Lost Boats #1 – Thomas Crosby V

Lost Boats #1 – Thomas Crosby V

One of the interesting things about writing articles about lighthouses, is that one gets to do a lot of research on maritime matters such as boats, shipping, photography.

TCV underway

My last article on the Thomas Crosby V (TCV) left me with the question, what happened to the ship itself? According to all the reports she was sold to Kennford Limited, a cruise operator in the Cayman Islands. The only listing I can find in the Cayman Islands is Kennford Hotels, and then it is a dead end.


Launching of TCV

I do know the TCV was “built by the church at the Star Shipyards1 in 1967 after designs by G. Talbot”2. It was launched July 22, 1967, and “put into service in 1967 out of Prince Rupert”3 where it operated until it was sold in 1990, as mentioned above. 

 Hull #  O.N.  Original Name  Original owner  Vessel Type  GT  Built  Disposition  4
 379  328908  Thomas Crosby V    Passenger  129  1967  Active
Thomas Crosby V?

While making a Google image search I found a very small unrecognizable photo of the TCV. Following the link to the website, I was surprised to see that she was for sale! But was this the Thomas Crosby V? She looked different! She was different! Take a look at the clipping below taken from Sacs Marine. She was rebuilt!

Nice boat for $1,200,000 US.

 This clipping was not dated, and I have no idea if the boat is for sale now, was sold, or? I have written and asked, and will update if I hear anything. Also, the sale website may disappear too if the boat is sold, so let me know, as I have made a screenshot to post instead.


Thomas Crosby V?

Now that was not the most amazing find! In the same Google “image search” was another strange shot of the Thomas Crosby V. This led to a website called Boater’s Resources. Again no date, but they are asking $2, 225,000 and said that the boat had been rebuilt – I am assuming again! But the street address is the same as the previous page.

  Delta Charters and Yacht Sales
3500 Cessna Drive Richmond, BC V7B 1C7

I have no idea what is going on, but this is what they say about the conversion:

Second refit or?

There are a lot more photos of the conversion on the Boater’s Resources website. Take a look! Wouldn’t Rev. Oliver Howard have loved this boat!

According to the Vessel Registration Database in Canada:

THOMAS CROSBY V. (O.N. 328908)

This vessel is no longer registered in Canada. For further information contact the nearest vessel registry office.

Date of closing: May 12, 2010.

September 13, 2011 – My daughter informed me that she thinks she saw the ship plying the waters between Victoria and Vancouver. She was on the BC Ferry and said she definitely recognized the shape of the boat, although it had changed quite a bit.

If anyone spots it, please let me know – a photo would be really appreciated. – JAC

There have been sightings – see the Comments page.

TCV – photo M. Kopcho

Today, August 07, 2011, the photos below were taken at the Cameron Island dock in Nanaimo, BC, Canada – thanks Norah (see article comments)

[nggallery id=53]


Today, February 11, 2012, finally a photo and a location of the Thomas Crosby V, still under the same name. With many thanks to reader M. Kopcho, who located her berthed in the Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, California.


September 16, 2013 – I received an email from a Mr. David Gurney. He said: 

I own the Lifeboat from the Thomas Crosby V   Built in Vancouver BC by the Davidson Co.  I brought it in 1998. I am of course trying to find out where the Thomas Crosby V is today. I will send you a picture in a few days. It is now painted white but I can see it was painted yellow before. I could see the lifeboat on the movie about the Thomas Crosby V . The lifeboat is a thirteen (13) foot (4 meter) fiberglass hull made by Davidson Mfg5. (now out of business).



1 Star Shipyards (Mercer’s) New Westminster, B.C. was started in 1908 by Edward Mercer, a Newfoundlander, and his wife, who cleared the lot at 61 Duncan Avenue in Queensborough, a part of New Westminster that extends onto Lulu Island.  The yard was taken over by their sons, Arthur and Gordon Mercer, in the early 1930s.  The yard was sold in 1971 but closed again in 1973.  It was then acquired by Benson Bros., whose shipyard in Coal Harbour was to be acquired for the redevelopment of that neighbourhood, and continued as Benson Star Shipyard until closing again in 1984.  The site at the eastern tip of Lulu Island is still a shipyard, now called Fraser Shipyard & Industrial Centre: see it from the air on Google here. – from the Ship Building History website.  

2 “Godships”, Oliver Howard, 1984 ISBN 0-919920-07-1, p.235  

3 “Godships”, Oliver Howard, 1984 ISBN 0-919920-07-1, p.235  

4 Ship Building History website

5 Davidson Manufacturing Co., Ltd. W. Georgia Street. Vancouver, B.C.. Hamish Davidson was an early pioneer in fiberglass boats from November 22, 1972 – December 01, 2001.

