At Johnson’s Boat Yard on Long Island was the lobster boat PAMELA JOY, a Young Brothers “Slippery” 38. She is owned by Riley Johnson and will be refurbished this winter.

Work is progressing quickly on this Mussel Ridge 42 at Farrin’s Boat Shop in Walpole. This one is being finished off as a sportfishing boat for a fisherman from New Jersey.

Downeast Custom Boats, Yarmouth

        The project that they have been focusing on is HARPOON. She was designed by Royal and then built by Carroll in 1969. She was built for an owner on Mount Desert Island and later sold to someone in Sedgwick and then she went to Oyster Pond, New York. They have refastened about 80 percent of her and the areas that we have not been refastened are areas that they are going to do more work to. We have cut the dead wood down, removed the old shaft log, put in a new shaft log, a new horn timber. “The keel had been done over at some point in time, not the way the Lowell family builds them or designs them,” said Joe Lowell. “That was one of the detrimental effects and she didn’t hold together well the way. Another thing, when they stuck that second keel in they let the bow and stern sag. They didn’t adjust it and keep the boat in shape. We have had to try and keep her in shape. Every 3 or 4 weeks we readjust her and make sure she’s is back in shape the way she should be. Also, when we removed the horn timber and in taking the shaft log apart, we realized there was a lot more wrong. Most all of the keel bolts were gone from electrolysis. Some of the keel bolts that we were able to get out were missing an inch or two inches in between. We replaced some keel bolts. We redid the shaft log more like the way that it should be done and we redid the horn timber the way that they did it, otherwise it would have cost a lot more money. Now that we have got that all bolted in, we will replace the six frames, port and starboard, from the stern forward along with the floor timbers in that area over the horn timber. Then we will move forward and do the stem and the fore foot. We are going to put sister ribs in back to the last six frames. Next we will fix the rest of the planking and finish the rest of the refastening.”

This will take them most of the winter to complete with the goal of getting her overboard next spring.

ROYAL’s keel has been fitted together and is all bolted up. They have put the taper on one side and are laying out the rabbet line. They will cut that out and scallop shape the skeg and flip her over and do the other side. Joe was hoping to have the keel place by early September. Once keel is in they will start re-ribbing her. They have the rib stock for HARPOON, but need to order the wood for ROYAL’s ribs.

Joe had a customer that was interested in a 45-foot lobster boat but he has decided to do a 40-footer instead. Joe said that he thinks it will be one of Carroll Lowell’s designs. Joe added, “We might push the cabin forward a little bit. We are still in the talking stages with that one.”

He also has some one talking about a 32 or 34-footer. Then there are number of other talking about 22s or 26s, which are fiberglass boats, but none that are definite yet.

Farrin’s Boat Shop, Walpole

        In the back shop they have a Mussel Ridge 46, which they are finishing off for a customer from California. She is going to be a family cruiser from the main salon bulkhead forward and the rear cockpit will be finished off for commercial fishing. The husband fishes crab traps in central California, but he and his wife want a boat that they could retire on and do some commercial fishing in Washington. She is powered with a C18 1,150-hp Caterpillar. As for accommodations the forward cabin has a queen-sized berth, aft of that on the starboard side is another stateroom with an upper and lower berth and to port is the head with separate shower. Step up and on the starboard side they will have a galley, with a U-shaped settee with a dinette that will drop down to make a double berth to port. There will be no bridge, but will probably have a ladder so the owner can go up on top of the pilothouse, where they can carry items like paddle boards or surf boards. She is about a third done. They have much of the items (engine, running gear and tankage) under the platform in as well as a Seakeeper gyro. The platform is down and they are now working on the putting the washboards together. They had to move the windshield back 16 to 18 inches so there would be more room in the forward cabin. Then they had to add to the top and the sides. Bruce said that Albert added a couple of feet to the cabin when it was in the mould, but they needed much more added. They are hoping to have her finished late spring or early summer.

In the front shop they have a Mussel Ridge 42, which will be a pure sportfisherman for a customer from Cape May, New Jersey. She is also powered with a C-18 1,150-hp Caterpillar with a genset. Down forward there is a V-berth with a drop in to make it queen-size. Aft if this on the starboard side there will be a utility room and behind that a hanging locker. On the port side is the head and shower. Up in the shelter is the galley on the starboard side and a U-shaped settee to port. There will be Stidd seats at the helm station and a storage compartment below the companion seat on the port side which again might be a Stidd seat with short stanchions. Heading out of the shelter you will pass through a sliding door into the cockpit. To port will be a tackle station and to starboard a steering station with a 12-inch pot hauler for anchoring. She will also have a bow thruster, two AC units, and a spot-free water system. This project is also expected to be completed the end of spring or early summer.

