Bent Jespersen trained as a boat builder in Aalborg, Denmark, before immigrating to Canada as a young man. He met his wife, Jannie in Port Alberni, moving soon after to Sidney where they raised their four kids. Bent ran Rivercraft boat works building production cedar runabouts sold mostly by Sears. He went on to become foreman at Philbrooks Shipyard in Sidney during the sixties. A string of large Bill Garden designed powerboats were built during this time. The seventies saw a shift to polyester fiberglass construction at Philbrooks. Bent decided to continue furthering his career and expertise in wooden boat building and accepted a position with the United Nations teaching boat-building in Ghana, West Africa. Upon the Jespersen family's return to Canada in 1973, Bent started his own business which continues today.
Eric Jespersen, Bent’s older son has taken advantage of the boat rich environment he grew up in. Now in charge of the business, he enjoyed working alongside his father until Bent’s retirement in 1995.
Eric, a competitive sailor, was a crew member on-board Canada I and Canada II during Canada’s two forays into the America’s Cup arena. He followed this with an Olympic bronze medal at the 1992 games and a world championship win in 1994, both in the Star class.
The crew at Jespersen Boatbuilders fluctuates between 6 and 8 employees, each bringing varied experience and background to the business. A common interest in boats, building and their use has kept the skill level high. We encourage the discussion of new ideas and approaches and endeavor to find the most practical solutions. The versatility of the team is important and allows us to respond efficiently to new construction and repair work alike. Our emphasis and expertise lies in modern wood construction and repair to all types of wood boats.