[private] Information sent to me by “Matt” in “Comments” says the owner is:

“Budnik  720 810 9279”

720 is Aurora, CO, USA and the phone is a cellular listed to:

Thomas Michael Budnik (married to Debra L. Budnik)
13636 E 14th Ave #114
Aurora, Co, USA 80011
Home tel: (720) 859-3265 [/private]

[private] Email from Michael Kopcho attached next to photo[/private]

Some very nice videos show the Thomas Crosby V in her working days:

In 1985 Tony Wade directed a documentary on the United Church mission ship travelling the west coast of Canada to Alaska and back – The Voyage of the Thomas Crosby V. 1985
This two week journey included spectacular scenery viewed by very few people and is available for viewing on Youtube.

This two week journey included spectacular scenery viewed by very few people and is available for viewing on Youtube. 

This film is followed by three more segments from the United Church of Canada: 

The Voyage of Thomas Crosby V (part 1) 

The Voyage of Thomas Crosby V (part 2) 

The Voyage of Thomas Crosby V (part 3)


Published by

Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.


  1. after hearing about the rich history behind this vessel, i learned that there was a website out there looking for information on the whereabouts of the TCV (Thomas Crosby V).

    The vessel has been in the possession of one of my close family members for the last few years, after he purchased it in Canada. For now, the boat is being kept near Oxnard, CA.

    It has not yet been decided what the final fate of the boat will be, although myself and other close family members of mine have been working to restore the vessel, which came into my family member’s possesion in very rough shape, hoping to enjoy the beautiful vessel for personnal use.

    The Thomas Crosby V is for sale, although we have not been actively trying to sell it. Anyone who would like more information may get in direct contact with me via email. I will post some pictures shortly.

  2. I saw the boat at the Cameron Island dock Nanaimo August 7 2011.
    I contacted a friend of mine whose father a united church minister had ridden on it frequently when he ministered up the coast.
    I asked the gentleman on the boat if it would be open for commercial use i.e. short cruises but he said he did not know what use it would used.
    I took several pictures of it and sent them to my friend.
    ref: Thomas Crosby V

        1. Thanks Ryan – nice to know a little more history of the boat and where it is located. The boat and it’s travels in B.C. are crowded with stories and memories. Too bad someone wouldn’t write them. There is the book “Godships” by Oliver Howard, but that is more about the ministry.

        2. Retlkpr-Yes, we were fortunate enough to make friends with some folks who are more aware of the boat’s history than our family was. We quickly took some time to learn a fair amount about the vessel and are amazed at the legacy of the Thomas Crosby V. I’ve seen a few videos on Youtube that actually were filmed on the vessel, when there was a crew who did missionary work in B.C. off of the vessel. I won’t post the link on this page, although, the videos can relatively easily be found by searching for them on Youtube. I must say that the TCV does look quite a bit different these days, as a number of changes to the boat have been made over the many years since it first was seaworthy.

        3. Thanks Ryan – I have seen a couple of those videos taken while it was still a mission boat. I still remember her as a mission boat!

  3. I spotted this ship in Channel Islands harbor, Oxnard, California for perhaps September to early November 2011.
    It is now gone.

      1. Sir,
        re; mv Thomas Crosby V,
        As of Tue. Nov. 8, 2011, this vessel is docked in Ventura Harbor, Ventura, Ca. USA, in the water , at “Ventura Harbor BoatYard” dock. The vessel has a “U.S. Marshalls’ Office” do not enter sticker on the stb. side maindeck entry door, along with the title page of some type of Court Document/Court Order…(cant get close enough to read)..do not know when vessel made port. ps..barber chair is in main cabin now not pilot house…cool chair.

      2. sorry, forgot to state that on Wed, Nov. 9, 201, I will again visit “Ventura Harbor BoatYard” and snap some pics of the vessel. Send an email address I can send them to. RGT

  4. Did you receive my post from today? It does not show here presently. Are you agreeable with what I asked?

    1. Thanks Matt. I received this reply from Shelter Island Marina so your eyes were not deceiving you.

      Thank you for your enquiry through out website.
      Unfortunately, we are unable to give any information regarding our customers to you…but I can confirm that a vessel named Thomas Crosby was recently in our boat yard.

      Wendy Bunnett, Office Manager, Shelter Island Marina Inc., phone: 604-270-6272, fax: 604-273-6282

        1. Hi Matt, not a word on her since the reply from Shelter Island Marina below. I did leave a message with the Marina that i wanted to talk to the owner, but have no idea what will become of that.

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