Belmont Boat Works, Belmont
There are numerous projects underway at the yard. The 30-foot sailboat ALBA is undergoing a major refit. They have replaced most of the woodwork, upgraded many of the systems and new paint. Like many projects, this one continues to grow as the owner adds more to the to-do list.
Chuck Paine designed a 16-foot sailboat called the “Levant,” which they are building the hull skins for. A year ago, the did a few of these and now there are orders for two more.
A project just getting underway is building an electric boat called SOLAR SOUTH. This is an open runabout with an electric motor, big battery bank and a canopy covered with solar panels. The designer is working out the details and the first one will determine the cost of the build. The pieces will be made in Florida and they will be shipped to Belmont Boat to be assembled. The first shipment is expected sometime early summer.
A number of the boats they store all need some degree of attention. One currently in the shop is a Pacific Seacraft Flicka, which is in for some system work. Out in the paint by is an aluminum boat called WHISTLER, which was designed by Geerd N. Hendel of Boothbay Harbor. Her hull has been repaired and faired and was getting a primer coat when I visited. Also, in the paint shop was “Falconstein,” which is a Ford Falcon drag car. One can see her most weekends at Winterport Dragway.
Farrin’s Boat Shop, Walpole
In the front shop they have a Wayne Beal 36, which is being finished off as a cruiser for a California customer. All the major components are done forward and it has been primed. They have one more primer coat to go before the finish coat goes on.
For accommodations there is a queen size berth in the forepeak. Going aft there is a head with separate shower and a small stateroom with a single berth to starboard. Up in the main salon there is a helm and companion seat at the bulkhead, a galley (Force 10 three-burner stove with oven and drawer type refrigerator) on the portside and on the starboard side a settee that can be made into a double berth. In the cockpit there is a drop-in freezer.
This boat is powered with a 550-hp Cummins.
They are currently fairing and painting and it is thought she is about two-thirds done. They were also informed that the Diamond Sea-Glaze windows are on the way, which will keep the project on schedule. She is scheduled to go over early summer and it is thought that her owners will cruise her down the East Coast. The thought is to load her on a truck in the Carolinas and ship her across country to her home in California.
In the back shop they are finishing off a Calvin Beal 42 as a patrol boat for the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
For accommodations down below she has a V-berth with a head and a wet hanging locker to starboard and a galley (microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker) to port. Up in the pilothouse there are two seats, each side of the companionway at the bulkhead, an L-shaped settee with a dinette. In the cockpit she will have a 17-inch hauler, an A-frame davit, open stern, and a cradle for a hard-bottom inflatable. There will also be a hydraulic winch to haul in the inflatable.
This boat is nearing completion and most of the work is fairing, painting, hooking up the systems and minor finish work. She is expected to go over the end of April or early May.
Soon to arrive will be a Mussel Ridge 46, which is being laid up at Hutchinson Composites in Cushing. She going to be finished out as a sportfisherman/family cruiser for a California customer. Bruce Farrin thought that this was the eleventh boat that they have built for a customer from California. This will be a big project.
Also coming in will be a 43-foot lobster boat to be repowered.
Like most yards they need help as they are down to four people. Since October they have hired five people: three worked a day never to return; one worked a week and two days; and another worked almost three months, but he really wanted to be an electrician so he has moved on.
Feeney’s Boat Shop, Cutler
In the main shop they have WHITNEY & ASHLEY [Wesmac 42, 2003], of Cutler, in having the starboard side of her bow repaired where she was hit. The exterior was given a quick fixed so she could finish out the season and then she was brought into the shop. They have made a complete repair on the exterior and now are working on the inside where they found radiating cracks where the impact took place. Once they are done grinding, they will lay in some fiberglass. She was scheduled to be out of the shop in early March.
Next to her is a Mitchell Cove 35 powered with 705-hp Caterpillar, which is being finished out as a simple lobster boat for a local fisherman. It was also said we just might see her compete at the lobster boat races this year. They are putting in a composite platform, dash, a partial winter-back and a pot hauler.
Next to her is a lobster boat that is in for a rehab. They said that she needed a lot of attention. They have replaced the dash, platform, and the hydraulics.
