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Boatbuilders show going strong

Maine's boatbuilding industry will be in the spotlight during the 23rd Maine Boatbuilders Show, which runs March 19-21 in Portland, Maine.

The reputation of the show has attracted a solid component of select builders from Connecticut to Canada who are comfortable joining a celebration of the finest craftsmanship offered anywhere.

Held at the Portland Company Marine Complex on Fore Street, this show is unique among boat shows in that the booths are manned by the builders themselves rather than salespeople. Many of the 200 companies that exhibit their products at this show only exhibit at one or two other shows a year.

The show provides an important outlet for boatbuilders from Maine, Canada and New England to showcase everything from small rowboats to powerboats and sailboats of every size, using traditional construction methods alongside the latest in cutting-edge composite technology. It provides a venue to highlight the ongoing importance of the Maine's 400-year-old maritime history. Today, boatbuilding is Maine's third-largest employer in the manufacturing sector.

The enduring appeal of the show comes from the boats. Phin Sprague, founder/owner of the show and a boatbuilder himself, says "The boats are spectacular. Well-conceived by boaters, for boaters. The quality of the boats increases every year. Our finest builders will be here and the grace of their boats and craftsmanship ranks them among the finest in the world. They offer quality and value for those who know what they want." More than 50 boats will be on display.

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