Author Tags: Maritime, Publishing

As a columnist and contributor to specialty shipping magazines, the writer-turned-publisher S.C. Heal has made a major contribution to the maritime literature of the West Coast.

Born on December 28, 1925 in Hoylake, Cheshire, England, Sydney Castle Heal, also known as S.C. Heal and/or Syd C. Heal, was a navy officer in WW II and has had a lifetime career associated with shipping. He immigrated to B.C. in 1952.

Since publishing the memories of towboat master James 'Ted' Wilson in Full Line, Full Away in 1991, Heal has operated his Cordillera Books imprint to specialize in maritime titles.

Between 1941 and 1945, some 402 Canadian merchant ships were built to support the war effort. These mostly 10,000-ton ships were launched from seven shipyards on the West Coast and eight in the east. The era was documented by Heal in A Great Fleet of Ships: The Canadian Forts & Parks (Vanwell $45), a hardcover tribute that provides concise details of the ships’ builders, their name changes, ownership changes and fates.

The following is a partial list of books that Heal has written.


Full Line, Full Away (Cordillera, 1991; revised and expanded in 2009, second edition)
The Maple Leaf Afloat, Vol I (Cordillera, 1992)
Conceived in War, Born in Peace (Cordillera, 1993)
The Maple Leaf Afloat, Vol II (Cordillera, 1993)
Across Far Distant Horizons (Cordillera, 1995)
A Great Fleet of Ships (Vanwell Publishing, 1999)
Boomsticks & Towlines (Cordillera) 2003)
Always Ready (Cordillera) 2003)
Tying the Knot (Cordillera) 2003)
Showing the Flag (Cordillera) 2003)
Ugly Ducklings (Vanwell) 2003)
Stand by, Let 'er Go (Cordillera 2004)
A South Asian Odyssey (Cordillera 2005)
The Romance of Historic Names (Cordillera 2006)
The Log Ships (Cordillera 2007)
The Log Barges (Cordillera 2007)
The Loose Cannon (Cordillera 2008)
Canadian Capers (Cordillera 2009)
Ferries West (Cordillera 2010)
The House that Percy Built (Cordillera 2011)
Pushing the Beach (Cordillera 2013)

[BCBW 2013]