In the lay-up bay they have a Mitchell Cove 20 which is almost done. They just need to add the stringers and out she goes.
Next will be a Mitchell Cove 35, which is coming in to be stretched out to a 42. However, they were not sure how wide they were going to go.
Front Street Shipyard, Belfast
Finding Vinalhaven with the bottom of your boat is not advisable. Unfortunately, that is what happened to the 120-foot Horizon built ENDLESS SUMMER the third weekend of August. J. B. Turner, President of the yard, said, “They took out a good section of the keel and one side completely of the running gear: shafts, props, struts, everything gone or destroyed. They actually pushed the strut up into the boat about 18-inches. It somehow came back down, but of course it did massive damage along the way. It pushed the strut so far up that the propeller cut through the hull in the tunnel. They were taking on water through the strut area and rudder bearings. They thought they were not going to make it back to Belfast so when the Coast Guard arrived the crew was ready to get off and say goodbye, but the Coast Guard said, ‘no, we have pumps we can keep up with this.’ They were able to motor under their own power, one engine, at about 2½ knots from Vinalhaven to our dock.”
It was a big job, but straight forward. JB said, “It was all pretty straight forward and you could see what the issues were along the way. We did have to take out some of the crew cabin interior and pull the transmissions on the starboard side, because it had clearly been damaged. When she hit it broke a motor mount clean off.”
Getting the transmission out is a process as you must remove parts of the interior and go up through the decks to the main salon and then through the aft end of the cabin using a gantry.
When the repairs were completed, Brownell Boat Transport of Mattapoisett, MA came up and moved her out of the building, where she was picked up by the 481-ton Travelift and launched. After a couple of sea trials, she headed south to Florida. The owner was pleased saying that she has never run as smooth as she does now.
In the big new shop is the 151-foot PIONEER, an expedition yacht, that is in to be refurbished. Every department is involved in this project. They are doing some aluminum hull plating; rebuilding the galley and seven of the eight heads; a lot of carpentry; mechanical upgrades, which includes shafts, propellers, rudders, piping; air conditioning; and lots of paint. The hull has been painted and they were now painting the bulwarks, stack and all the cabin doors the end of February.
It was known in the fall that many boats that usually go south for the winter were opting to stay north and have work done. JB said that there was a number of medium sized jobs that were either done or nearing completion.
They have a 60-foot sailboat, built in South Africa, which has been gutted, the keel is off and they were struggling to get the bulb off the fin. The problem was that the original builder poured cold tar epoxy in to hold everything together and they are now removing that along with chucks of lead. They are doing this to get at the bolts, which are all corroded. The engine and all the systems have been removed as everything needed to be worked on or replaced.
A sportfisherman as been stored at the yard for several years and is getting a lot of work this winter. On the forward side of the main cabin, where windows would normally be, she had plywood, which is being replaced. They are also doing a lot of exterior paint work.
Other projects include a 50-foot Hood powerboat in for a lot of maintenance; a Hinckley 50 in for paint job and varnish and system work; and they are building a new 41-foot Hunt day boat; a 70-foot Trumpy for maintenance; a Hatteras for running gear and engine work; and the 60-foot catamaran CRUX is getting a new sonic anti-fouling system and a new communications system on a newly fabricated arch on her stern.
They just delivered a 42-footer to Martin Defense Group in Hawaii, which was part of the ONR testing. They did test runs before she left in 20-degree temperatures.
A Holland 30 hull is in to be finished, powered with outboards. They are also building the hulls for Holland Boat Shop in Belfast at their Bucksport facility. The Bucksport facility has been doing several of SW Boatworks hulls for a number of years and recently Sargent Boat of Milbridge sent their hulls to them to be laid up there. Another boat they are laying up at Bucksport is the 26-foot Pro Glide, which is a mini-catamaran that is powered with an outboard and goes crazy speeds. Presently they are building the moulding as they have an order for 10 of them.
One aspect of the yard that has been extremely busy is the paint bay. It has not only been used to paint boats, but they have also slid in some composite containers, which have sensors in them, that needed to be sprayed.
