This is a Mussel Ridge 46 being finished off as a sportfisherman at Samoset Boatworks in Boothbay. She was started in the old shop, but now is in the new shop.
Oceanville Boatworks of Stonington putting the final details on the Wayne Beal 50 lobster boat. She was sitting at Billings Diesel and Marine getting ready to be launched.
Brion Rieff, Brooklin
This past summer Brion Rieff’s shop launched their fourth Alerion 26 for a customer from Lake Geneva, WI. With that project completed, they turned their attention to the 34-foot daysailer, which Brion designed and is building for a local customer. She has a big 14-foot cockpit, 9½-foot beam, full keel with a 5½-foot draft and a sail area of 626 square feet. Brion added, “We actually started it last fall and then we put a hold on it and finished up some other projects. Now we are moving along, getting her cold moulded hull glassed and putting the interior in while it is upside down.”
The big project over the last couple of years has been the modification of an 8-metre racing sailboat. They widen the stern two feet by opening her up down the centerline. They then filled in where they widen her and repaired some places in her cold moulded hull. Presently the teak deck was being laid and they were getting ready to pour her keel.
Next to the 8-metre they have a custom sailboat they built several years ago for Richard Hallett of Hallett Canvas and Sails in Falmouth. The major aspect of this job was to widen the cockpit so there was more room to make it easier to sail. She was sent out to be painted at Glenson Stanley’s shop on Mount Desert Island and is now back for a couple of weeks-worth of work. They are working on her retractable bowsprit, putting down the deck hardware and then paint the deck with an off-white non-skid.
On the design table they have a 28-foot centre console runabout, which will be powered with twin 370 hp diesel Mercruisers on a V-drive. Brion thinks she will do about 75.
Ellis Boat Company, Manset
Ellis Boat Co. has a new 28 under construction for a customer from Martha’s Vineyard. Shane Ellis added, “It’s not a new design. It is an open layout with a T-top so it is kind of new for us. Every boat is a little different, so this boat will be the same as every other boat that we’ve done, which is different. She has an inboard Yanmar diesel, one of their 250 hp engines. Everybody seems to be going to outboard, but that always leaves the people that want inboards coming to us saying I want 28 with an inboard diesel, not outboards on the back. We get a lot of those calls still. I am sure there are other builders like us do.”
Her engines will be fitted with a trolling valve as her owner wants to do a lot of fishing and that is the main reason for not having outboards as they sometimes get in the way of fighting a fish.
The hull has just come in and they have just started waxing it.
Also, in the shop, they have the hull mould for the Pisces 21, which they are laying up for Classic Boat in Bernard.
Over the last several months they sold a couple of smaller boats. Shane stated, “One that is real common for us to restore is the Ellis 24 either lobster top style or the express cruiser with a soft top. Those are great outboard conversion boats so you could have one of those for probably $100,000 less than what you would if you built a new one.
This winter they have a 20 and a 24, which they will be restoring. Shane was also thinking of buying a Wilbur 38, which if he does will be restored before going into their charter fleet.
The Ellis 36 they built last winter went into their charter fleet and had a good season. He was not anxious to sell her as she was booked for a couple of months of chartering. He also thought about building another for chartering, but it is difficult to justify so he does not plan on it in the near future. He added, “If I take something in trade, or buy one, and then restoring it makes a little bit more fiscal sense. The boat has already depreciated. I picked up a 1999 Ellis 36 a couple of years ago that had been down in Florida. Boats take a beating in Florida and ours had taken somewhat of a beating. but it wasn’t much of a stretch to get her fixed up and put in the charter fleet. The biggest problems are some structural, systems and finishes. Sometimes you are dealing with an owner’s wiring; they have drilled an odd hole where they shouldn’t have; or the gaskets were never replaced around the windows. On a boat like that, a 36-footer, you might have to dump $100,000 into it. It’s that or $400,000 or more to build a new one.”
With the new boats and restoration work, coupled with the storage customers it is going to be a busy winter. Shane said that they have a little more than 50 storage customers, which is just what they want. Anymore they would need to find additional help and that is very difficult in this market. “We have got great clients right now who want to keep their boats up and part of that, some of them have their boats in the charter fleet” said Shane. “They have earned some money with them this past summer, so they are happy and okay with spending extra on upgrades.”
Handy Boat, Falmouth
Over the last couple of years, we have seen some powerful storms strike the coast of Maine. We had one early in October and then another on the 17th. When I stopped into Handy Boat, they had hauled up another of the boats that had gone ashore and still had several more to go. Craig Brimicombe, who manages the yard, added, “We are still picking up from the storm of early in the morning on October 17. Dawn presented us with sixteen boats ashore. A lot of the boats still had sails bent on and dodgers up and no extra chaff gear. We tried to prep as many as we could, but it seemed like this storm snuck up on us. Usually it’s the end of October into November when you get a really big Nor’easter like we had the other day. Almost all of them chaffed the pennant lines, because chaff gear failed, chalks exploded and presented a raw edges and a few cleats pulled out of deck.”
Four days after the storm almost all of them had been salvaged. Craig added, “Fortunately at the height of the storm it was just about high tide and then it started to ebb so most of the boats did not pound long. They fetched up, bumped around for a little bit, and then the water receded. Most of them we were able to tow off the next high tide around noon on Thursday. Even then a boat under bare poles with canvas up in 50 mph winds is going full speed when it hits so a lot of keel damage. There were a number that were holed and then filled with water and most likely they are totaled.”
