Cheticamp Marine Centre News
When Raymond Deveau announced his $5 million development plan for the Chéticamp Marine Centre and Marina two years ago, the local businessman imagined building the most accessible boat storage facility in the Maritimes.
Today, that vision is a few steps closer to reality due to the collaboration and expertise of local businesses and project leader Raymond Deveau. Known as just Ray in the community, Deveau has been overseeing preparations for the project, which began with upgrades to the piers in the area. Construction on a 50-acre boatyard is underway and demand for boat storage continues to rise.
“It’s a big — actually massive — project and it is all going extremely well so far,” said Deveau. “This is just our third winter and we have more than doubled our business from last year. We have a total of 22 boats set up in storage now. Just to compare, last year we only had 10.”
The project started in December 2013 when Deveau had watched his idea for the marine travel lift being installed on the docks of Chéticamp Harbour. Manufactured by Marine Travel Lift in Wisconsin, the lift is capable of hauling vessels up to 200-tonnes safely from the water for maintenance, repairs and/or storage. The Chéticamp Marine Centre’s travel lift can hoist boats up to 30 feet wide and the storage yard is currently the largest in Atlantic Canada for commercial and recreational vessels.
“I am creating an industry for this community and the travel lift was the just the first step of this process,” said Deveau. “Now everyone comes to Chéticamp to lift their boats out of the water for repairs and general maintenance. It makes sense, because this is the perfect location to house a boat for the winter. We are expanding a little bit every year as we see fit, but I am definitely hoping to house a couple hundred boats from all over the country when this project finally finishes up.”
A prime spot for boat lifting, Chéticamp is positioned at the southern end of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is ideal for commercial or leisure vessels. Hoping to originally capture boat traffic from Atlantic Canada and Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Deveau has received interest in his services from across the country and beyond.
Phase two of the Chéticamp Marine Centre and Marina plan is to build a fully operational marina that will serve as the hub for facility members and customers. Economic impacts of a marina of this size in a rural community that is as small and out-of-the-way as Chéticamp can be substantial, especially when the community’s livelihood is mainly oceans based.
Once vessels are lifted from the water, fisherman or yachtsmen have the option to work on their boats themselves or have them maintained and repaired by Chéticamp Boat Builders. The boat construction and service centre is already booked solid for the next two years thanks to the Chéticamp Marina and Deveau’s investment.
“I can hardly take on any more work through 2017,” said Bruno Gaudet, co-owner of Chéticamp Boat Builders. “It makes planning tough, but I am not complaining — being busy is good. We are seeing growth in our business. I have got about 22 guys working flat out now. My original crew before this expansion was half of that.”
The development of the marina will be convenient for local fishermen as well, because the waters around Chéticamp are some of the most lucrative crab-fishing sites in the world. On top of his ongoing plans to develop a marina, Deveau also owns a crab processing plant that in peak season employs around 175 people every year.
“Fishermen need a place to store and service their boats, so why not here in Chéticamp? The economic spinoff seen within the community due to this industry is huge.” Deveau says. “When fishing crews are in town, they are renting vehicles, staying in motels and eating in restaurants. It is great for the whole community.”
Area Coun. Alfred Poirier (Meat Cove-Pleasant Bay-Chéticamp) was quick to praise Deveau for everything he does to help his community continue to thrive.
“Raymond is an investor, and he is very attached to Chéticamp,” he said. “The marina, the fish plant, and his affordable housing project all create jobs and benefit the community as a whole. We need five, 10 or 15 investors like Raymond to really keep Chéticamp going.”
Expected to be complete in three years, the Chéticamp Marine Centre and Marina is a true asset to the community, providing meaningful employment for local individuals with a variety of backgrounds and skillsets. With continued support from the community, Deveau has hopes the marina could eventually accommodate as many as 500 boats.
Chéticamp, December 4, 2013
Cape Breton businessman and entrepreneur, Raymond Deveau, watched this morning as five huge tractor trailers from the United States pulled into Chéticamp with a massive boat lift in tow. The boat lift, capable of lifting 220 tons, was built at Marine Travel Lift in Wisconsin, USA. It is an essential element in the ongoing commercial boatyard being built by Deveau at Chéticamp. The first phase of the project has been to prepare the 65-acre boat storage landscape. Construction of the marine lift wharf out into the waters off Chéticamp continued through the summer and into fall 2013.
For media inquiries and interviews - call Raymond Deveau, Phone: 902-830-5000
Chéticamp, October, 2013
Cape Breton businessman, Raymond Deveau, recently announced the development of a five million dollar marine centre project at Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. The first phase of the project is to prepare a massive 65 acre boat storage and repair yard complete with two wharves and a 200 ton marine travel lift. The second phase envisions a marina for pleasure craft.
"Fishermen, fishing companies, yacht clubs and individuals will have a professionally run boat yard at the southern end of the Gulf of St. Lawrence where they can have their boats lifted safely out of the water for the winter," states Deveau. "And the year after that, in phase two, we will have a world-class marina for local and visiting pleasure craft."
When fully operational in summer 2014, the wharves and boat lift will be available for use by commercial fishing boats as well as yachts, sailboat and other pleasure craft. Vessels up to 200 tons will be lifted from the water by a state-of-the-art marine travel lift and placed on cradles for winter storage and/or repairs.
"The cornerstone of the project is the huge marine travel lift and two wharves," says Deveau. "You can imagine the investment involved. The travel lift alone is close to a million dollars. But because of the investment in land and equipment, large vessels from around the world will sail into Chéticamp, be safely lifted out of the water, and repaired or stored for an indefinite period of time."
Raymond Deveau's continuing involvement in the fishing industry has made him a creator of jobs for those calling Cape Breton home. Pêcheries Chéticamp (Chéticamp Fisheries), which processes and exports snow crab around the world, is just one of a growing number of Atlantic Canada business enterprises headed up by this respected Acadian entrepreneur. Deveau also owns Dynasty Development Group which builds quality homes across Nova Scotia.