The first shipyard development at Hootalinqua was called the Sifton Ways. The steamers rested on a set of beams, or "ways", when they were dry-docked. The Sifton Ways belonged to the Dominion Stemboat Co. and were used in 1903 to haul out the steamer Thistle at the close of the navigation season. In the same year, the British Yukon Navigation Company (BYN Co.) Superintendent recommended that the company buy the ways, instead of building new ones, as they were adequate for hauling out small boats and were inexpensive to repair. The BYN Co. used them to pull up their steamers, starting with the La France, at the close of navigation in 1904. The Sifton Ways were poorly constructed and were abandoned in 1909.
New ways were constructed in 1913, the same year that BYN Co. bought out their major competitor, the Northern Commercial Co. The ways were originally scheduled to be build at Carmacks but the shore line at Hootelinqua was better suited. Carmacks became the bussiness point, however, and the steamers picked up their cargoes there in the spring. The steamers Yukon and Canadian were pulled up on the new Hootalinqua Island ways in 1913.