The biggest issue when a boat sinks is that anything electrical would have to be replaced and that can get cost prohibitive. Engines may be salvageable, but of course they need new starters and alternators and everything else electrical on them. Some of the older diesels that are naturally aspirated and simple engines those are definitely salvageable. Craig said, “We did pickle a few of those when they came out and filled them up with Mystery Oil and flushed them out. Those are probably worth something. We have got quite a bit of composite work for this winter that we had not anticipated.”
Parker Poole of Determination Marine played a major role in saving several boats from going ashore and salvaging those that did. He still and a few boats on the beach, and at least one that was going to require a barge and a crane to get off.
Outside in the Travelift slings was a sailboat that looked like one of the victims of the storm. However, she was not, she had been T-boned in a racing incident a couple of seasons ago and a couple of guys thought they could make the repairs. However, when they started figuring out what it was going to take to put her back in shape it only made sense to scrap her, unfortunately. The engine that is coming out her, an old 1-GM Yanmar, which they are going to use for some seminars for their customers this winter. “We are going to have a few customer seminars where we will have that engine available for disassembly so people can get familiar with how their engines actually work.” Said Craig. “Most of our storage boats are sail boats so what customers are dealing with are smaller auxiliary diesel engines. This often times is very helpful for them to understand what is going on, so they know how to get home. It is nice to be able to instruct them on how the systems operate so they could actually get their engine going if they turned the key and it doesn’t do what it is supposed to.”
Besides the several storm damaged boats they got in, they have a Freedom 38, which arrived by trailer from Rhode Island. She will be getting a complete refit. This will include reconfiguring the galley, new systems and cosmetic work, which means a lot of brightwork. “This is I think,” stated Craig, “a really smart way to go with older boats that might be 30 or so years old and are solid structurally but their systems are old and need replacement. This gentleman bought the boat at a really reasonable price and he figures he’s got a big chunk of money that he can now invest in upgrading the systems and an engine that is reliable with a new electronics suite. This is going to set him up good. He’s retiring and he will be going cruising.”
They have got some fiberglass work on a couple of sailboats that had sustained some damage while racing off Falmouth Foreside. There is an Etchells that had T-boned a J-27, which has a nice triangular hole in the hull. They have got two boats that sustained some collision damage. One is an Alberg 37 that is getting a new section of cap rail and that will be scarfed in, along with some deck repairs to the stanchion bases and bow pulpit. A 38-foot wooden boat was damaged in a collision at the end of the season and that is going to be new toe and rub rail and some planking work forward on the starboard side.
Other work this winter they will be re-powering one of their launches with a new Beta Marine diesel; a Regulator 24, a center console outboard runabout, they will be repainting the topsides; they will be doing a couple of sail drive diaphragm replacements where we remove the sail drive on some older sail drive boats and replace the rubber seal; and they are going to install a Sea Keeper system in a Hatteras 45 sport fishing boat.
Johanson Boatworks, West Rockport
There is plenty going on at Johanson Boatworks in Rockport. The have five sailboats coming in to be repowered with Beta or Volvo diesel engines.
A Bristol 45 arrived the end of October and they are going to replace her fuel tanks, which means taking out a lot of her interior so they can get at them.
A Hinckley Bermuda 40 is in for paint top to bottom and engine work.
A Nonsuch 35 is in having about 140 square feet of core replaced on her topsides and then she will be Awlgripped.
A J-44, owned by Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, will be coming in to have a lot of deck core replaced.
A Tartan 37 is having a lot of core work done on the deck, fixing that and then we are going to paint the decks. The engine is out, and a rebuilt engine will be going back in.
They have got seven paint jobs to do as well as a lot of varnishing.
Johanson Boatworks has about 100 boats they store each winter and at the end of October they just had two more to go. Peter Johanson, said the best thing he did was purchase a hydraulic trailer, allowing them to move boats when they need to and this makes them much more efficient.
Journey’s End Marina, Rockland
Like many of the yards following the 17 October storm they suffered some damage. Prior to the storm they hauled as many boats and docks they could, but still eight boats came ashore and they suffered some float damage. They hauled two of the damaged boats and they feel these will be totaled.
The major focus currently was filling the storage buildings. Nick O’Hara said that they were about 95 percent completed and did have some spare space for those looking to have work done.
One big project they have lined up is on the lobster smack EASY RIDER from Vinalhaven. She is a DMR 65 and they are going to build an aluminum enclosure.
There are already several repower jobs lined up for the winter and a number more estimates out waiting for conformation. Nick added, “We have some estimates out for a couple Cats and a Cummins. Nanni has got their new line of engines out now that they are not doing John Deeres anymore. Being a Nanni dealer, we have a couple models that are actually Scanias.
One of the repowers will be with an 800-hp Scania, which will be going in a Northern Bay 38 for a fisherman out on North Haven. This will push her along quite well.
Several boats have struck bottom this Fall and they are in for some glass work, which is keeping the fiberglass shop busy. One of the boats was from Matinicus and when she hit, she snapped the skeg and bent the rudder. Fortunately, the bottom was sealed off when the former owner put in a live tank over where the skeg damage was.
The big job this summer was yard maintenance, which meant replacing the concrete pad for the Travelift. They removed the old pad and discovered there was not much left underneath. A local contractor made the repairs and they were back in operation two months later. Unfortunately, just after they started hauling boats again with the 75-ton Travelift she lost her transmission, which took another week to repair. While this was going on, Journey’s End Marina was hauling boats at their yard in the northwest corner of the harbor.
Storage-wise they are going to be full again this year with approximately 250 customers. Once they get done with the winterization season, they will send out several estimates. When these start coming in, they will have no problem keeping those guys busy.