The end of spring they launched a Wayne Beal 36, which was finished off as a full-fledged yacht for a couple from California. Forward she had queen berth and to starboard aft was a single guest bunk. There was also an electrical and hydraulic locker to starboard and to port a head/shower. In the shower they had placed a Bomar hatch door that allowed access to the engine room. Up in the shelter is a helm station to starboard with a sliding door. Behind that there was a settee and with a pull out, which makes a double-berth. Behind the companion helm seat is the galley. The galley contains a LP three-burner cooktop with an oven and just aft of that was a wine locker and further aft is a draw type refrigerator. She also sported the first dishwasher the Farrin’s had ever installed and the owners loved it. In the cockpit is a freezer unit built into the settee and the opposite settee is for storage. They had also rigged up an awning over the cockpit with stanchions at the aft end of the cockpit.”

After being launched the end of April her owners took her down the coast where they cruised around Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod. They then came back up and cruised the coast of Maine and a great time and absolutely loved the boat. She was loaded on a trailer the end of August and headed for California.

What is next? They have two 42-foot lobster boats to build using Calvin Beal hulls. One of the fishermen wants his boat’s top to look just like his father’s Mitchell Cove 35, which was also built by Farrins. One of the boats will be powered with a C-18 800-hp Caterpillar and the other they think will be a Volvo, but that has yet to be finalized.

They then have another Calvin Beal 42 to finish off for the Maine Marine Patrol.

Rollins Boat Shop, York

        Paul has kept as busy as he would like. Presently he is building three wherries for the grandchildren. One is done and another is nearing completion. He explained, “It’s a Piscataqua River Wherry. It was the first boat that I ever built under Bud McIntosh’s direction. I wanted to sail around the world and go off over the horizon and he said you are going to need a dinghy anyway why don’t you build that first. So, this is what I built and they are great rowboats, but they are tippy. Part your hair in the middle. That is good training too, teaches people to be aware of stability and buoyancy. I still had the molds after all these years, so I set them up.

“When I was 23 I could build them in about a week and a half and now it takes me all winter,” continued Paul. “It is very simple, and I’ve come to appreciate the hardest thing to do is a simple project because everybody has so many options that they complicate things. The plans for a Piscataqua River Wherry are in the Mystic collection. I had one that they built at Strawbery Banke in here for repairs a couple years ago and I said ‘Well I want to be a sport and I will do it according to Hoyle’ so I called Mystic and got a set of plans and it turned out that the boat that I had was nothing like the plans. Yeah, because Ed McClave and Bud McIntosh had cooked up some improvements. So, I just rebuilt it the way it was and the guy got a great rowboat.”

Paul built four of them back in the 1970s, but there were other builders on the Piscataqua. He remembers hearing the names Phillips and Remick.

Next to the wherry is another tender, which is known as a MARY WING. Paul said, “This boat here was a replica of a Portsmouth built boat that we had the bones of. The Adams, on Adam’s Point in Durham, had this boat and Ned McIntosh came in one day and saw that and he said, ‘that is the old MARY WING.’  It was a tender for a gundalow. It is nice and steady, but more complicated to build.”

Next to the two dinghies was a wooden sloop, which has an interesting story. Paul sold his boat several years ago and one day a three years ago he was looking through an issue of WoodenBoat and in the back they have a section called “Save a Classic.” She was a Bud McIntosh boat built in 1965. Paul added, “There was a famous sailor in Portsmouth who had one built and won all kinds of races with it and this was her sister. This one was never raced, but was a great cruising boat. I remember Bud being very proud of this model.”

For accommodations she has a V-berth and aft of this to port is the head and a locker to starboard, aft of this are a settee on each side and then the galley to port and a nav-station to starboard. However, she had been sitting in a pasture in Vermont for 20 years and this did not do her condition any favors. Paul was not deterred, he purchased her and had her trucked to his shop. When asked if she was in decent shape, he replied, “No. I started with the bottom I replaced the keel, all the floor timbers, re-planked up to the waterline, reframed from the bridge deck up to the chain plates, new sister frames, and then I took the deck off. The deck was pre-fiberglass deck so the water had gotten in and the frames were soggy, so, I rebuilt the deck frame and the deck, which is glassed. Then paint, no more varnish.”

