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US Postage Paid Permit, #65 Brunswick, ME 04011


JANICE ELAINE, owned by David Myrick of Gouldsboro, is a Northern Bay 38 powered with a 610-hp Cummins diesel

SURRY – It is interesting how some things you might think of as trivial, actually create a huge benefi t. A couple of years ago I gave a lecture on the evolution of the Maine lob- ster boat at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. I knew it was fi lmed, but did not know that they were going to put this up on the web. Not that this was a problem. Months later I received a call from a person from California asking me questions about the Maine lobster boat who had watched the video. He said that he was interested in building a boat using the lobster boat hull. We were probably on the telephone for 20 minutes. A few weeks later he called again and asked more questions. He had narrowed his search down to a couple of hulls, but was really interested in the Northern Bay 38. I told him he needed to call Gary Kief at Morgan Bay Boat if he was truly interested. Usually nothing comes of these conversa- tions and I forgot all about it until I received another call from this person telling me the boat was under construction at Morgan Bay Boat and was about 30 percent complete. On my run to Brooklin in mid-March I headed over to see just how far along the project was. The boat was in the shop and Gary had begun doing the basic fi berglass work under the platform and down forward. He had also made some alterations to the top, since this was going to be a pleasure cruiser. The bigger news was that Gary and his younger brother Tim had leased the moulds

for the Northern 38 along with the shop in Penobscot where they were being built from John Hutchins of Downeast Boats & Composites of Penobscot.

Gary said, “It came about by timing, more than anything. First of all this customer came along and then I got a couple of hits on my website with people interested in buying a Northern Bay 38. I also knew that John was getting ready to retire. The 38 has a real good reputation. The 36 had a pretty good following, but the 38 runs better, goes better and is quite a bit larger. According to John, Spencer Lincoln designed the 36 and supposedly John went to Chuck Paine and Mark Fitzgerald and with them did the 38. Then a customer that I built a 42 Wesmac for ten years ago, named HOOKING UP, called me and said he would like to have a 36 Northern Bay. I said ‘Why a 36, did you mean 38? He goes ‘I’d like to have the 38 but I’ve heard too many bad things. But I want a Northern Bay so I think I’ll get a 36 and I’d like to have you fi nish it. I knew Jeff Eaton had laid up a Northern Bay 38 hull, which he is fi nishing off for a customer from Florida. He had gone into John’s shop, and said he would pay the royalty and rent his shop and lay-up the hull himself. I said well I will do the same thing so I mentioned it to him. I said ‘What about if I just lay it up for you and build it? He said ‘Than I would rather have a 38.’ Then I thought maybe I can get the mould and do it from now on.”

At about the same time another person stopped in who was looking at a Wesmac 42. Gary added, “He got a hold of me on the Internet and said that he was coming down and wanted to know if he could stop in. He had seen some of my work on the web. When he stopped he asked me if I would be interested in fi nishing a 42 for him. I said ‘I would be defi nitely interested in it but I can’t put one in this shop it is too small. However, he couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted a 42 Duffy and a 42 Wesmac. Actu- ally he really didn’t want either one of them. He said if the Northern Bay 38 was a 42 this is the one he’d want. I started talking to him about maybe making a 42 out of this. He calls me up again and says ‘I am coming down and I am bringing a friend. He brought a friend that has a 36 Northern Bay. He was looking to move up in size. He loved his 36 Northern Bay, but wished it was the 38, but don’t want to move just for two feet. He said, ‘Do you think you might be doing something in the 40 foot range?’ Here is a guy who wants a 42 and he is a guy who wants a 40. The guy who wants the 40 wants it to stay narrow and the guy who wants the 42 wants more beam. Two different boats and you can’t make one out of the other. Then I got another hit on the website. The guy was interested in a 38 Northern Bay. So maybe it is a good time to grab the moulds and I made a deal with John.”

Gary and Tim do not own the moulds C o n t e n t s

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they are leasing them along with the shop in Penobscot. Gary added, “I am going to build a new mould and make it a 40. I am going to offer three different models, but it is going to take a while to do. I am going to do a 40, by extending the 38. I am going to market it as the 40. The 38 squats a bit and needs a little bit more on the stern. She will be just as effi cient and hopefully maybe even pick up half a knot. Basically what I am going to do to create the wider models is lay up another 38 and then I am going to cut it the whole length and spread it apart 18 inches on the stern. Then I will create a 42 and put a plug in the mould for a 40. I want to raise the sheer, probably 3 inches, have a 14 foot 2 inch beam and pull the skeg back. This will make her slipperier that any of the other 42s out there.” “W e are going to focus on the sport-

fi shing market,” said Gary. “Make a true Downeast sportfi shing boat, and don’t try to fi ll everybody’s market. We need to talk to the real fi sherman who go out and fi sh these boats and build it to their needs. We then need to get as many tooled parts as possible to get the labor costs down.”

One of the potential customers knows

a lot of sportfi shermen and already they are starting to talk about the Northern Bay 38 again. Gary has a reputation for building a very high quality boat and one can bet that any Northern Bay 38 that he lays up and fi nishes will be held to the highest standards.

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