Remembering Barrie Farrell
Ian Mackay, PHLHS President, Fisherman
September 7, 2022
With the death this week of Barrie Farrell, we on the coast have lost one of our greatest boat designers and builders.
Barrie is responsible for the drawing up and building of hundreds of his classic design, the Farrell hull.
You would be hard pressed to go to any of our many coastal ports from Sooke to Prince Rupert without finding one or several fish boats or yachts that Barrie has put his thumb print on.
In 1977, I had left my boat the Lily M in Port Hardy and had come home for a few days. Bud Kammerle offered to give me a ride back (for the next salmon opening) on the Devil Woman, one of Barrie Farrell’s first 34-foot gillnet hulls.
What a thrill!!
Once we cleared the harbour, Bud put the throttle down on the 671 Detroit diesel and we were doing a smooth 16 knots heading to the west. The speed and efficiency of these light, strong craft changed the way fisherman went about their business. There was now comfort, speed and a bit of elegance in these fish boats.
Barrie had slowed down in his last years but was always eager to offer some good advice and tell a good few stories of the life of a boat builder.
We will miss his quiet presence but I will be reminded of him by the many Farrell gillnetters that always effortlessly pass by on my travels up and down the coast.
More about Barrie Farrell
The Farrell Family
Photos of Barrie Farrell boats in our digital collection