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The Giant Hulks - Powell River BC Canada

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The largest floating breakwater in the world

These 10 giant ships make up Powell River British Columbia landmark known as "The Giant Hulks"

Powell Rivers Giant Hulks make up the largest floating breakwater in the world. Installed to form a floating breakwater for the mill's log pond back in the 1940's it is now a must see on any travelers list if they are visiting the Powell River area.

The Giant Hulks - Powell River BC Canada - You might be wondering how do these giant hulks stay in one place and not get pushed around by the heavy ocean waves crashing into them. Well, some are filled with gravel, some ballasted, and others have water in their tanks. This in return keeps the hulks approximately 12-15 feet under water, making them heavy and stable enough to withstand those heavy waves. Consequently, these Powell River hulks are also anchored with 16 ton concrete anchors, with 8-10 anchors per ship!

The Giant Hulks. Photo credit: Rene Coatta
Hillside views of the Giant Hulks. Photo credit: Rene Coatta.

A brief history of each of the ships which forms the Giant Hulks - Powell River BC Canada

S.S. Armand Considere: built in 1944 and used as a store ship.

S.S. L.J. Vicat: built in1944 and used as a army store ship.

S.S. Thadeus Merriman: built in 1944 and used as a store ship in the South Pacific.

S.S. John Smeaton: built in 1943 and used to trade sugar

S.S. P. M. Anderson: built in 1944 was laid up after being used for only one trip from Manila to San Francisco.

S.S. Henri Le Chatelier: built in 1944 and was used to trade sugar

S.S. Emile N. Vidal: built in 1944 and was the last concrete ship built. She was used as a store ship in the South Pacific and had to be towed back to the U.S.A after losing her propeller.

The Quartz: built in 1943 and was used as a barge. She participated in the first atomic bomb tests "Operation Crossroads." She was purchased by Powell River on October 23rd, 1947.

SS Peralta: built in 1921 as an oil tanker. She is the largest of the hulks and the oldest American built concrete vessel still afloat.

The YOGN 82: built in 1944 she was sunk June 23rd 2018 and is now a scuba  diving destination.

The Giant Hulks Map. Photo credit: Rene Coatta.
The Giant Hulks storyboard. Photo credit: Rene Coatta

Scuba Diving The Giant Hulks artificial reef

Powell River is home to some of the largest octopuses in the world attracting scuba divers to come and explore hulks and its artificial reef. Did you know that during a hulk maintenance job, divers once had to remove a 12 foot octopus from an anchor before they could repair the chain.

How to view The Giant Hulks

To get a view of The Giant Hulks you can park at a road side pull off on Marine Avenue on your way to the old town site. Here you will have a birds eye view of these Giant beauties! If it is a clear day try and come at dusk that way you can catch one of the beautiful sunsets the sunshine coast has to offer. You can also see part of these giant ships from Second Beach and if you are lucky the Sealions just might be out on the rocks. However, please remember to respect the wildlife and keep your distance!

Sunsets of the Hulks. Photo credit: Rene Coatta.
The sun shines over the Hulks. Photo credit: Rene Coatta.

In conclusion

In conclusion if you get a chance to visit the Sunshine Coast of BC, stop by and check out Powell River and see what this amazing town has to offer. The Giant Hulks are quite the sight to see and don't take a huge amount of time, which means there is still a lot of time to get out explore all that there is to offer here!

Come and explore Powell River on the Sunshine Coast of BC

The Giant Hulks in Powell River BC Canada

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  • British Columbia

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Powell River, BC, Canada
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Comments 13

EH Canada Marketing Group on Saturday, 21 January 2023 06:50

We have seen these on our visits but had no idea they were called "The Giant Hulks" . Do you know where the name came from Rene Coatta?

We have seen these on our visits but had no idea they were called "The Giant Hulks" . Do you know where the name came from Rene Coatta?
Janel Coe on Saturday, 21 January 2023 19:23

Nice blog post Rene, and I liked the history, too.

Nice blog post Rene, and I liked the history, too.
Cora Lee Rennie on Saturday, 21 January 2023 22:19

Great Blog Post Rene!! Very interesting!!

Great Blog Post Rene!! Very interesting!!
Cora Lee Rennie on Saturday, 21 January 2023 22:20

Great bog post Rene!

Great bog post Rene!
Rene Coatta on Sunday, 22 January 2023 00:43

Cora Lee Rennie Thank you so much!

Cora Lee Rennie Thank you so much!
Rene Coatta on Sunday, 22 January 2023 00:44

Janel Coe Thank you! I love knowing the history on stuff!

Janel Coe Thank you! I love knowing the history on stuff!
Rene Coatta on Sunday, 22 January 2023 00:59

EH Canada Marketing Group I am not 100 percent sure where their name came from but I do know that the definition of Hulk is: an old ship stripped of fittings and permanently moored which is what these are. So maybe the giant because they are so big! I am definitely going to ask around and dig into it a bit further! happy)

EH Canada Marketing Group I am not 100 percent sure where their name came from but I do know that the definition of Hulk is: an old ship stripped of fittings and permanently moored which is what these are. So maybe the giant because they are so big! I am definitely going to ask around and dig into it a bit further! :(happy)
Diana Mohrsen on Sunday, 22 January 2023 04:18

Rene, I liked how you included a brief history of each boat. Definitely something that is unique to Powell River.

Rene, I liked how you included a brief history of each boat. Definitely something that is unique to Powell River.
Rene Coatta on Monday, 23 January 2023 18:13

Thank you so much! I love knowing the history on things!

Thank you so much! I love knowing the history on things!
Andrea Horning on Sunday, 22 January 2023 21:28

That is very cool! I imagine removing a 12ft octopus would not be an easy job haha

That is very cool! I imagine removing a 12ft octopus would not be an easy job haha
Rene Coatta on Monday, 23 January 2023 18:13

Oh I know right! I can't even imagine how you would start to remove him form the chains!

Oh I know right! I can't even imagine how you would start to remove him form the chains!
Sonya Richmond on Monday, 23 January 2023 17:09

Gorgeous photos! The protected area these hulks create is also a really nice place to watch birds - especially shorebirds and waterfowl!

Gorgeous photos! The protected area these hulks create is also a really nice place to watch birds - especially shorebirds and waterfowl!
Rene Coatta on Monday, 23 January 2023 18:14

Yes, It is such a pretty area around there!

Yes, It is such a pretty area around there!
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