BC West Coast & Vancouver Island

Jarl Towing Ltd. was established in 1971 and is the BC family-based business created by Don and Mary Sharpe.

Don Sharpe is the driving force behind Jarl Towing. Don was born in Vancouver BC and when his family moved to Gambier Island off the Sunshine Coast of BC his life on the ocean was launched with daily boat trips to and from school via water taxi. After a three year stint in the Royal Canadian Navy Don worked as a seaman for Blackball Ferries, a boomman, sidewinder operator and, for many years, as a beachcomber.

Mary has been a partner with Don in the marine towing business since day one. Born Mary Harding, she was raised in Blind Bay on Nelson Island off the BC coast and moved to Gibsons in 1960. Mary worked as a Secondary School secretary and later took courses in accounting to maintain the office and accounting for Jarl Marine Towing. In her private life Mary is also a talented watercolourist.

Don and Mary met and married in 1970. They worked together full time out of Gibsons before making the move, in 1971, to Campbell River. They purchased their first tugboat, Imperial Yarder (ex-Jarl) and renamed her back to Jarl. They were in the marine towing business. Don would later acquire his 60 ton Masters ticket.
Going where the work was, Don found work back in Howe Sound towing deadheads to a sawmill at Twin Creeks and so they moved back to Gibsons. Tom Penfold, who was working for Kingcome Navigation, gave Jarl work and introduced Don to Pat Courtney and Brian Monk of Kingcome.
In 1973-74 Don worked for nine months for CFP at Port Mellon moving barges. The Jarl was the first tug to assist in the dumping of the Haida Monarch and the Haida Brave in Howe Sound.
In 1980 there was a downturn in marine towing work in Howe Sound and after approaching Kingcome Navigation and Pacific Towing Ltd. the move to Kelsey Bay took place. The requirement was an investment in another tug with more power. The Muchalut Chief, renamed the Sunderland Chief was purchased. Glenn Moffat of Kelsey Bay joined Don on the Sunderland Chief while Rex Davies and deckhand ran the old Jarl.
In 1984 the original Jarl burned and was replaced by the False Creek Yarder (ex Mary Ann W.) and was renamed Jarl II. In June 2006 this second Jarl was sold to Dolphin Marine Ltd. of Gibsons and renamed the Dolphin Prince.
Since 1988, Jarl Towing has added the following tugboats to their West Coast BC Marine Towing fleet:

Gulf Coaster - in 1988, the company was well-established with solid marine towing contracts in place and the Gulf Coaster was purchased. With an expanded fleet, the Sharpes moved back to Campbell River in 1991, where the business remains to this day.

Island Pacer - in 1998 the Renata B was purchased and renamed the Island Pacer.

Island Navigator - in 2003 the Georgia Straits was purchased and renamed the Island Navigator.
Fraser Yarder - in 2004, the business added the Nanaimo Yarder, renamed the Fraser Yarder, thoroughly refurbished and updated in 2006.
Island Fury - the most recent addition was purchased in 2009 as the former River Eagle, L.O. Larsen and renamed Island Fury.
Don and Mary have gratefully passed the day-to-day operations of Jarl Towing on to Tamara and Joe, the next generation. With their young family, Tamara and Joe have continued the tradition of providing quality and competitive marine towing services on the West Coast of BC for the past 18 years.

The family appreciates the dedication of our tug crews in providing continued quality service to our customers, including the commitment of our full time mechanic Kari Koski in keeping all vessels in top shape. With three years running SAFE (Safety Accord Forest Enterprise) Certification from The Forest Council of BC, Jarl Marine Towing is committed to safety on the job.


  • Island Navigator 65 feet 1000 hp with nozzle
  • Island Fury 50 feet 1000 hp twin screw engine
  • Gulf Coaster 44 feet 650 hp
  • Island Yarder 42 feet 600 hp
  • Island Pacer 40 feet 560 hp
  • Sunderland Chief 32 feet 450 hp
Jarl Towing Ltd.
Serving West Coast BC & East Coast Vancouver Island
24 Hour BC Marine Towing Service
Custom Log Towing – Yarding Log Tows – Marine Assist