. Of course, with building, nothing is straight on a boat. bring together.”

The end result is a fishing boat that no longer smells like a fishing boat. It sports a full bathroom, bedroom and kitchenette.

On the main deck, where lobster was once transported, there is now a hot tub where guests can simmer.

Melissa McMillan, co-owner of West River Campground outside Alma, came up with the idea of ​​turning an old fishing boat into accommodations last year. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

The bow, which sported four berths for anglers, still has four berths but, Melissa said, the sleeping area is now for children. Adults can still sleep there if they’re ok with the cramped quarters that fishermen were used to.

“It still has the stock tiller and shifter so kids can pretend to bring the boat back to shore,” Melissa said.

Jacob Boy was holed up to his waterline last fall. (Submitted by Melissa McMillan)

Although she initially targeted families with up to four children, as well as pets, Melissa said Jacob Boy is proving popular with Instagram geeks.

“We thought it would be a kid-friendly attraction, but there are a lot of adults,” said Melissa McMillan. “Which is great.”

What the customer pays depends on demand, but a night at the Jacob Boy currently costs $248.

Scott said relocating and restoring the Jacob Boy was a colossal undertaking and that although his wife had been asking for another, he had reservations.

“Would I make another boat? As of today, absolutely not,” he laughs.
Scott McMillan says the amount of work to move and restore Jacob Boy was immense. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

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