Don’t let the youthful demeanour fool you: Bailey McIntee has years of experience doing what she loves. And she’s not one to shy away from a challenge. In fact, that’s one of her specialities at Bailey’s Barge Services.
“We handle jobs other companies might not,” she grins. “Steep-drop rock faces, windy waterfronts, hard-to-access properties – that’s the kind of job we love.”
Talking with Bailey really is like chatting with a kind of superhero – you can almost see her cape flapping in the breeze. She’s pumped, humble, busy, and not afraid of a good day’s work. In the summertime especially, those days can be long, stretching from dawn to dusk.
Hard work is in the bloodline. Her dad operated a tree service in the area: joining him on calls as a young gal, she learned a great deal about working with customers and running a company. At a tender age, she dreamt up her own idea for a business. “My dad knew I was serious when I said: ‘one day I’m going to get a great big boat and call it Bailey’s Barge.’”
When her dad was off after serious back surgery, she took the reins – or more accurately, the wheel – and hasn’t looked back since.
Bailey and her team have done it all, from septic and tree removal services to moving heavy equipment to construction sites. She’s booked up by smart contractors serving islanders as well as by individuals with road-access properties that aren’t big-truck-friendly. She also services clients on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
“You’ve seen some of the roads out here. Remote spots can be hard to get a big piece of equipment into. Some of the people we work for have a steep drop from their road to the shoreline. There’s no way to get the equipment to the work site from the land, so, it’s often easier to work right from the boat,” she explains.
Windy points, crumbling retaining walls, and rocky shorelines are a few obstacles that might scare a lesser barge-master. Bailey keeps safety top of mind at all times. This is not a skill for speed demons: good barge work involves patience, judgement, and practicality.
The fleet includes a 12-by-32-foot barge with a six-tonne capacity that can be transported to any lake, the main barge that can transport 25 tonnes at a time, and a pontoon boat for smaller deliveries that can also access most locations. “We actually built my main barge ourselves,” Bailey says with a proud smile.
No matter what the job, anything is possible for this dynamic little company based out of Kahshe Lake. Given her great reputation, though, it doesn’t hurt to book ahead. Just call and tell her what you need done. She’ll find a way to make it happen.
TEXT MARNIE WOODROW | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN