Tough Vessels for Demanding Uses

Dixon's Marine Group
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Known worldwide for its spectacular scenery, nature trails, friendly faces and warm hospitality, historic Nova Scotia is, and always will be, connected to the sea…
Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean and abundant with a rich range of fish and shellfish like haddock, herring, lobsters, crabs, and scallops, the province is heavily dependent on boating; boating is as vital to the local economy as oxygen is to life. And few companies realize the importance of boating to Nova Scotians as much as Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 Inc.

Located on the striking south shore of the eastern province, Dixon’s Marine Group has remained a proud family owned and operated business for over three decades. Rooted in tradition and founded on experience, Dixon’s Marine crafts a range of high-quality, dependable vessels to meet the needs of commercial customers and pleasure boaters alike.

Built to withstand the Atlantic’s tough weather conditions, the company’s products range from hulls all the way to complete custom-made turnkey vessels, all made to exacting sizes, including different widths, and lengths from 36 feet all the way to 65 feet.

Built by experience
In business since 1981, Dixon’s Marine Group makes vessels ‘Built tough like the fishermen that use them.’ Some products, like the Dixon 45-foot by 16-feet eight inches, weigh under 15 tonnes (Under CSI), and can be manufactured to complete customer specifications. Able to be constructed with a five-foot aluminum extension or a full 50 feet on the water, the vessel can be made up to 20 feet in width.

Made using all-core construction and all-moulded components with a wheelhouse design, the vessel boasts a fish hole height of 36 inches, moulded top and handrails. Able to handle an engine up to 1,000 HP, the boat, equipped with a 360 HP engine, is – even when fully-loaded with gear and 375 traps – able to reach speeds of 8.5 knots.

At Dixon’s Marine Group, customers can choose from fibreglass boats designed for specific purposes, for lobster, crab, tuna, shellfish, and yacht/sportfishing. All require specific designs and the highest quality possible to perform well, often under very demanding conditions. Lobster fishing, for example, takes place the world over, from Australia to the Atlantic, where many lobsters are caught by trawling. No matter which method is used, lobster fishing requires not only considerable training, but highly functional and well-designed lobster boats able to function without fail. With over four decades of fishing industry experience, the team at Dixon’s Marine Group know what is involved in crafting lobster boats which seamlessly blend quality, traditional craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technological innovations.

Other types of fishing vessels – such as those for catching crab – must meet specific needs, such as being able to withstand treacherous waters. Since these crews are out on the water for weeks and even months at a time, boats must be able to handle these long durations. Canada remains the world’s largest producer of Snow Crab, a highly prized commodity and the second-most valuable Canadian fishery export product after lobster. “The goal of crab fishing is to make it back to land safe within a reasonable amount of time with as much crab as possible,” explains the company’s website. “In order to do that, crab fishermen need to be sure they have a tough, high quality crab boat on their side. At Dixon’s Marine, we have knowledge of and experience with crab fishing, and we have used these to create our superior crab fishing boats.”

Along with creating quality fibreglass boats for lobster, crab, shellfish and scallop fishing, Dixon’s Marine Group is active in building boats for the tuna market. With demand for tuna remaining high, the company is proud to manufacture boats which allow crews to not only operate effectively, but safely, and which meet all current regulations.

Range of services
In addition to top-quality manufacturing, Dixon’s Marine Group provides a number of related services for its clients, including repair and refit, haul out service, welding, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, and a marine hardware store. Additionally, a separate branch of the business – Dixon’s Moulding Enterprise – provides models offered as kit packages, which are equipped to handle all moulded components. With hull sizes ranging from 38 feet to 60 feet in semi-planning designs, hulls are hand-laid with no core, with some models available in a straight sheer or cape island style. The company’s latest design, The Offshore 50′, is designed to be efficient for fishermen, and comes in widths from 20 feet up to 28 feet.

For moving and storage, a haul-up system enables Dixon’s Marine Group to relocate boats any time of the year, while a large storage yard equipped to handle both commercial and pleasure craft vessels is available for a reasonable price. The company recently purchased a new, 100 ton hydraulic lift trailer to handle a range of boat sizes and weights, making operations even more streamlined and efficient. And for boats requiring repair or refit, the company offers one-stop services at its recently-expanded facilities. If the problem is urgent, Dixon’s Marine has trained personnel on-hand to take care of emergencies, 24 hours a day.

Familiar with a range of metals, the company’s experienced marine welders are able to manufacture booms, spars, A-frames, and other superstructures from stainless steel, aluminum, steel and other metals, with available 24 hour service.

At the company’s information-packed website, customers are able to view boat drawings, and even request a quote detailing areas such as hull colour, PVC or aluminum on handrails, propulsion, insulation, livewell tanks, exhaust options, construction interior finishes, and much more.

With such a breadth of available products and services, coupled with a top-notch attention to personalized service, it is no wonder that Dixon’s Marine Group continues to be Nova Scotia’s top choice for quality fibreglass boats, for all customers from professional fishermen to yacht/sportfishing enthusiasts.



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