THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER Volume 24 Issue 12 December 2011
US Postage Paid Permit, #65 Brunswick, ME 04011
Maine Coastal News FREE BOAT BUILDERS AND REPAIR YARDS DOING OKAY
John's Bay Boat Company of South Bristol launched the 44-foot BONITO for a customer from Australia in October. Her dimensions are 44' x 15'3" x 5'3", making her one of the biggest boats launched at John's Bay Boat. The hull is cedar over oak. The backbone is 7 inch oak; frames 2 1/2 x 1 5/8 inch white oak; and planks are 1 1/4 inch cedar. For accommodations she has a double berth, locker to starboard and hanging locker to port forward; head with separate shower to starboard; and pilot berth, berth and woodstove to port. Up in the shelter is seating for four at the bulkhead, galley to starboard and a sette, which converts to a double berth, to port. The interior is finished off in the Herreshoff style. She is powered with a 700-hp Yanmar diesel with a 36 inch propeller and went 24 knots. (Photograph - Michael Morrison)
The past several years has not been kind to Maine boatbuilders, but it has been okay to the repair yards. The economy seems to be a bit better, but still there is a lack of confi- dence by most of the public. This still means that there are not as many new boats under construction as before the economic down- turn. Some companies have seen an upturn, namely Back Cove, Hinckley and Sabre. Most of this has been the results of good marketing. Those that cling to the old meth- ods of marketing are being left behind. It is seldom that a person walks through the door throws a bundle of money on the desk and says build me a boat. Today you better be on the Internet with at least a website. Other social media, such as Facebook, is also helpful. And yes, some of the old methods still work, print media and boat shows, but one should always evaluate all marketing ef- forts as to their true worth.
Last year there was a slight increase in the number of boats built here in the State of Maine and this year so far has been about equal to last. Now last year I thought more commercial boats would have been sold because the lobstering season had been so good for a number of areas on the coast. Yes, there were a few new boats sold, but not near what I had thought there would have been. Well, lobstering has been good again this year in certain areas so will there be a number of commercial boats ordered? H&H Marine in Milbridge, Johns Bay Boat Com-
pany in South Bristol, and S. W. Boat Works in Lamoine have seen orders. Others have also seen some interest, but to date not what I thought would take place, but there is still time.
Years ago, actually nearly twenty of them, I questioned at what point is the com- mercial lobster boat market saturated? Well, I think it has been for a number of years. The bright light is that some still will want a new boat. The next question is what do you do with the old one? These are either sitting idle or sold and are being totally rebuilt as a commercial or pleasure boat. One interesting aspect of the boatbuilding industry is that a number of the commercial boats ordered are kit boats and are heading to a finisher to be completed. Over the last three years a number of these shops have been hit the hardest and have either gone into hibernation or closed for good. Now, for those that have survived some have stayed up with the changes in materials, but others have not, and this can lead to issues later. It used to be relatively simple to lay-up a fiberglass boat, but today it is much more complicated. Also there are also better techniques that will make a boat function better and last longer. The bottom line is that there are still a number of boatbuilders slower than they would like to be and we can only hope they are able to survive another year.
Some of the more interesting projects take place in someone's backyard. This is a 26-foot Robert Rich built boat that has been redone by his grandson Wayne and Great grandson Colyn Rich of Bass Harbor.
THIS MONTH’S NEWS Kittery Point Yacht Yard at Kittery Point and Eliot, like all yards has been hauling boats this fall and getting them ready for winter storage. They are up approximately twenty percent over last year. As the cold weather approaches they expect to have all their stor- age boats up and in the buildings by mid- December.
Earlier this year all the boatbuilders re- ceived a letter from OSHA, regarding upcom- ing inspections. However, there are a few that
C o n t e n t s
Publisher's Note Calendar of Events
Passed Over the Bar - C. Holland 5 Shipwreck Diver - Brad Luther Doug Dodge - Boatbuilder
Waterfront News MMA News
Schooner BOWDOIN Exhibit Museum News
Richard Stanley Awarded
8 8 9 9
Stolen Lobsterboat Arrest Striped Bass Assessment
Commercial Fishing News
Misc. Commercial Fishing News Boat Yard News
Launching Details Downeast Classified Ads
are exempt from these inspections. They are those that have entered and qualified in the SHARP program, which Kittery Point Yacht Yard has done. Another yard in this program is Portland Yacht Services.
As for work the tug BENJAMIN BAILEY has been re-powered at the Eliot yard. She has twin Caterpillar 3412s, which were shipped from California. They had been used in an electrical power plant as backup generators.
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