Any opportunity to sit down with a real entrepreneur always raises the interest level. Earlier this week I caught up with Dave Chalmers, former BCIT classmate in the Wood Products Manufacturing Program. Dave is a founding partner of Iron River Forest Products here in North Vancouver. His company custom cuts Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir logs, producing large timbers and beams for timber frame construction, and specialty clears for door and window manufacturing. In addition, Iron River enjoys strong ties to First Nations, facilitating all levels of the logging process (including financing and quality control) – while initiating sales through the BCTS small business program.
I was intrigued to learn that Dave recently purchased a floating “barge camp”. The Pride of Seymour is 130×60 feet and sleeps 16 people in both semi-private and private bedrooms. Providing a home for loggers in remote inlets along the coast where there are no land camps, the barge features a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room, along with a games room and pool table, satellite TV and WiFi. The barge rents monthly for a tidy sum – though Dave reports “it takes a beating” during stays that last 6 to 9 months, depending upon the size of the area being logged. Presently the barge is in Campbell River for updates including new generators, flooring, and a fresh coat of paint – in preparation for a busy logging season.