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It’s ‘bon voyage’ for Persephone

Beachcombers boat moves into storage as it awaits restoration

After 14 years in the heart of Gibsons Landing, the Persephone is on the move once again as she goes into storage to await restoration.

On Oct. 20, a crane lifted the eight-tonne vessel onto the back of a waiting truck, after threading it successfully between the railing and a light post. 

“It was impressive,” Gibsons Coun. David Croal, who worked on The Beachcombers TV series, said of the coordinated effort to move the boat.

The two companies that originally placed the Persephone at Five Corners, Lon’s Crane Service and Green’s Mobile Marine, teamed up once again to take her away.

The vessel first made its name on the long-running CBC series and has since become a tourist attraction at the Five Corners intersection in Gibsons Landing.

The ultimate idea is to reunite the show’s jet boat and the Persephone inside the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives, with a display about The Beachcombers and its impact, Croal said.

But the boat has been sitting in the weather and is in “very rough shape.”

“Once we have a determination of where it’s going to end up, it will somewhat determine the level of the restoration,” Croal said.

The elements have done quite a bit of damage over the years to the boat’s wooden superstructure. Once the wood rotted, water leaked inside and rusted the metal interior. When the boat was first lifted on Oct. 20, water streamed out.

Last year, the Persephone was scanned inside and out using laser imaging, which gave the Town of Gibsons a set of plans to work with. Croal said 3D models of the vessel may be made available to raise funds for the restoration project, and the town hopes to reprint copies of The Beachcombers photo book as well.