Small Business Week 2020: Rosborough Boats

Rosborough Boats, a local business in Beechville, Nova Scotia provides the Rough Water 8.5 meter Multi-Role Rescue Boats for the Harry DeWolf Class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPS). The company has worked closely with Irving Shipbuilding and the Royal Canadian Navy to tailor watercraft to meet the demanding current and future operational needs of Canada's future fleet.

In 1955, Rosborough Boats opened by refitting wooden fishing and sailing schooners into yachts. By the late 1970s, the business had begun designing and building its own sailing vessels, constructed at facilities across Nova Scotia. This second generation of owners turned to servicing the commercial fishing and pleasure vessel industry.

Now in its third generation of family management, Rosborough Boats works with government and official marine operators around the globe, as well as individual mariners.

The company has become known for their Pro-Series Vessels primarily for government and commercial users, specializing in creating semi-custom boats for Policing/Patrolling; Search and Rescue; Conservation and Protection; Water Ambulance; Oil Platform Assistance; Survival Training and general work boats.

Each AOPS vessel will be fitted with two Roughwater 8.50 multi-role rescue boats.


In addition to their work with commercial and government vessels, the company has a strong customer base interested in semi-custom built boats for recreational use.

"Our second facility is located on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in the 100 Wild Islands, which is one of the most beautiful, pristine, lesser-known boating areas on the east coast," said Heaton Rosborough, the company's current owner.

Rosborough Boats currently builds semi-custom vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard; Fisheries Protection Division (DFO); several Canadian Federal, Provincial and Municipal agencies and American State and Municipal agencies; as well as the Private Sector in Canada and the UK.

The contract to build the Rough Water 8.50 for the future AOPS has allowed the company to further diversify its product offerings and reach new markets.

"While well known in Canada through our work with the Canadian Coast Guard and other federal departments, we were not that well known to navies outside of Canada," Heaton explains. "Being a part of the Royal Canadian Navy's future fleet has given us exposure to navies and other user groups around the world."

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