BLOOD STRIPE, a Mussel Ridge 42, which was just launched by Farrin’s Boat Shop in Walpole. The name comes from a U. S. Marine Corp. ceremony.

This is a custom Ellis 36, built as a sportfisherman for singer Billy Joel. Note the center console. She has a new owner and he is making some changes.

Ellis Boat Co., Manset, ME

        They have a very interesting project in the shop, which is a Bunker & Ellis 39, a wooden boat. She was originally named STARDUST and owned by Fred Towers of Somes Sound. He sold her and she spent some time in the Boston area, before being sold again and coming back to Mount Desert Island. They have wooded the hull, removed the platform along with her twin gas engines and are now refastening her. Shane Ellis, who oversees the yard, said that they have brought in Richard Helmke of Bass Harbor Boat for some assistance. Shane added that they found a number of cracked frames in the stern and to get at these easier they have removed a couple of planks. The Volvo 5.7 Penta gas engines will be replaced with twin 250-hp Yanmar diesel engines and they may opt to redo the platform with a different hatch configuration and teak. Shane added, “My grandfather might have built them, but we have not done much work like this since the late 70s. But I have got the people, they just need a few pointers.”

        In the next bay is a Patriot 36, based on the Ellis 36, which was built for the singer Billy Joel in 2008. She has been sold and her new owner from Shelter Island, New York has her back for quite a bit of work. She was built for offshore sportfishing so there are some very custom features, like the centre console and modified top. The centre console has a Stidd seat, but visibility must not be as good as a helm station at the bulkhead to one side. They did discuss changing this, but that has been dropped off the to-do list as it was going to be labor intensive. They are still changing the seating in the cockpit, add a transom door and swim platform, then cosmetics.

        On the left side of the shop, they have an Ellis 24, which they are adding a Joe-Strong bracket. This boat had a Mercruiser inboard, which has been removed and will be replaced with a 250-hp Suzuki outboard. Shane explained, “No more stern drive and we have added the Joe-Strong bracket, because Joe made it. It is more of a hull extension so it really turns our 24 into 26. We have done a couple of them now and they came out really nice. It does not change how the boat runs too much; it actually might keep the nose down a bit. Maybe run a little faster. The 250 horsepower is plenty. It is going to go 30 knots.”

        The engines that were removed from the Bunker & Ellis 39 and the Ellis 24 are all running takeouts and are for sale. If interested call Ellis Boat Co.

        Shane added, “A problem that I have with any new quotes is just the cost to build anything. To be frank it scares the hell out of people to build anything new. A new 26 decked out with all of the things you want, is going to be half a million dollars. They run the other way. Pre-pandemic we would have never thought of going over $300,000 and something. I just pulled up the last report and I said okay, everything is now 35 percent more than what it was. Numbers are numbers. That is why somebody will take something like this, spend maybe $45,000 to 50,000 buying the boat, restore it and be in it for $100,000 less than a new one and get what they want. We do quite a bit of that with the older boats.”

Farrin’s Boat Shop, Walpole, ME

        In the last issue we had the launching of MISS EMILY, a Mussel Ridge 42, finished out as a sportfisherman for a fisherman from Cape May, New Jersey. About three weeks later Farrins’ launched another Mussel Ridge, this one a 46, also a sportfisherman, for a fisherman from California, named BLOOD STRIPE.

        The hull and top for this boat were pulled into the shop last year and they modified the top by raising the house and moving the windshield and main bulkhead back 18-inches. They then started to fill in the structure under the platform. This includes fuel and water tanks, two in-deck live tanks, an above deck bait tank and a Seakeeper Gyro No. 9. A contract requirement was that there would be no wood anywhere in this boat. For accommodations she has a queen berth forward, separate head/shower to port and to starboard a double bunk stateroom. Up in the shelter there is a helm station to starboard and a companion seat to port. Aft of the companion seat is an L-shaped settee with a table and to port is a galley with a microwave, electric cooktop, fridge/freezer, and a nice big sink. At the helm of the station is sports a full Garmin electronics package and Time Zero computer system. She is powered with a C-18. She also has a 12-kW generator, 50-amp shore power, and fresh and saltwater washdown.

        Blue Water Fab did the metal work, Nautilus Marine did the bow rail, Troy Benner the wiring, Mike Di Pippo the custom fishing items and Sawyer & Whitten the electronics.

        The owner, Chris Bumgarner, was looking at Northern Bays, but there were none available. Then he looked at Calvin Beal hulls, but there was a long lead time. He added, “I stumbled onto a boat that was for sale, which was a Mussel Ridge. I liked that boat, so I said we are going to copy that one. She was built by Clark Island Boat Works I live in Ventura and there’s two sister harbors, one is in Santa Barbara and one is in Ventura and Bruce has boats in both harbors. That is how I found out about Farrin’s. He is amazing. I am relatively a novice to this size of boat and he walked me through it.”