They have been working with the Martin Defense Group of Hawaii and are building an autonomous testing system for a generator; a separate fuel oil system and a cooling water system to analyze how it would work in an autonomous ship.
The new waterjet is up and running and this will be a fantastic piece of equipment for their future and other manufacturing businesses in the State of Maine. This has been set up in Building #5 and they have already cut some items for in-house use and cutting panels for the Kenway, Corp. of Augusta. It also has a big lathe attachment, which allows them to do large piping.
Hylan & Brown, Brooklin
In the main shop they have the 43-foot SEA STAR, which was built by Chummy Rich of Bass Harbor Boat in Bernard. She was purchased this past fall and it was thought a little work and she would be good to go. It was not long before she was an empty hull overgoing a major rebuild. The only thing besides the hull saved was the Yanmar engine, which had just 500-hours on it. This was sent to Billings Diesel & Marine in Stonington and gone over and shipped back with a new Northern Lights 6 kW generator. She will also have a 1,500-watt solar array with a 900-amp lithium-ion battery bank.
As they were removing everything from the hull, Doug Hylan went to work designing a new interior layout with a new trunk and pilothouse superstructure. The new accommodations will have a stateroom forward and a double berth back at the main bulkhead. Up in the shelter is a galley (stove, refrigerator, and freezer) and a dinette that will make into a double berth. She will also sport a water heater and heat pumps for both heat and air conditioning.
The hull only needed some sister framing, bottom refastened and a few planks to repair and they were already working on the trunk cabin top.
They have four to five people on this project with the hope of getting her done sometime this summer.
The owner of this boat has also bought another one, a Lowell Brothers 36, which was in Texas. She was built a sportfisherman in 1966 and is on her way to the yard to have work done next spring.
However, in between these two they are going to build a 26-footer designed by Doug Hylan.
Little River Boat Shop, Cutler
In the shop they have an Osmond 42, which has been widen 18 inches on the stern giving her a beam of 15 feet 10 inches. This modification was done by H. & H. Marine in Steuben. This boat is being finished out as lobster/scalloper for a local fisherman.
Since she will be used as a scalloper, they have built an aluminum framework in the middle section of the platform. The other framing for the platform is constructed with 4 x 4s secured to the hull stringers and this creates a very rugged platform.
Under the platform there are two tanks with a total of 375 gallons between them. The engine is a 450-hp 9 litre Cummins, which is in and hooked up to the running gear. The main clutch and hydraulic pump are bigger, like what an offshore lobster boat would have.
Down below will be basic with just a bunk and some storage space.
With the modifications made to the hull, they deck and house were also modified. The house was raised four inches and widened to compensate for the wider hull. She also did not have her roof on, which has become standard practice at the shop making it easier to get the engine or make needed changes to the house or roof. The windshield was set up for five windows and that will be changed to four and in the process the angles will be changed to make it more pleasing to the eye so a whole new windshield will be built.This boat will be finished around the first of April.
Next, they will be building a deck and cabin on a new Wesmac Superwide 46 for a fisherman from Owl’s Head. The hull will arrive in mid-February and once the one in the shop is out this one will come in. When they are done putting the top on it, she will be shipped to a finisher in the Rockland area.
There are seven to eight people working at the shop, including some young guys. One is from Washington Academy where is taking the marine class. When asked if he was learning anything, he told them he had learned more in two days than he had all semester. Washington Academy has a good program, but it is hard to beat learning on-the-job from someone who has done it for almost 40 years and knows all the ins-and-outs of the job.
Padebco Boats, Round Pond
In the shop on the waterfront, they have three Padebco 21s in for refits. They were in for fuel tank issues or the platform starting to get soft. This meant ripping up and replacing the tanks and platform. One of them also needed to be repowered. Also, one of them had a teak platform, which the owners loved and wanted to preserve. They were able to lift off all the teak, number it and put back down on the new platform. Due to the workload at the other shop they opted to only build one new Padebco 23 this winter. This one is custom as she is being used to ferry people out to Cranberry Isle from Mount Desert Island. Since they will not need the V-berth they are going put in its place space for luggage underneath the dodger. They are also going to add a canvas enclosure around the centre console, which will be rigged to the T-top.
