When visionary Cape Breton businessman, Raymond Deveau, announced his plan to establish the Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard in 2011, he dreamed of building the most accessible boat storage facility in Atlantic Canada. Sadly, Raymond passed away in November 2019. But his dream to provide a boat lift and storage for fishing and pleasure boats from all over the Maritimes is now reality.
Known as Ray in his beloved Cheticamp community, Raymond Deveau was an entrepreneur with great vision and capabilities. In 2013 Raymond was interviewed by a Halifax newspaper.
“I am creating an industry for this community and our travel lift was the just the first step of this process," said Ray. "Now Maritimers everywhere are coming to Chéticamp to lift their boats out of the water for repairs and general maintenance. It makes sense, because this is the perfect location to store a boat for the winter. We are expanding a little bit every year as we see fit.” With Raymond's unexpected passing, operations at Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard are now in the capable hands of his son, Randy.
A Man Dedicated to His Community
Raymond Deveau started his business career in Cheticamp, Cape Breton, as an owner and welder at Industrial Welding Ltd. And throughout his entrepreneurial life he formed many successful Nova Scotia businesses. He could be found most early mornings enjoying a cup of coffee with the guys at Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard before working 12 hour days.
Ray had a very strong sense of community for his hometown and his businesses made a profound impact on helping the Cheticamp community thrive. For example, once vessels are lifted from the water by Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard, fisherman or yachtsmen have the option to work on their boats themselves or have them maintained and repaired by Raymond's neighbour, Chéticamp Boat Builders. “I can hardly take on any more work through 2017,” said Bruno Gaudet, co-owner of Chéticamp Boat Builders. “It makes planning tough, but I am not complaining — being busy is good. We are seeing growth in our business. I have got about 22 guys working flat out now. My original crew before this expansion was half of that.”
Ray loved the great outdoors, four- wheeling and snowmobiling. He spent much time in Newfoundland each year hunting moose and he never came back empty handed. He loved nothing more than telling jokes, a good card game or party at his camp where he could sing country and bluegrass songs for hours. His beloved little band "Ray and Friends" played for many community fundraisers throughout the year. Listen to Raymond sing one of his songs.
Ray Deveau and Friends
Prière d'un Amant
A prime spot for boat lifting, Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard is positioned in Atlantic Canada at the southern end of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The location is ideal for both commercial fishing craft and various kinds of leisure vessels. Originally built to capture boat traffic from Atlantic Canada and Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard is now servicing boats from all across eastern Canada and beyond.
Cheticamp Marine and Boatyard is ideal for local lobster and snow crab fishermen because the waters around Chéticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada are some of the most lucrative crab-fishing sites in the whole world.