Spring Means Busy Boatbuilders
Although there were some snow flurries on the Easter Egg hunts up here in Maine on Sunday, you can feel spring in the air. The yard crew fired up the Travelift a few weeks ago, birds are returning to the scrubby woods out behind the shop, the elver fishermen have strung their nets across the rivers and the buds on the trees are about to pop. Out in the yard, Nate and Garrett have weathered the abrupt changes in temperature with good grace, and many layers of outerwear. They have been busy launching the shop’s floats and have begun to hook up the various customer floats we look after in the harbor.
By the time Memorial Day hits, the docks here will be stuffed with boats and customers ready to take their first cruise of the season. On Monday we launched our first boat of the year, PAQUET, a 55’ McCurdy and Rhodes design. She came to the shop in the fall for interior finishes and systems work.
ADVENTURESS launches the first week of July, and work has been focused and intense. Carpenters continue to build pieces of the interior off the boat, and the finishers are staining and varnishing these pieces up in the loft before they are installed. Mechanic Eric Martin is putting the engine room together and Eric Palmer and Kim Baker run wires for all for all of the systems throughout the vessel. The cockpit and deck houses are near completion. The fabricators have their hands full with the myriad of metal work required for the vessel—not only are they constructing extremely elaborate and beautiful bronze mast hardware, but they are also turning out brackets, frames and bases for much of the systems installation. Three carpenters work full time to install all of the bronze hardware on the masts, the final step after constructing the new masts from scratch. Look for ADVENTURESS at the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show in August.
We are also finishing up work on GYRE, an Ohlson-designed cruising boat that the owner had us modify to use as a daysailer. To this end, we cut back the cabin and enlarged the cockpit. You can read more about the project here.
L. Francis Herreshoff’s BOUNTY is also at the shop for some bottom work and other upgrades. She will head across the Atlantic this summer.
Rockport Marine at the Antigua Classic Regatta and Sail Maine party
Every year some of the most beautiful classic yachts in the world rendezvous in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua for 5 days of racing at the Antigua Classics Regatta at the end of April. The excellent sailing conditions and warm weather are always a welcome respite at the end of a long Maine winter. This year, the Rockport Marine crew can be found on the schooner Heron, a boat whose summer home is in Rockport Harbor, Maine. Twig and Bonnie built the John Alden-designed vessel themselves. They run the boat as a daysailing business in Maine and the Carribbean and homeschool their two daughters along the way.
Rockport Marine will take part in the Sail Maine party again this year, along with seven other Maine boatyards: Portland Yacht Services, Hodgdon Yachts , Wayfarer Marine, Front Street Shipyard, Brooklin Boatyard, and The Hinckley Company, along with Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. The party will feature live music, lobster stew and libations. You can follow the races, the Sail Maine Party and the other events around the regatta through regular updates on the Maine Harbors website: http://me.usharbors.com/.
Design Office Update
The Rockport Marine design office is still busy with drawings for the Fife Schooner ADVENTURESS, but we’re beginning to think about some interesting projects just over the horizon. With an early July launch there will still be plenty of sea trials aboard ADVENTURESS which we will take part in. If past experience holds true, we’ll be corresponding with the plan review department at Lloyds Register of Shipping throughout the summer as we complete the process of finalizing formal classification status for the boat.
Beyond ADVENTURESS, we’ve been contacted by a repeat customer interested in seeing what we can come up with for a boathouse design in Rhode Island. We’ll be preparing a few sketches this week so stay tuned. If the client likes what we come up with we may be headed toward our second terrestrial architecture project.
Finally the design office has become a regular contributor to the Rockport Marine blog. Every other week or so we’ve been posting a new design alongside some musings and a handful of images and illustrations. Quite a few people have signed up to receive notifications when a new blog is posted and we’ve had some great feedback. Our latest post makes an effort to connect a 7th century Bedouin poet to Eric Clapton’s efforts to steal George Harrison’s wife. The boat is a new take on an old design that might best be described as a “miniature ocean tug.” We were very excited to be contacted by a potential client interested in a modified version of the design for his home in the Balearic Islands so keep an eye on the blog as we’ll be taking another stab at that one as well.
Maine's Boating Expo
Please support the Maine Boating Expo, a new boat show, produced by the Maine Marine Trade Association. MMTA has been championing the marine industry in Maine for 46 years, promoting growth and prosperity in the marine industry in Maine. The show will take place April 13-15 at Brunswick Landing. For more information, visit the show’s website.
Trade Wind returns to the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT this summer
Rockport Marine will be at the Wooden Boat Show this summer, June 29-July 1, aboard TRADE WIND, a 54’ John Alden-designed motorsailer. Rockport Marine restored her over three years and launched her last May. Please stop by to say hello.
Rockport Marine Blog: Each week, we offer post a new article about yacht design, one or our projects, tricks of the trade or some other topic that catches our interest. These posts are a great way to learn more about wooden boats, yacht design, and the inner workings of our boat-obsessed minds.
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Rockport Marine will be attending the Herreshoff Yacht Symposium in Bristol, RI on April 28th.