Up in the main shop, just north of the town on Route 32, they have their project boats in for work. There is a Mariner 40 in having her keel repaired after striking the bottom off Camden. They removed the keel, did some minor glass work, and put the keel back on. She is now ready to go back over. There is also a Sabre 28 in for keel repair. She fetched up on a ledge and leaned over when the tide went out. She floated off without an issue and sailed the rest of the summer without issue. That keel was repaired. A Royal Lowell built wooden boat, which was covered with fiberglass when she was built, has come in to repair several issues due to freshwater intrusion. Presently they are working on her bottom. They have located areas that have delaminated and are repairing them. A survey was done finding more work that needed to be done.
A Padebco 27 is to be repowered and have her interior modified. They have removed her inboard jet and this is being replaced with twin outboards. The work on the interior is almost done, with just the trim and varnish left. She will be over in May.
There is a Marshall Cat in for her annual maintenance and make alterations to her scuppers on the cockpit. She has a large cockpit and if it rains hard and the scuppers are restricted, the cockpit will fill with water and overflow into the engine compartment. This happened last summer and when found the water was a foot over the cabin sole due to the overflow from the cockpit and a faulty bilge pump. The teak and holly sole did not delaminate but did turn black. They have bleached the black out and refinished the sole.
An AJ 28 pleasure cruiser is in. They have added a hand bilge pump at the helm, changed out the middle window in the windshield, looking to redo the helm seating; and added G-10 in the keel so they can attach a cage.
They are working on a couple engines. One is a 2-cylinder diesel in a sailboat and its fuel tank developed a pin hole and 15 gallons of fuel went into the bilge. To get at the fuel tank they had to remove the engine. Before it goes back together, they are replacing everything that cannot be worked on with the engine in place.
A Halsey Herreshoff 33, a cat ketch, severely overheated her three-cylinder Yanmar engine last summer. It got so hot that the head was damaged and all the insultation on the electrical wires was melted back several inches. The question is whether the engine can be rebuilt or needs to be replaced.
The front of this shop is for boats cycled in and out when their work list is finished. They have done about 16, but still has another 15 to do. They will be busy right through the spring getting them done.
SW Boat Works, Lamoine
The Scituate harbor master’s boat has been delivered. She is a Calvin Beal 34 powered with a 500-hp 8.3 litre Cummins. Down below she had a V-berth, head work bench and small galley. She also sported a fire pump. When asked how the ride was to Scituate, Stewart Workman, owner of S. W. Boatworks, said ‘Not bad on the back of a truck.”
In the first work shop they are finishing up on the Rhode Island research boat. She is similar in finish to a split wheelhouse lobster boat. Down below she has a V-berth and gear locker. Up in the shelter she has a small galley on the port side. She is powered with a 550-hp 8.3 litre Cummins. She was going over the last week of February so they could mark the waterline and do sea trials. They will also install the gantry system an then she is off for Rhode Island.
In the next shop they have a Calvin Beal 36, which is being finished off as a giant centre console/walkaround boat for sportfishing. She still has a forecastle which can sleep 3 or 4 with a head and shower.
In Bay #4 they have a Calvin Beal 48, which is being finished off as a split wheelhouse offshore lobster boat for a fisherman from Vinalhaven. Down below she has a V-berth, galley, lockers, and work bench. She is powered with a 1,000-hp C-18 Caterpillar.
In the next bay they have a Calvin Beal 42, which will be powered with an 800-hp Scania. She is being finished out as a sportfisherman for a customer from the North Shore of Massachusetts.
This will be followed by another 42-foot sportfish yacht, a couple of 36s, 42s and 44s. The Calvin Beal 36 is being finished off for the U. S. Coast Guard as a “make believe” training boat at Buzzard’s Bay. They will be using on land to train for boardings. They are laying up the hull and deck and then they will begin finishing her off.
Like most boatbuilders, they are busy. The biggest call is for sportfishermen and the next opening for a finish boat is the middle of 2022. However, someone may drop out so always call to make sure they do not have an earlier slot.