In 1926, after five years spent working at the Saint-Laurent shipyard (founded by Ovide Fillion) or building and repairing homes, François-Xavier bought an old sawmill that stood in the shadow of the Saint-Laurent Church, at the end of a sheltered cove, and turned it into a shipyard for leisure boats.
Along with his brother Fénélon, he built a first fully-equipped motorboat measuring 38 feet (11.5 metres) long. It began as a side project to keep the brothers busy through the winter, with no clients on the books. A doctor on the island bought it from them the following summer. That sale marked the start of a long and productive career.
The First Boat – Listen to the audio clip with its transcript
The little shipyard grew quickly, since the boats made by the man now known as “F-X” were highly prized for their quality construction and seaworthiness. To keep up with demand, F-X took on his brothers, brothers-in-law, nephews, and cousins, all of whom shared the same experience as him.