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THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER Volume 27 Issue 6 June 2014 Farrin's Boatshop Launches HALLELUJAH


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The 36-foot HALLELUJAH out on sea trials with the East Boothbay shore in the back ground.

SOUTH BRISTOL – From time to time you fi nd a customer interested in refurbishing an older boat instead of opting for a new one. One mostly sees this done with a classic wooden boat that has a unique history or is just absolutely loved by her owner. There are also times when a fi berglass boat has been refurbished and in most cases saves the owners thousands of dollars and they still end up with the boat they want. Over the last couple of years Farrin’s

Boatshop in Walpole has been working on a 1977 Newman 36. She had been fi nished out as a workboat for Central Maine Power by Lee Wilbur of Manset on Mount Desert Island. She was used to service the eight islands off Portland in Casco Bay for more than 30 years. Bruce Farrin said, “Three years ago we took her in trade when we built a new service boat for Central Maine Power, a 38 Wesmac. A year and a half later, we had a customer came around and decided they wanted to do a restoration on it and that is what you see today.” The fi rst thing they did was soda blast the hull and bottom, refair and then had a subcontractor come in and Awlgrip the topsides. Actually before she was painted they stripped off the pilothouse, removed the cockpit deck and the fuel tanks. With the platform and engine out they went through the drive train, upgrading where needed. They added new tanks, exhaust system, bulkheads under the platform, Soundown

insulation, stuffi ng boxes and a new propel- ler. When they took off the house they also removed the washrails from the steering bulkhead aft all the way around and replaced that. They then converted her into a bass boat, with a soft top. What sets her apart is that all her hardware, port lights, cleats etc. is all bronze, which adds to her traditional look. That traditional look is because the Newman 36 is a splash of a Bunker & Ellis 36 designed by Raymond Bunker, Jarvis Newman’s father-in-law.

Being a commercial boat she did not have an interior. Farrin’s added V-berths with a drop in centre and a small galley on the port side. Farrin’s built a custom ice box using four inch insulation. Bruce said that this ice box will be able to keep a bag of ice for a week. On the starboard side she has an enclosed head with a shower.

One of the fortunate aspects this boat had was a 200-hp John Deere diesel engine with less than 2,000 hours on it. Farrin’s had replaced the engine for CMP in about 2006 and this saved the new owners a lot of money. She will easily cruise at 14 knots and top out a little over 16 knots. “It was defi nitely a nice way to go because we made a new boat out of a 1977 hull,” said Bruce. “It worked out that prob- ably they have like half of what they would have in a new boat. So it does it makes sense. These hulls are readily available. This one was exceptional because it had an engine

Just before launching HALLELUJAH sits in the slings of the Travelift at Gamage's Shipyard in South Bristol showing off her traditional lines and beautiful fi nish.

with less than 2,000 hours so that worked out very well.”

For years lobstermen have been refur- bishing their boats instead of building new. Over the years I have seen boats gutted all the way back to just a hull and then rebuilt. Fortunately most do not have to go that far and then the savings can be substantial. If you have a good hull, deck and platform with most of the fi berglass work okay you have already saved $50,000 to $75,000 de- pending on the size of the hull. If the engine

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is good add another $50,000 plus. Taking a commercial lobster boat and turning it into a yacht is also doable. Adding an interior and doing the cosmetic work is only a fraction, say upwards of 50 percent, of the cost of a new boat. As Bruce said commercial hulls are readily available and usually at good prices. HALLELUJAH is an excellent example of what can be done to turn a commercial boat into a yacht. She is gorgeous!

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