Digby’s new Scallop Days float should be ready for July 1 in Weymouth

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on June 26, 2014

Digby has a new Scallop Days float.

Lindsay Bagwell of Carleton Street has taken the steel trailer from the old wooden float and built a new 1930s/ 1940s style scallop dragger on top.

“This is something I could do to help the town and the festival,” said Bagwell. “I had the skills and ability. A lot of times people think someone else is taking care of something, well this time I stepped up. I’m happy to do it.”

Originally Scallop Days hired Bagwell to renovate the old wooden float, dating back to the 1990s, which also looked like a scallop dragger.

But after a quick inspection, Bagwell knew the wooden structure was too rotten to save.

Dallas and Stephanie Kenley found a fiberglass hull and Rock Solid Composites donated it – the hull was actually a reverse mold but served Bagwell’s purposes perfectly.

He removed the old ‘boat’ from the trailer frame and attached the new hull, sanded and painted that, added a washboard, built a deck inside, a wheelhouse towards the stern and has even assembled a convincing winch, mast and rigging.

“Digby was always known for scallops,” says Bagwell. “I have a picture of a boat from the 30s or 40s and I modeled it off of that.”

Bagwell liked the challenge the project offered him.

He has a lifetime of experience building or repairing boats. He’s worked at various boat shops in and around Digby and had his own welding shop.

He remembers fitting out old-fashioned scallop draggers similar to the Royal Fundy, which still fishes out of Digby.

Originally Scallop Days was going to pay Bagwell $1,000 for his work but he has since told them he doesn’t want the money.

“People talk a lot about helping the town, and how great the town is, well, I think this shows how I feel,” he said, standing on the deck of the new float. “I support all the festivals, if they bring people and money into the town, great, but Scallop Days is our oldest festival and it’s a family festival, so I have to stand behind them.”

Bagwell was just finishing some minor pieces before delivering the float to Scallop Days president Dale Kearney.

Kevin LeBlanc donated rope and spliced it for the rigging, and Krista Hayes, a local photographer and window painter, plans to paint lettering on the boat over the weekend to have the float ready for the July 1 parade in Weymouth.

On the stern she is going to write a dedication to the staff of Digby’s Public Works department past and present.

“They do a lot around here,” said Bagwell. “It was the Public Works crew that built this trailer and the original float. This is a nice way to recognize their work.”