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Maine Coastal News J' B B C L RHUM

Volume 30 Issue 6 June 2017 FREE

The lastest boat to be launched at John's Bay Boat Company in South Bristol was RHUM, built for a customer from Friendship, went down the ways on 13 May.

SOUTH BRISTOL – Many wooden boat lovers had been waiting almost two years since the last launch at John’s Bay Boat Company in South Bristol. Usually it takes just nine months for John’s Bay Boat to put out a new model, but this one was not their usual commercial lobster boat, but a full-fl edged yacht. So on 13 May about 100 people gathered around the railway at John’s Bay Boat to watch RHUM hit the water for her owners from Friendship. Peter Kass, owner of John’s Bay Boat

Company, said he had met with RHUM’s owners more than two years ago. He added, “Like a lot of people do, they go from sail to power. He had sold his business and was planning his retirement, and was hoping to do some extended cruising. He looked around at a few of our boats and arrived at this size to get what he needed. She is based on a lobster boat model that we did for John Williams from Stonington. John’s boat is 44 x 14 and this one is 42 x 14 and we put a little tumblehome in the stern for a little more traditional look. Other than that the bottom is just the same.” RHUM is constructed like all John’s

Bay boats are. She has a 6½ inch oak keel; 1½ x 2½ oak frames on 10 inch centers; and cedar planking. Peter added, “The only diff erence is all of the surfaces that are fi berglass are done with epoxy and glass as opposed to polyester and then they are Awlgripped as opposed to gel-coated. So

that involves a whole lot more rubbing.” As for accommodations, I asked if she

had a queen berth forward and Peter said, “Actually our boats are too fi ne forward to do the queen thing. We did it in the Australian boat and it was a bigger boat and personally it didn’t work out that well.” So forward there is a V-berth, with bureaus, hanging lockers and a lot of drawers.” She is trimmed with mahogany and her sole is teak and holly, which is also up in the wheelhouse. In the cockpit the decking is teak with black rubber in between. The swim platform and the pulpit are also teak. Peter added, “The doors are mahogany but they are out of the sun. Basically any varnish that is in the sun we try and do it in teak because if the varnish fails on mahogany and water gets under it, it turns black and teak doesn’t.” RHUM is powered with an 8.3 liter

500-hp Cummins. They had not yet done sea trials and they were having a problem with the lever control. Peter explained, “The single lever didn’t have enough throw with the potentiometer that came with the engine. When I brought her down here, we unhook the cable and one of my workers crawled down there and opened her up and she went a little over 18 knots wide open. She is going to do about 14 or 15 knot cruise which is the goal and she is very quiet and smooth.” They put two inches of Soundown un-

der the platform and they were pretty careful making sure the gaskets on the hatches were

tight, which makes a big diff erence. There is still a little more work to do,

mostly small joiner jobs, but she should be buttoned up by the end of May. Her owners are planning to cruise the coast of Maine this summer and then they are planning to take her south for the winter. In the shop, they have a 47-foot lobster

boat under construction for a fi sherman from Stonington, which will be his third. The hull is done, sheer clamp in and the fore deck is frames out. The engine, a C-18 1,000-hp Caterpillar, is in, but just sitting on the beds. For accommodations, she will have four V-berths forward, galley counter, and possibly an aluminum workbench with a vice on it. There will also be a little counter up in the wheelhouse. She will be ready to launch sometime this Fall.

One never knows who you might meet

at an event like this. There are usually a number of owners of other John’s Bay boats present, the new owner’s family and friends and others that just love to see what this yard puts out. One of the people I got to meet was Royal Dodge, who has been a boatbuilder for about 50 years. He has worked with Goudy & Stevens, Norman Hodgdon and Paul E. Luke. He is also one of the people who helped Peter learn his trade. Peter add- ed, “We used to call him ‘King of the Joiner Shop.’ He was defi nitely top joiner. When I went to work at Goudy & Stevens they were rebounding from a downturn and he was the

C o n t e n t s

Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

Lobster Boat Race Update

4 4 5

70s Memories-Bruce Cunningham 6 Boatbuilder's Show-Jason Curtis 7 U. S. Navy News

8-9 Waterfront News

Hatchery Newsletter MMA News

Penobscot Marine Museum News Commercial Fishing News

DELA Director's Report

10 10 10


Misc. Commercial Fishing News 12-13 Boat Yard News IC 37 One Design

14 15

Stories from the Island-Willis Beal 18 Curtain Down on Vendee Globe

19 Maritime History

History from the Past Classifi ed Ads

23 28

only one working in the joiner shop. Then Joel and Jake Stevens brought in steel drag- gers to build and at the same time they landed the redo of [yacht] AMERICA. So they went from a skeleton crew and a place on the skids with 8 people to 28 people in a matter of a year. This would have been '79 – '80. I had been working at Gamage’s building the schooner APPLEDORE. Then it was going to be all steel construction which I wasn’t into. I went over there and they had a big rebuild on in Eastern rigged dragger from New Bedford, the 88-foot MARISSA ANN. They didn’t have that much help at that time so all of a sudden I was like, and not that I deserved to be, lead man putting on a new waist, upper forward stanchions and other stuff . It was fun. After she left I remember going to work aboard AMERICA and one of the fi rst things that I did was kick over a paint pot full of varnish that one of the painters, Doug Blake, was using. He yelled, ‘Dragger carpenters what are they doing on board here?’ Anyways, I wound up working in the joiner shop.” Peter said he did not know much about

doing joiner work, but he quickly learned and Royal was a big help in his transition from being a dragger carpenter. Peter added, he also had a lot of great stories, many of them about working for Paul Luke. So another beautiful craft has hit the

water from John’s Bay Boat and now we patiently wait for the next one this Fall.

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