Small Business Week 2020: The Binnacle


The Binnacle is a leading Canadian navigation chart and marine publication supplier to the shipbuilding industry and is one of Canada's leading e-commerce retailers of recreational marine equipment and accessories. Founded in 1976, fourteen full-time team members service the needs of recreational, government and industrial customers across Canada and the United States.

For two decades, The Binnacle has supported Halifax Shipyard and Irving Shipbuilding with both new construction and ship repair projects. “We supply Irving Shipbuilding with navigation charts and supplies; safety and rigging equipment that are often the finishing touches on these vessels,” says Chris Shaw, owner of The Binnacle.

The Binnacle supplies Canada's Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) shipbuilding program with assorted deck lifesaving equipment. It has rigged the upper decks of the AOPS with flags, flag halyards and the ceremonial dressing line flags. “We have even built the rigging that allows the suspension of the holiday lighting from the masts,” said Chris. “We put 'the jewelry' on the decks.”

The Binnacle is a prime example of the success of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, providing economic benefits locally and nationally. The Binnacle purchases over 100 different components in Nova Scotia or from suppliers in Canada.

“We work hard to source made in Canada items whenever possible,” Chris explained. “Our Irving Shipbuilding work makes us a vital customer to several small local businesses that help support The Binnacle.”

From Chris’s experience, the AOPS and Canadian Surface Combatant project requirements are complex. He understands that every detail matters. By working on the AOPS contract, The Binnacle has been able to improve its processes and Quality Management System to ensure an excellent delivery of Canada’s future fleet to the Royal Canadian Navy.

“The team assembled by Irving Shipbuilding is incredible and focused on building great ships,” Chris commented. “Over the past five years, hundreds of people have assisted us in every imaginable way.”

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