This project has been underway for three years and she is almost ready for the water. It would have been done sooner, but there was a little issue with an unknown heart murmur. Paul ended up in Boston having valves redone and incredibly found the whole process totally fascinating, saying, “It was fun!” Needless to say, he was out of commission for awhile.

A friend has all the standing rigging done and ready to put on, the engine turns over and with little else left to do, why not put her in? Paul has decided to finish everything that needs to be done and put her over next year.

Recently he repaired a spar for someone, but with the sloop done he is looking for another project. If you have a wooden boat that needs work give him a call.

Sargent Custom Boats, Milbridge

        In the left bay they have a 33 Crowley being finished off as a lobster boat for a fisherman in Casco Bay. She is a very basic boat powered with a 400-hp John Deere. Down below she has a V-berth with cabinets for storage on the starboard side. She was started a month ago and owner Joe Sargent said that he was having trouble keeping up with his crew getting what they need for the build. They hulls they normal finish are usually a lot bigger and more complicated and take several months to complete. This boat they have been working on for five weeks and they have down forward and most of what is under the platform in

Before this one, they finished off a Mussel Ridge 42 as a split-wheelhouse lobster boat for Duncan Haass of Lamoine. She had berths, shelving for toolboxes, rope locker under the platform and is powered with a 1,000-hp FPT. She was also set up for porgy seining with a mast and boom.

Next, they will be finishing off a Wesmac 46 as a split-wheelhouse lobster boat for a local customer. She will have some amenities down forward, but the owner has not fully decided on that yet.

This will be followed by two Mussel Ridge 42s.

As for the Crowley 23s, they have one that is being laid up by S. S. Boats in Sedgwick now, where it will also be finished off by Bagaduce Boats. There is another one, which was started by her owner in New York, coming up to them to be finished.

Wayne Beal Boat Shop, Jonesport

        The Wayne Beal 36 with hard-chines being finished out as a lobster boat for Alfred Osgood of Vinalhaven is presently at Dennis Welding & Marine on Beals Island getting her hydraulics installed. At last up-date they were still waiting for hauler components and some fuel fittings that did not come with the engine, a 1,400-hp MAN. Other than that, she is standard with a compartment down forward for storage and a solid winter back. They did modify the bulkhead dash making it low profile all the way across the boat as she is portside haul. Jeremy added, “The stern deck is old school, it’s like 32 inches from the stern. She is done up well. There is a lot of question marks because it is one of a kind really. The motor is the most power we have had in one, the furthest sitting back in the boat and the chine. I think everything is going to work out alright.”

As soon as she is finished Jeremy will sea trial her as he wants to see how she performs.

They have the 42-foot mould in the shop and are laying up two hulls. They are both going to be finished out as lobster boats for fishermen from the westward. The first one is in the mould and she will be going out as a kit to Mainely Boat in Cushing to be finished off. They had a few more layers to put down and then she will popped out and delivered in September. The other 42 will be started as soon as the first one is out and this one will be finished off here.

They also will be laying up a Wayne Beal 36 with hard chines and she is going to be powered with a 900-hp Scania for a customer from Martha’s Vineyard. They built the father one of the first 32s and the son as opted for a 36.

Outside they have a Young Brothers 38 that needs to be refurbished and they will be adding hard chines to her. Also, outside is a Stanley 36 that was in a collision and they need to make repairs to the starboard side at the deck and hull joint as well as the cabin. When the repairs are complete they will also refurbish the hull. A Crowley 33 from Vinalhaven will be coming in after hauling season is over and she will be given a facelift and have hard chines put on.

There was a rumour that Jeremy had sold his Wayne Beal 32 race boat MARIA’S NIGHTMARE II, but he has not. He did throw it up on the Internet to see if there were any bites, but then pulled it down. She was still sitting on the mooring where she was placed after the Winter Harbor races. Jeremy added, “We took a couple of passes the night before we went to Winter Harbor. I had taken off my goodies and detuned it and I saw 61.1, but she had a bad piston slap and she’d smoke. I was just hoping and praying it would hold together and not come apart and she did. I would have gone to Pemaquid if she’d have held together, if she hadn’t have locked up. She locked up after that first run. She was binding on her fuel because she couldn’t burn it. So, I had two blown pistons when I sailed to Winter Harbor and then sailed her home on two blown pistons. I didn’t have to worry about mosquitos, just a dirty stern.”

Jeremy is hoping to have her ready for next season. He said, “I’ll pull the engine out this winter if we get time or in the spring. There are a couple things I just want to fix, little stuff, nothing big. The reason why it blew up was my fault after I figured it out, it took four pistons to figure it out though.”