In 2018, HMCS SACKVILLE entered the submarine maintenance shed at Fleet Maintenance Facility, CAPE SCOTT at HMC Dockyard in Halifax for badly needed repairs to her hull.
This might not seem to be exciting on the surface, but when you realize SACKVILLE is a Second World War veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic and the last surviving corvette, her refit is historic. The corvettes were designed and built for war use and never intended to serve beyond the war, most of the 269 corvettes built ended their days in the breakers yard, sunk as break walls, while a few were sold into merchant service.
SACKVILLE is the last of her kind and at 77 years old in bad need of repair. The Canadian government stepped up and provided 3.5 million dollars for the work to her hull. A substantial amount considering her original cost to build was just under $700,000 in 1940. The Royal Canadian Navy provided the East Coast, Fleet Maintenance Facility, CAPE SCOTT in HMC Dockyard, Halifax to perform the work at the submarine maintenance shed.
I was fortunate to tour the facility on 30 August 2018 with SACKVILLE’s Commanding Officer Jim Reddy. Below is a series of photos I took during this remarkable tour.
To preserve SACKVILLE’s hull, after patching the existing hull, new steel will be installed over the entire hull below the waterline. The above water section of the hull will remain the same, complete with rivets. This added steel below water will ensure the integrity of the corvettes hull for many decades.
SACKVILLE will be coming out of the shed in the next few weeks, but the work will not yet be finished. She will return to the syncro lift and be lifted out of the water later to effect repairs to her keel. The intent is for SACKVILLE to return to the Halifax waterfront and resume her duties as a memorial and museum ship during the summer of 2019.
The team at CAPE SCOTT is highly skilled and dedicated in the work they perform, maintaining Canada’s East Coast Fleet. The work they are doing in SACKVILLE is of the highest quality and professionalism.
BRAVO ZULU to the many women and men ensuring SACKVILLE’s preservation!
As you can see the work being performed on SACKVILLE is extensive, the money provided by the Canadian government for her preservation will be quickly used up. The Canadian Naval Memorial Trust (CNMT) that operates SACKVILLE will have to add to the expenses, estimated to be over 4 million dollars when finished.
I STRONGLY encourage that everyone becomes a member of the CNMT. No matter where in Canada, or the world for that matter, you can help ensure this truly historic treasure continues to serve many generations to come.
SACKVILLE is an incredible memorial to an entire generation of Canadian sailors!