New England

Craftsmanship shines at annual Maine event

Posted on 01 October 2010 Written by Mary R. Drake
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01_maineevent_01The eighth annual Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show displayed the creative talents and craftsmanship of boatbuilders and artisans on the Rockland, Maine, waterfront in mid-August, drawing about 10,000 people.

"Even though I'm happy with my present boat, I come every year because I love to look at the wonderful variety of beautiful boats," says Peter Doelp of Southport, Maine.

He had much to admire. More than 100 boats crafted or restored by firms large and small ranged from varnished small craft and composite center consoles to sleek sailing yachts and Maine's iconic Down East-style powerboats.

Maine's only in-water boat show drew visitors from as far as California who learned of the event online.

"I'm impressed by the boatbuilders' craftsmanship," says Bob Meyland of Los Angeles, who also cited the quality of the fine art displayed among the 10 tents of art, crafts, nautical antiques, marine books, boat gear, green products, furniture, home construction and other elements of coastal living.

Children's activities centered on the pond where Educational Passages' model boats were demonstrated. These student-built 4-foot models, powered only by wind and current, sail directly downwind across oceans unaided, transmitting their position via GPS satellite to their respective schools.

This year, Shriners in lobster boat go-karts led the parade of seven canine competitors for the World Champion Boatyard Dog Trials.

Along the waterfront and 2,200 feet of dock were boats illustrating "The Evolution of the Maine Lobsterboat" peapod, dory, Friendship sloop, Hampton boat, sleek Jonesport lobsterboat and the modern beamy, 38-foot Man O' War with its 1,350-hp MAN marine diesel, capable of more than 47 mph.

Most of the impeccably fashioned and finished boats exemplified the show's theme, "Tradition Shapes Innovation," by combining traditional roots, techniques and materials with recreational usage, innovative ideas and technological improvements. A renovated 1954 Huckins now cruises with twin Volvo 400-hp IPS pod drives. (March Soundings.) In lightweight daysailers with traditional topsides, fin keels and modern rigs, all lines lead to the cockpit. French and Webb's 29-foot electric/diesel launch incorporates 20 18-watt solar panels on its shelter top. The Landing School introduced its student-built cold-molded Flyfisher 22.

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue.