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THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER Volume 25 Issue 12 December 2012


US Postage Paid Permit, #65 Brunswick, ME 04011


John's Bay Boat Company launched this wooden lobster boat, KHRISTY MICHELLE for John Williams of Stonington on 17 November.

The last several years have not been very good for the boatbuilders of Maine. The economy collapsed in 2008 and the initial thought from the economists, was that this would last at least fi ve years. So far their prognosis seems to have been right. Last year some boatbuilders saw a slight increase, and the boat shows this Fall showed promise that a change was coming. Some pinned hope on a new administration and that failed to happen. The economy has been wavering and the general feeling amongst the boatbuilders is optimistic, but skeptical. With Christmas shopping in full swing, the economists are claiming that the early numbers shows that the future for consumer spending looks the best it has in years. However, they continue to talk about the Fiscal Cliff and what might happen if this is not dealt with. There is certainly a lack of confi dence that those in Washington DC will make the changes needed. So, to most it seems like the economy may be better, but to some they question the foundation as well as the future.

In regards to the boatbuilding industry, things seem okay and getting slightly better. For many, diversity (expanding into storage and repair) was needed to survive. Despite the fact that lobstering has been good in some areas along the coast, there are not a lot of new commercial boats going to be built. Some feel that the industry will never be what it once was and some wonder if

the down turn in commercial construction means that the market has been fl ooded. There are only a few boatbuilders with a long backlog, and one of these is John’s Bay Boat Company of South Bristol. They have a back log of four commercial and two yachts on order, which will keep them busy for over three years. On 17 November, John’s Bay Boat Company launched their 63rd

boat, the 44

foot KHRISTY MICHELLE for John Wil- liams of Stonington, his second boat from them. This boat is a departure from the cur- rent lobster boat design trends, which have gotten longer and wider with lots of power. Owner Peter Kass said, “Call it a reversal of the trends of the last 25 years. She is a lot narrower, her lines are fi ner, sharper entry, fi ner on the water line, more like the boats were in the late 1970s, early 80s. Back in those days no one had the horsepower they are putting in 44 foot boats today. John’s thought was trying to design an effi cient boat. Fuel is only going to go up, and lobsters don’t seem to be going up at all. Needless to say we were both proved correct. He says that he is saving two gallons an hour at all the speeds he runs over his old boat, which had the identical drive-train.”

This drive-train has a 500-hp 8.3 Cum- mins diesel, a 2½ ZF gear, 2 inch shaft, and a 28 x 30 propeller.

As for construction she is a little heavier than his old boat, but that is because she is

KHRISTY MICHELLE sitting in her cradle just before launching. If you want to experience the way boats used to be launched you need to come to one at John's Bay Boat Company!

bigger. Peter added, “Most all boats nowa- days, even down to 40 feet, have a 2½ inch shaft, which in our construction requires a 7 inch thick keel. John went with a 2 inch shaft so we were able to cut it down to 6½ inch thick keel. The timbers are 2½ x 1½ and the plank is 1¼ inch, which is the same as we do on any other 42 or 44 foot boat.” Down below there is one bunk, a num- ber of shelves, a simple galley with a micro- wave and no head. The previous boats have all been known for their beautiful interior accommodations, which lobster boats are

C o n t e n t s

Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

Prock Marine/KATAHDIN

4 4 5

Coastal Stories from Downeast 6-8 Waterfront News

Apprenticeshop News Landing School News BlueJacket Newsletter

9 9

10 Commercial Fishing News DELA News 11

Misc. Commercial Fishing News 12-13 Boat Yard News

1, 14-19

History of Problems Trial by Fire

History from the Past Classifi ed Ads

20 21 24


not known for. “I am all for simple, but I’m not going to do anything rough,” added Pe- ter. “I don’t care if they had anything down there. We have done them with just V-berths and that’s it. We haven’t done that in a while though.”

The next boat is also a commercial lobster boat heading to Stonington and they are currently lofting her on the shop fl oor. However, the next owner opted to go with the bigger design, because he is going to put

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