I was browsing to price out some used skiffs, and look what I found – a custom built archaeological research vessel — only $99,000. (I wonder what she cost to build?) The listing is here, with a PDF backup for posterity here.
I don’t have any memories of the Sisiutl — never stepped on board — but I know she is close to the hearts of many SFU faculty and former students.
The picture above is from the journal American Antiquity, which had a short piece on the Sisiutl back in 1973, which includes the following (vol 48(3) p. 495):
BRITISH COLUMBIA. March of 1972 saw the launching of Simon Fraser University’s 40 ft archae- ological research vessel, the Sisiutl (Fig. 1). The diesel-powered boat is of welded aluminum construction. The vessel’s plan includes berths for 12, galley, and shower as well as areas for specimen processing and storage. There is full electronic navigational safety equipment including depth sounder, radio, and radar. The boat can serve as a floating field camp and laboratory for a small excavation or for a survey. In addition, it can transport larger crews or some 4 tons of equipment and supplies to tent camp projects in remote locations. Apparently the Sisiutl is the first boat of its size in North America to be designed and built exclusively for archaeological research.
The boat came up once before on this blog, when I found some early (acerbic) 1970s commentary on coastal archaeology from a First Nations perspective, including this jab at the Sisiutl:
There is money to fund a boat to take archaeology students up and down our coastline to dig up the bones of our grandfathers and sift, sort, and label sacred objects from our burial grounds, but no money for us to treat our heritage with the dignity it. deserves?
The university divested itself of this boat sometime about, I suppose 7 or 8 years ago. It appears to be listed for sale from somewhere on central Vancouver Island. I made an image of all the pictures from the listing, showing the interior and exterior of the craft — you can view that here, with some selections below.
As I said, I don’t have any memories of this boat myself, but she served SFU well for decades of estimable central coast research, and it’s sad to think of her being put to any other use. I thought it would be nice that, if you do have recollections of your time aboard, fond or otherwise, to leave them in the comments section below, and we can make a little informal online book of memories for the Sisiutl. Needless to say, if you have any amusing pics you’d like to share, send them (or a link) along and I can post them too.