The 55-foot Wheeler hull has been rolled over and they are now putting in her interior structure at Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin.
This is an Alden schooner that is being completely rebuilt by Richard Stanley at a facility in Brunswick or her owner.
Downeast Custom Boats, Yarmouth
In the main shop they have the wooden lobster boat ROYAL, which is getting totally rebuilt. They removed the keel, built a new one and that is now in place. Before the keel was put back in, they replaced the floors. They have also replaced, to date, about 40 frames. One floor under the engine, Joe Lowell, owner of the shop, said will probably be replaced when they remove the engine beds. They finished ripping out the aft section and repaired anything that needed repairing. Next, they were hoping to get another 10 frames replaced. Joe added, “That will tie everything from the forefoot where the main part of the deadwood meet aft. Then, I can start taking out the stem. I have roughed out a stem pattern, oversized because my sawyer likes to give me minimal wood, so we have got that ready to go as soon as I get that.”
The sawyer is also cutting them some rib stock so they can finish reframing the forward part, which comprises about 20 frames, which will not go in until the stem has been replaced. At that point she will be completely re-ribbed. Then they will begin replacing the cockpit framing, wash rail framing and the inner carlins in the cockpit. They were also getting the owner to make a decision on the engine, which they are hoping to replace with a Yanmar diesel.
The hope to have this project completed next spring.
Joe and his wife Megan were working on the stem for HARPOON. The stem was also shaped and bolted together and they were cutting the rabbet line in. Joe added, “I think four more ribs and we are done ribbing. Then we can start stern framing and putting some of the planks on her.”
They also have to look at the dual exhaust system, which may need to be re-configured as someone has cut through some of the frames to get it to fit. This owner is also talking about a new motor, which would be a 454 gasoline engine. With the hull finished and the systems repaired, they hope to do some exterior work, especially cosmetics.
Joe was called in to do work on TAM O’SHANTER, which was built by Even Keel Boat Yard in Yarmouth and launched in 1977. Joe said, “She is also strip built and was the first designed split wheelhouse lobster boat. The owner (John Coffin) wanted a strip built boat. Dad didn’t do a lot of strip-built boats because he didn’t like the aspect later in life when things start to have issues. She is 42 feet and I think she is 14 feet 6 inches wide. Royal designed the Newman 46 just after that, you can see where he really pulled some of the width and size from her. John has had her since then and he is meticulously maintained her. He has fished that boat hard.”
She was hauled out at Royal River Boat Yard in Yarmouth. Joe added, “John’s grandson has been running the boat the last couple of years I believe. He got in a ball of traps and it came up through the prop and pried a chunk of wood out. I basically went over and made a jig and routed out a block of wood to put in there. I dried it out the best I could. I thought about gluing it with Resorcinol glue, but the horn timbers were way too wet. The first move of that rudder would have cracked that joint. I didn’t want to use the devil’s toothpaste (5200) either. I have talked to George Kirby, of Kirby Paints, about traditionally what was used to stick the keel joints together, which was a lead paste. Unfortunately, it costs too much to make it now. I talked with George on how I could make a quick batch with red primer and he told me how and I have been doing that with all my keel joints. Actually, before I got to that she had a little bit of worm damage so we had to put some dowels in there set in red primer putty. I did the same with the block I in. I primed out that whole area with red primer and set the block in with a mallet. She is a real tight fit, fastened it in place and the screws took really well. They launched the boat 30 minutes after I was finished with that.”
Front Street Shipyard, Belfast
The big project for the last couple of years has been a major refit on the sailing yacht ABIDE. The rig is in, hydraulics are working, thrusters and main engine are working and the generators are working, but they need to be adjusted because of the exhaust modifications. They are now working the gray and black water plumbing, fresh water and air conditioning. Due to the complexity of this project it has impacted having people available to do emergency repairs quickly.
They recently launched a Mussel Ridge 46 split wheelhouse lobster boat for a fisherman from York. She was making a trip south and at Tenant’s Harbor her transmission seized. She was taken to Journey’s End Marina for repairs. They corrected that problem and Front Street sent people down to fix some of their issues. This boat is powered by a 735-hp John Deere diesel. For accommodations she has a V-berth with hydraulics and electrical on the backside of the main bulkhead.
