Digital Archives Initiative

Otto Kelland Boat Models



Otto Kelland, best known in Newfoundland for his lovely ballad "Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary's," was a multi-talented individual. Throughout his long life, he had several careers from being the superintendant of Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, Newfoundland to being a Boat Model Designer at Marine Institute. In addition to this he also was a skilled craftsman. At Marine Institute there are dozens of model boats handcrafted by Otto Kelland. These range from a collection of dories to scale models of vessels which sailed the coasts of Newfoundland.

These models represent the various types of row dories which were used by the fishermen of Newfoundland before the advent of the marine motor which was introduced around 1915. After that time the much larger motor dory was used. Banks fishermen however, continued to use the row dory until 1953, after which time Salt Banking ceased to exist.

The reliable row dory is still being used today by some longliners and draggers where they serve in the capacity of lifeboats. They are also used as secondary boats by many codtrap fishermen in the 1950's.

These models were built, painted and equipped and were presented to The College of Fisheries by Otto P. Kelland, St. John's.

Scale used 1 5/8" to 1'. All are painted in traditional colours.

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Marine Institute - Memorial University of Newfoundland