        Chris showed up saying, “I told Bruce a month ahead of time that I was coming and I didn’t kind of reiterate that later on. I just kind of walked into the shop one day, Bruce, Jr. was on the deck sanding something and I said, “How is it going?” And he is like, “Who are you?” “I am Chris,” “You mean like Chris? Pointing at the boat. Yeah, it was funny. I am used to smaller boats. In the military I was in the infantry, but I drove tracks and armored personnel carriers and things like that. That is all on land, but the tracks can go in the water too. So yeah, I have driven some big boats, but I have never owned one.”

        Chris has taken his new boat out for a spin off of South Bristol on the Damariscotta River. “I have a 26 and this thing turns way better than that one does,” said Chris. “It is just bigger. Maneuvering it up to a dock is something that is going to take getting used to but it will come.”

        This boat will be trucked up to Rockland where she will be readied for a cross-country trip, which should take eight to ten days to complete.

        Chris added, “I am slowly pulling back from my business and I want to get into commercial shellfish on the West Coast. I have done a lot of shell fishing in the Pacific Northwest area and so I was going to do that as kind of like a retirement gig. We catch lobster out there too; they just do not have claws.”

        Chris tried our lobsters and said, “They are definitely different. The meat is a lot softer here but they kind of taste the same.”

Hewes & Co., Blue Hill, ME

        Like most marine businesses on the Maine coast, they are busy. Hewes & Co. is a supplier of cut plywood using a CNC machine for the boatbuilding industry.

        One of their recent jobs was cutting out the plywood for a custom cold-moulded 40-foot sailboat designed by Robert Stephens of Belfast, which is under construction at Artisan Boatworks in Rockport. Gardner Pickering added, “We are done cutting the hull, we are done cutting the deck, the foam, the blocking, and the deck skins. We did the house sides all out of marine plywood. I think it is the biggest one that Artisan has built. It is amazing what they had to do to the third floor to fit the deck in. They are going to have to cut the ends of the building to pull the deck.”

        Rockport Marine is working on that 95-foot sailboat. “We have done all of the bulkheads, the hull setup mold, the deck setup mold, the scarfed 15 mm marine plywood inner deck skin and then the foam and then the hardwood blocking,” said Gardner. “I am waiting for the files for the outer deck skin. That will be another 80 sheets of 15 mm marine plywood, all scarfed on both sides. Right now, we are cutting the foam and the molds for the tubs that go in around the keel bolts. I am not entirely clear how that all works but that is being sent off to a composite builder to make those parts. We have cut some interior cabinetry for them, drawer slides, drawers and then they will take the cabinets that we built, set them in. I believe a cockpit mould and a house mould will be coming next, but we have done the majority of that project.”

        “We are just about to start a powerboat for Belmont Boatworks,” added Gardner. “This is another Bob Stephens design. She is 27 feet 7 inches with a hard chine and a swim platform and we are drawing it right now. Bob Stephens gives me this model and everything is solid. I have got to put the slots and tabs in so it goes together, actually measure the plywood to make sure the thicknesses will work and break it up into sheets.”

        When I was there they were cutting a South African design, called the Work Star 17, which is a 17-foot open launch, built of marine plywood and epoxy and cloth. She is heading for Wisconsin. This is the second one they have done. They just finished a Vivay, called a Penhir, which is a 24-foot 6-inch sailboat.

        Another big project will be a Doug Zurn project for John Williams, but Gardner said he had no other details as he has yet to see the files.

Johanson Boatworks, West Rockport, ME

        In the main shop they have a Finngulf 41, which they have removed the teak deck from and will be removing about 100 square feet of her deck to be re-cored. They will then glass the deck, Awlgrip it and then put down non-skid.

        The Camden Yacht Club’s launch is in to be repowered. The new engine will be a Beta 50. They will also do fuel tanks and make sure she compiles with Coast Guard regulations.

        Another boat in the main shop is a Hunter 49 sailboat, which was just purchased by a new owner. She needs some damage repaired, a new generator, all new windows, and new electronics.

        Other work includes a B&G electronics packages for a J-40 and an Island Packet 38; three Beta repowers to do on small sail boats, a Morris 32, a Sabre 36; we have two deck paint jobs, one a Southwester Hinckley 42 and the Finngulf; four or five hulls we are going to do Awlgrip; and they blasted three or four bottoms this year, taking them back down to gelcoat and then putting on a barrier coat and bottom paint.

        They store just over 100 boats and each one of them has a list of work to do this winter. Max added, “We bought some new land outback and we have put up a couple of buildings. The yard is open now, we have room to maneuver and move stuff around.

        Then we got into a discussion on how much more people used their boats this year. “Oh, I think definitely this year people seem to have used their boats more. We have one customer, he usually puts about 30 hours a year on his engine, he put 80 hours on it this year. Boats came back in a little rougher shape; people were breaking more stuff than they usually do. We had a couple of good little insurance jobs that trickled in over the summer, small boats people racking up on lakes. We were doing those all summer. That really kept us busy for most of the summer.”