They are still working on the Mussel Ridge 42, which is being finished off as a cruiser/sportfisherman, powered with a 1,200-hp MAN. For accommodations she has queen berth forward, head with a vanity to starboard and shower tackle station to port. Up in the shelter the galley is up on the starboard side behind the helm seat and there is a U-shaped settee to port. There is also a seat in the cockpit where there is also a helm on the back side of the aft bulkhead. She will be launched this fall and sea trialed, but will return to the shop to be finished off this winter.
They are also finishing off a New Harbor 28, which is scheduled to be launched this fall.
Other work includes: FIRST LIGHT, a Fontaine 92, which is having her decks redone, painting the hull, masts and some of the deck and putting two new generators; they are working on the owner’s list for a Nordhaven 76 out in the yard; another smaller Nordhaven was just launched; they have more Nordhavens arriving mid-August; a 62-foot Reichel Pugh that is getting a bunch of work done as usual every year; and the waterjet is constantly working, presently cutting Maine granite for Freshwater Stone of Orland, for a house on Martha’s Vineyard.
In one of the bays is LONE FOX, a wooden boat, they have removed the teak deck and houses on. The deck beams are all rusted and they are ready to replace these. This is becoming a big project.
Then we are just trying to get ready for the fall and the onslaught of boats trying to get ready to go south or here for winter storage, which is already full.
Another project under way is on Building #1, which is having a new radiant heat cement floor poured.
Rumery’s Boatyard, Biddeford
This yard stores about 50 boats, half being sail and the other half power. This is down a little bit, because there is not the manpower to do more and everyone get their boat when they would like it. There were no major projects on these boats last winter, mostly just winterizing, regular maintenance and then getting ready for the season. One boat did get a bearing replaced and there was plenty of varnish work.
A major focus at the yard has been with Sean Tarpey’s son, Matt, and his company Maine Electric Boat. His focus is on electrifying the working waterfront. They played around with recreational boats, even rented some on the river, but it is the working boats he wants to work with. He has teamed up with the Island Institute as they have the same goal. At the end of July there was a launch party at Pendleton Yacht Yard on Islesboro, who introduced a rigid inflatable with an electric 40-hp outboard, built by Flux Marine of Bristol, Rhode Island. This company builds their own engines and batteries. The line includes 40, 70 and 100 hp engines. They are now starting to work on developing an inboard engine for a 35-footer. The goal is to use electric power, not gasoline. One can see that for some aspects of the working waterfront the application would work, but others would be challenging. Shawn said, “I was in the first boat that went out from Lincolnville to Islesboro, 6 miles or so, full speed most of the way across the bay and used about 20 percent of the battery power. She went 22 to 25, held 6 people. Oyster farmers like their Carolina Skiffs, but they hate them because they are brutal rides. They don’t like inflatables because they get torn up so the goal is to try to design a purpose-built boat for aquaculture. The goal is to try and get some grant funding or state funding to build two different size boats that may have two hulls, 26 to 35 feet. I hesitate to call them a catamaran when they are empty, they are sitting up high and they are easy to drive. When they are full, they have a lot of stability. When they are harvesting though they are talking about some serious numbers in weight.
“We have put one in a Pulsifer Hampton,” continued Sean, “which just went into the water this past week and went on its first sea trial. That was a great setup, 15 kW inboard. All you do is take the old diesel out, plug this right in, use the same shaft and everything, put two batteries in there and you are off to the races. We did a boat that is at Strout’s Point and we did the Wood Island Lifesaving Station’s boat.”
