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Waterfront homes: This Maine home is ‘like being on a boat’

Gary and Mary MacDougal have summered on the Skillings River in Lamoine, Maine, since 1993. “Our home has a lodge-y feel that I like,” Mary says.

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With the couple “getting along in years,” she says, “we need to live in one place … where it’s warmer than [our home in] North Haven, Connecticut.”

Their almost 1-acre Maine property has 215 feet of river frontage; a heavily insulated, shingled frame home with three bedrooms and two full baths; a detached two-car garage; a storage shed; and a deep-water mooring. It’s listed at $489,000.

A deeded private road leads to the garage, where a wood ramp connects the driveway to the front door. The carpeted two-story house seems more spacious than its 1,600 square feet because of the great room’s three window walls, including two that rise to the ridge peak. “The windows bring the outside in,” says Mary, who is 78.

“It’s like being on a boat because the house sits on a 20-foot bluff about 75 feet from the water,” says Gary, who is 82. “You can’t build this close to the water anymore.”

The woodstove does not obstruct the view, nor does the sliding-door block access to the waterfront decks. “We enjoy morning coffee on the east deck and cocktails on the west one,” Gary says. From there, and the south deck, they watch lobstermen hauling traps, cruising sailboats, seals, moose, foxes, eagles and other wildlife.

The great room’s dining area adjoins the rear kitchen, which the MacDougals renovated with walnut cabinetry, Formica counters, vinyl flooring and electric appliances. A bedroom and a full bath are also on the main floor.

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Upstairs, the loft’s sitting area connects to a full bath and two bedrooms, each with a closet and a cathedral ceiling. The concrete crawl space — where the propane forced-hot-air furnace is installed — has interior stairs.

Mature trees surround the landscaped lawn. Trails lead through the woods, and rustic stone steps descend to the shore. “This is a great place for grandkids,” Gary says. “We have wild blueberries, raspberries, mussels to gather on the shore. … The kids swim off our pebble beach [at low tide] or play on the granite ledges.”

For years, the MacDougals kept a 22-foot Grady-White on their mooring and cruised to Bar Harbor (six miles), Sullivan and other nearby areas. (They kept a 36-foot Mainship in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.) Now they explore local coves, rivers and ponds in a 17-foot aluminum boat with an outboard. “Kayaking is fun, but you have to be careful of the current, which can be up to 5 knots,” Gary says. The tidal range is about 11 feet.

Located between Ellsworth (the Hancock County seat) and Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, the property is five miles southeast of downtown Lamoine (about 1,600 residents), which has a town beach, a state park and a freshwater swimming pond. Taxes are about $4,200, and the property has a well and a septic system.

Shopping, dining and services are in Ellsworth, about five miles by car. An airport with daily service to Boston is a six-mile drive. Jamie O’Keefe, (207) 299-8732, of The Knowles Co., Northeast Harbor, Maine, lists the property.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue.