New Boat Construction

Since opening in 1962, Rockport Marine has grown in reputation to become a premier builder of wooden boats. The crew at Rockport Marine has a deep bench of experience in wooden boat construction. We preserve and refine traditional skills and building techniques, while constantly pushing the envelope of our craft. Our projects are varied, and sometimes a modern wood composite racing boat will be built in a bay next to a 16th century carvel-planked square-rigger. We like this work, and the varied challenges it presents. Please take a look at our projects, or visit us at the shop.

Rockport Marine Yacht Design: Custom Designed Yachts
Learn more about Rockport Marine's design team

Designs of Aage Nielsen
Learn more about Nielsen designed yachts

Construction Projects


ARABESQUE was designed by Fontaine Design Group for New England cruising and daysailing. The yacht measures 50.3 feet overall with a waterline length of 36.6 feet and a beam of 12.7 feet. The Fontaine 50 is a carefully considered blend of wood and composite construction, with a cold-molded wood composite hull, teak deck and cold-molded wood composite cabintop. The finished yacht, which will launch in summer 2014, will draw her performance and durability from the fusion of these diverse construction methods.

Rockport Marine’s team of builders is constructing the yacht’s hull of cold-molded wood over laminated frames, laminated ring frames and composite bulkheads. The yacht will have one ½-inch layer of Alaskan Yellow cedar, two 1/8-inch layers of Western Red cedar, and one ½-inch layer of mahogany under a 10-oz fiberglass cloth. The main deck will be constructed of two layers of plywood laid over laminated deck beams and covered with natural quarter-sawn teak. The cockpit will have painted sides and the cabintop will be built of teak over plywood and cedar.

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Cary Ali

Newest in the line of Friendship yachts, the Friendship 36, CARY ALI, is designed to specifications by a current Friendship 40 owner.  The client asked for a yacht with the same level of quality, fit and finish of his current Friendship (that draws a mere 3’11”) yet with a draft of 32” so that he may berth it in the shallows of his waterfront home.

The owner has emphasized that reliability, strength, and safety for his family and crew are his most important concerns. Fontaine obliged his requests by modifying the underbody, eliminating the stub of the keel on the 40, and increasing the ballast to provide sufficient stability. The shallow draft delta form hull will have twin rudders for greater steering control.

Although the design may easily be translated into a fiberglass hull and deck, this project has preliminary plans to be a one-off custom yacht, as its hull and decks are being constructed using cold molded wood veneer over wood frames and bulkheads. The F36 will also feature a full carbon fiber spar package including the mast, boom and rigging. It has fully powered sail handling hardware with winches, furlers, mainsheet, backstay and vang all push button controlled. This yacht will have all of the same systems, hardware and details as her well known big sister, the Friendship 40. 

CARY ALI launched in fall of 2013.

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Spirit of Bermuda

SPIRIT OF BERMUDA is an 112-foot, three-masted schooner based the traditional Bermudian schooners built between 1810 and 1840. With their low-slung freeboard and their sharply raked masts, these boats were used for trading, and were known for their speed, maneuverability and the skill of the Bermudan crews that sailed them. SPIRIT OF BERMUDA was built for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, an organization that brings educational and leadership experiences through sailing to the students of Bermuda.

The vessel utilizes modern wood composite construction (seven layers of wood and epoxy), it has carbon fiber spars, outside ballast, and up-to-date systems to ensure longevity, performance and comfort. She was designed by Langan Design Associates of Newport, Rhode Island.

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Almost every aspect of PALMA, a plank-on frame, double-ended daysailer, is custom designed and built. She combines exquisite materials and details with a sleek, elegant appearance. Built of Douglas fir, Alaskan yellow cedar and mahogany, she has berths for two, tufted leather seats, custom hardware and a small diesel engine for propulsion.

PALMA was designed by the late David Ryder-Turner in the spirit of William Fife. The beautiful lines of the design won accolades from Classic Boat Magazine, who praised Ryder-Turner's careful adaptation of a Fife classic. Palma can be seen in the waters of Maine.

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White Wings

The W-Class 76-foot racing yacht, WHITE WINGS, was designed by the late Joel White to combine the elegance of the golden age of yachting with a modern  hull shape and construction method.  Above the waterline, the yacht looks like a New York 50, M-Class, or 12-Meter boat from the early 20th century. Beyond the graceful overhangs, the knife-sharp angled bow and gently curved tucked-up stern, is a 95-foot tall carbon fiber mast and modern underbody.

WHITE WINGS was commissioned by the Padanaram Yacht Company in an effort to revive one-design racing. Accommodations below are luxurious for racing standards. The wood composite hull is very light and stronger than fiberglass, lighter and more rigid than aluminum, easier to maintain than steel and much less costly than carbon-fiber. WHITE WINGS and her sistership WILD HORSES, built by Brooklin Boatyard, are a common sight on the racing circuit.

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LOUISE is a Buzzards Bay 25, rumored to be N. G. Herreshoff’s favorite of his own designs.  At over 32 feet, she is a large daysailer that can carry a crowd, but also perform well in both light and heavy air. Her classic lines have made this a sought after design since she first drawn in 1914.

After her sea trials, LOUISE was delivered to the Bahamas, her current home waters. This keel/centerboarder is traditionally built with Alaskan cedar planks over white oak frames. The cockpit is roomy and she has a small cuddy cabin forward. She is a gaff-rigged sloop; the rig was built by Gambell and Hunter Sailmakers of Camden, Maine, and her sails were sewn by Roy Downes.

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ADVENTURE is a 53-foot historic replica of a 16th century colonial trading vessel designed by the late William Baker. Vessels of this type would have been used to transport goods such as tobacco, coffee and sugar between Charleston, New York and Bermuda. She was commissioned by the state of South Carolina and is on display at the Charlestowne Landing, a national park and living history museum.

ADVENTURE is built with oak double-sawn frames and cedar carvel planking. The interior is very traditional, with an open hold and a few rustic bunks. She has been outfitted with an engine in order to better be able to maneuver out of the small creek that is now her home.The boat was finished in nine months, and upon her completion a crew of six employees delivered her to South Carolina.

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Imi Loa

IMI LOA, designed by Melbourne Smith, is a 32-foot pulling boat used for adventure-based experiential education programs in the Hawaiian islands. She is a pinnace, an 18th century craft that would have been carried on larger ships for use on shore expeditions. It has 10 oar stations and can also be sailed with her sprit sail ketch rig.

IMI LOA is strip planked with Port Orford cedar over steam-bent oak frames. Her spars are sitka spruce and the sprits are made of bamboo.

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Launched in April 2006, GODSPEED is a replica of one of a three-boat flotilla that came from England to America in 1607. Godspeed, Discovery and Susan Constant brought settlers from England to found the second permanent English settlement in the new world. GODSPEED was built by Rockport Marine for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation of Jamestown, Virginia, and is used as a fully operational display vessel at the Jamestown Settlement living-history museum. She was designed by Tri-Coastal Marine of Richmond, California.

Construction is historically accurate, with carvel planking on double sawn frames and many other details appropriate to the 17th century, but the selection of woods used has been upgraded in the interest of a long-lived vessel with good maintenance characteristics. While Godspeed has a highly authentic appearance, she is fitted with twin diesel engines, a modern galley, and head—all concealed from the public when the vessel is on display.

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LYNX, a 76-foot topsail schooner, was designed by Melbourne Smith and is used to educate students about the War of 1812. Her sleek design and dramatic raked masts are based on the lines a privateer vessel that would have been used in the War of 1812 as part of America’s private navy. Working armaments include 4 six-pound carronades, 4 swivel guns, and a complimentary stand of muskets, cutlasses, and pikes. Lynx bases her educational program in Newport Beach, California.

Accommodations aboard Lynx include two aft staterooms, a large main saloon amidships with entertainment center, fireplace, and dining for eight, a split level galley forward with private berth for the cook, and berths forward of the galley.

Learn more about LYNX.

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W-46 Yachts

Rockport Marine built three W-46 designs—EQUUS, ARION and ZEBRA. They are the smaller version their W-class, 76-foot older sisters, WHITE WINGS and WILD HORSES, designed by the late Joel White. The W-46s were designed by Bob Stephens of Stephens, Waring and White Yacht Design, and are built of wood and composite materials, and outfitted with a light and strong carbon fiber spar.

Below decks is elegantly appointed, with custom cabinetry and interior joinery made of cherry. This makes the boat suitable for racing or cruising, and can be sailed with a crew, or a couple or family.

To learn more about the W-Class boats, go to their website.

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DREAM is a 36-foot lobster yacht designed for day trips. She has a 660 horsepower 3196 Catepillar diesel engine that propels her upwards of 30 knots. Designed by Bob Stephens, she is cold-molded and has a small cabin below.

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Boss Lady

BOSS LADY is a 45-foot downeast-style flybridge cruiser power boat. She was designed by Joel White and replaces an earlier, strip-planked version of Boss Lady. This BOSS LADY was built of cedar planks on steam-bent oak frames. She has a mahogany interior and dynel decks. The cabin is spacious and well-designed with roomy forward berths, a woodstove, dinette and galley. The flying bridge also has a steering station for fair weather cruising.

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CHARM, a schooner inspired by traditional coastal New England work boats, was designed and partially built by its owner over the span of 10 years. In the fall of 2008, he brought the completed hull to Rockport Marine to build the deck, interior and spars. Charm has a comfortable and roomy interior that sleeps six. She also has an antique but never used Kelvin engine the owner found in its original box in Singapore. She has many systems and is designed to be comfortable for cruising the coast or offshore voyaging. Sails were constructed by Nat Wilson.

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