He built his first boat, a 7 ft. pram dinghy at Sea Scouts in his home town of Regina, Saskatchewan , Canada when he was 12 years old. He has been crazy about boats ever since. His Grandfather, Henry William Niccolls ran away to sea from Salford, England as a boy and sailed the seven seas in Clipper ships. Among them was the famous tea and wool Clipper, “ Cutty Sark” which William Niccolls picked up in Sydney Harbour, Australia, Christmas Day 1894. So , we would assume that his Grandson, Barry got his love for the sea honestly. Barry has sailed and dived since 1970 and owned and operated three sailing yachts capable of offshore voyaging. The first, a 47 ft. Cutter rig, followed years later by a self designed custom “cold molded“ sloop that he built for his Son, Rob and then later owned and sailed in the Pacific Northwest.
His last boat was a 27 foot Coronado. Barry raised three sons in the ways of the sea. They were pirates, exploring the Canadian Gulf Islands and the American San Juan’s….. never to be forgotten experiences. As a designer/ inventor of things nautical, Barry invented and manufactured 1) The Marine Portable Fireplace for the salons of big and small yachts. 2) The Beach / Dock Dolly, a multiple purpose, soft wheel small boat dolly which doubled as a supply carrier and boat boarding steps for dockside use. 3) A significant achievement was the design and construction of a 33 foot cold molded sloop with fully lifting daggerboard and rudder allowing the boat to be beached and floated off on the high tide. It was hand laid up in the back yard garden from the finest edge grain cedar to be found in British Columbia, fitted out and finished by son, Rob to became one of the most beautiful cruising boats in the Vancouver, B.C. area.It all started in the garden. Buildings don't build boats... people do.Launch day. After all the work was done.