Looking around the office there was a small buoy with electronics inside it. Sean explained, “These are water monitoring buoys. They will test for dissolved oxygen, Ph, salinity, air temperature, water temperature, give you the position, give you the wave height, turbidity, conductivity and it will send it to your phone or your computer. They are just in their beginning stages. They have only been in the water out here; this one was in the water for eight months last year. We are redoing the computer box and we have got new ones that are coming in the next week or two. We are going to put 5 or 10 of them out, Biddeford Pool, Mere Point Oyster, and other research institutes. There is a place down in Mystic, Connecticut that wants to put one out. The goal would be to get a broad spectrum of them out to feed information back so as to keep track of what the health of the water body is near shore. People who are doing dredging projects would like to know where the turbidity line is. The state tests water all over the place, but they test it the old-fashioned way, which is very labor intensive. They take a little disk and lower it down into the water until they can’t see it anymore and they measure that distance. If you tweaked them just a little bit, they would tell you about sharks.”
Sean said that they are not ready to put on the market. They are still doing a lot of testing to make sure that they are ready to go and will not have problems.
There is always plenty going on here. In the glass shop they have a 42. Next, they will layup a super 46, followed by a 50, maybe another super, a 38 and then a couple of 46s.
They just launched and delivered a twin screw 50 that had been refit for her new owners, which went to South Portland. They made some alteration for fishing, added an ice maker and water maker and wood trim down below.
A little earlier they launched a Wemac 46 sportfisherman, that also underwent a refit. She was a pleasure cruiser and she was converted for sportfishing. Most of the work was cosmetic, including paint, with some fishing modifications. She is now sailing out of Cape Cod.
In the last issue we covered a Wesmac 50 x 20 foot beam, which was being worked on at Boricua Custom Boats in Steuben. They are doing some work on her and think she will be offered for sale.
In the next bay they have a 57-footer, which is being finished off for the State of Maine Department of Marine Resources. She will be used offshore for fisheries enforcement. As for accommodations, she will have a simple interior. This will include a V-berth, head and galley down. She will be powered with a Tier 4 diesel engine and this has meant there was a lot of engineering needed to make sure everything fits under the deck. They are hoping to have her done next summer.
In another bay they have converted a regular powered boat with propellers has been converted to pods. The pods are in and they were working on getting the engines in place. Once this is complete they need to altered the height of the platform in cockpit due to the angle of shafts.
Next to this boat is a 42, being finished out as a sportfisherman, and presently they are working on her electrical system. When finished she will be operated between Maine and Florida as a liveaboard.
Then next to her are two 46s. One is being finished out as a sportfisherman for a customer from New Jersey. She will be powered with a 1,150-hp Scania. Another is a pleasure cruiser, also powered with a 1,150-hp Scania. They are similar down below, but the sportfisherman will have a split wheelhouse and the cruiser a full house with different amenities.
Gloucester Marine Railway, Gloucester
Sitting on the railway was the 85-foot dragger CAPTAIN DOMINIC. They installed a new net reel and redid the steering quadrant and the entire rudder assembly. They also painted her from the gunwales down and some of the work was done be the crew of the fishing vessel.
CAPTAIN DOMINIC was launched the first week of August and then they hauled out the 90-foot dragger SEA FARMER, which was out for annual maintenance.
The fishing boat PHYLLIS A., built at Kennebunkport in the 1920s, has gone out in a few dumpsters. Unfortunately, they did all they could to try and raise the funds necessary to restore, but the support was not there. Another vessel, YANKEE PATRIOT, a well-known wooden Chesapeake Bay cross planked boat, is also being dismantled. She operated out of Gloucester about six years ago, but was not used after that.
The travelift is undergoing some regular maintenance. She is getting a full inspection and four new tires.
There have been the usual issues as one boat is on the hard having taken out her port propeller with a rock. There is also a sailboat hauled out to be re-rigged. A lobster boat is out to have some exhaust work done for her new owner. INVICTUS, of Thompson Island, is out to have a new engine installed. She had a 6068 John Deere, but they were not sure what she was getting. SNOW FLOWER, built by Gladding & Hearn as a 35-foot lobster boat, is getting a Caterpillar C7 installed. She also has been sand blasted and will be painted when the engine installation is complete.
The north track railway is down for maintenance and this means the south track is presently booked through November. If they can free up some of their crew the north track should be available in August.
Like everyone there is plenty of work, but not enough help to do it.