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Maine Coastal News Volume 31 Issue 1 January 2018 FREE

John's Bay Boat Company of South Bristol launches the 47-foot SAILOR'S WAY powered with a C-18 1,000-hp Caterpillar on 18 November. Health of the Maine Boatbuilding Industry & News

HEALTH OF THE INDUSTRY For the last three years boatbuilders and

repairers have enjoyed a healthy back-log of work. As we headed into the fall, many wondered if the health of the industry was going to continue. Early reports from the lobster fi shermen were saying the catch was down. If true, this could have a major impact on the new boats on order. On a bigger scale the economic health of the country as a whole was doing very well. Just as we head into winter, it seems that the boat builders and repairers will have another busy winter and some are even wondering how they are going to get it all done. The lobster season seemed to be slow

and some fi shermen said they were lagging behind last year’s catch. Well, one must remember that last year was an exceptional one and we really need to look at the last fi ve years to see how this year compared with them. If the catch is similar to that of two or three years ago, there likely will be no change in the new boats on order. We have heard that some boats were canceled, but almost immediately another fi sherman took the spot. Right now, many of the lobster boat builders are booked, some out as far as two years.

When did you think you would ever see a $1,000,000 lobster boat? Now there


Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

Ralph Stanley's New Book 70s Memories-Kennebec Falls Doug Dodge on Boatbuilders U. S. Navy News

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are a number of them that have broken the million dollar mark. Many who have been around the fi shery knows that Mother Na- ture can, without warning, make a change dropping the catch signifi cantly. Old timers fi sh with older boats, well maintained and with minimal, if any, payments. If the catch drops drastically they are likely insulated from a severe fi nancial crises. Maybe this year they cannot run to the Caribbean, but they will not be worried about the banks coming after them. Talking about banks, in the past, lending institutions have been a little reckless when letting money out. History shows that lobstering can vary with a number of great years followed by a huge decline. Banks have been burned before and they will likely get burned again if they are not careful. What might make sense for a fi sherman, actually anyone, is a fi nancial planner as they can help you avoid the un- seen pitfalls most become victim of. The biggest demand in the new boat

market is for commercial lobster boats. With a strong back-log of orders a number of backyard fi nishers have popped up. Be careful, as many of these builders do not build to any standards. Remember it is not always about the price, it is about quality and that will drive a price up. However, in the end, quality more than likely will save

The owners of a John's Bay Boat gather at the launching of SAILOR'S WAY.

you money and possibly your life. In the pleasure boat world there are

some cruisers under construction, but the bigger demand is for the sportfi sherman. The lobster boat hull is well suited for sportfi sh- ing and that is why many of the sportfi sh- ermen come to Maine for their boat. I am still surprised how many sportfi shermen opt for a small centre console boat for off shore fi shing. At the Newport International Boat Show the last several years these comprise a majority of the power boats being off ered. I can see where these would be great running

C o n t e n t s

U. S. Coast Guard News DELA Director's Report

Maine DMR News 8 Commercial Fishing News

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Misc. Commercial Fishing News 11-13 Boat Yard News


Hodgdon building Limousine Maritime History

The Storm of March 1876 History from the Past Classifi ed Ads

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around enclosed waters, but in really nasty weather they cannot be as comfortable as a big enclosed boat. As well as the industry is at the present

time there is a major problem and that has to deal with employees. The industry could use several hundred more good workers. I am sure some orders get turned down be- cause they have more than they can handle. Working around boats is not for everyone, but there are so many facets to building a

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