The Landing School, Arundel, ME

Dear Friends of The Landing School,

        It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that I have decided to step down as President of The Landing School.

        After more than ten years at the school, this is not a decision that I have made lightly but it is important for me professionally and for the ongoing growth of the school. I believe at this time, the School needs a leader who is less steeped in what is, or what was, and has a new vision for what could be.

        Since my first days as a Yacht Design instructor, my experience at The Landing School has been exceptionally rewarding. I am grateful for the life-long relationships I have built and for being part of an institution which has changed lives and formed the genesis of some very rewarding careers. I still have students from my first year of teaching who will call for career advice or just to chat…that is the magic of The Landing School.

        While my last official day as President is December 29th, I will be available to the School and the Board of Trustees in an advisory capacity to make sure that the transition to new leadership is seamless and effective. I am confident that the search process will yield a strong new leader and I am looking forward to watching the School thrive well into the future.

        As I have stated from the beginning: “My office door is always open.” If anyone would like to chat stop in, email or call.

        Best Regards, Sean Fawcett, President

Oceanville Boatworks, Sunrise, Stonington

        Last April a 44-foot Calvin hull arrived and they started finishing her out as a sportfisherman. Most of the interior fiberglass structure is in and they are Awlgripping the interior. Tim Staples has been building the cabinets, doors and trim and now it is getting varnished. They were also cutting the top off and building a new one so it had overhangs all the way around.

        Down below she has a V-berth, head with shower to port and storage to starboard. Up in the shelter there is a settee with a table and galley. There is storage underneath the settee for fishing rods. The galley contains a refrigerator, microwave, and a sink. There is also a bow thruster, rocket launcher in the middle, a mast and boom, and a crane.

        This boat is powered with a 750-hp John Deere, which came via Toppin’s Diesel & Marine of Columbia Falls. As for fuel, she carries 650 gallons.

        Long Cove Marine is doing the wiring, hydraulics, and engine hook-up.

        They felt that another four months and she would be ready to go over.

        Next will be a Mussel Ridge 48 finished out as a lobster boat for a fisherman from Boothbay Harbor. She is not going to be fancy, just three lobster tanks, rope locker, V-berth and maybe a small settee in the pilothouse.

        A Calvin 36 may be coming in to have the pilothouse sole raised, a winter back and cabinetry installed. Presently she is at Billings Diesel & Marine having a generator installed.

        A lobster boat will also be becoming in for a rubber deck and Awlgrip.

Samoset Boat Works, Boothbay, ME

        In the left shop there is a Mussel Ridge 42, being finished off as a sportfisherman for a customer from Cape Cod. Matt Sledge, owner of the shop, said, “The bow blaster is in. Engine is up there and we are bagging the glass on the motor mount foundations right now. We have got platforms made for the fuel tanks. She is going to have two in-deck live wells. I took the tubs down to Sea Frost yesterday so they can wrap them with cooling coils because they are going to be chilled. Also, I need to get a freezer plate for the tuna coffin to keep the ice from melting. The forward cabin has been mocked up, panels have been cut, and we are just building some shelves, and platforms underneath the forward cabin sole for the holding tank. Next, we are going to be doing rigging tubes to get wires and hoses from the engine room into the cabin. Then paint the bilge out and put the cabin sole and interior down. We have also got to find a way to get forward bilge pump, holding tank vent, holding tank pump-out up to the deck.”

        For accommodations, there is a single V-berth, a single berth on the starboard side, and a head with enclosed shower to port. Up in the shelter there is a helm seat to starboard and a companion seat to port, behind which is an L-shaped settee and opposite this is the galley containing a drawer fridge/freezer, a sink, a microwave, a Keurig, and a tackle station.

        She will be powered with a 900-hp Scania.

        In the other bay is another Mussel Ridge 42, which is also being finished out as a sportfisherman for a customer from Rhode Island. When they cut out the bow thruster hole on the first boat, they did the same on this one. This one is powered with a 1,150-hp Scania. This one will be laid up very similar to the other, but instead of a single berth on the starboard side they will have a work bench.

        Sportfishing boats this size are talking a year or more to complete due to the complexity of the build. Matt added, “Instead of just plopping in a box we now have to make a single skin tub for the in-deck live well so they can wrap the coiling around them. I didn’t know anything about this when I started the project. So, you are adding on two separate systems. You have got the cooling compressor but then you have got to have a pump which cools the compressor. You know the compressor is not big enough to have a continuous flow of water go through and cool it, so now we have to put in an aeration system. You are adding all of the systems and then you are also adding a truckload of plumbing. If you think about it, if you are fishing down the canyons or south of the Cape you are pulling your bait fish up, 20, 30, 40 feet below the surface. They are colder, that water temperature is down below the thermocline. You want to keep them alive, because if you start circulating them with surface temp water, which is what you are going to get if it is just continuously going, life expectancy drops and they won’t be as lively on the line. Then he wants a freezer plate in the tuna coffin to keep the ice from melting. There is another compressor, another cooling line and cooling pump.”