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Show highlights Maine craftsmen

New yachts and more events expand the fifth running of the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show

New yachts and more events expand the fifth running of the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show

Eight or more major new vessels will make their boat show debut at the fifth Annual Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show set for Aug. 10 to 12 on the Rockland waterfront.

More than 70 other boats — traditional and modern designs in wood, fiberglass and aluminum from yachts and sturdy workboats to hand-crafted canoes and kayaks — make up Northern New England’s largest in-the-water boat show.

What makes the family-oriented show unique is that it offers much more than the roster of high-quality boats on display each year.

“It’s also the premier showcase for Maine’s custom furniture and high-end home industries,” says John K. Hanson Jr., show founder and editor of Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors magazine. “The great variety of craft and commerce particular to coastal Maine is a fun and eclectic blend of sport and style offering something for everyone.”

Three acres of shoreside tents contain fine furniture, architecture, fine art, crafts, museum and non-profit exhibits, hands-on children’s activities, nautical accessories and necessities (like paddles, financing and winter storage). New this year, works from glass-blowing to jewelry and basket making to fiber arts by the 90-member Maine Crafts Guild will fill one tent.

Live music, food, demonstrations and the last day’s Boatyard Dog Trials (when dogs and their owners run a nautical obstacle course, perform tricks and shamelessly bribe the judges for the coveted “Pup Cup” trophy) round out the festivities.

“Our show is a special opportunity for anyone in the market for a Maine-built boat or product, for this is the only show many of our exhibitors attend,” Hanson says. “Visitors can talk with the builders and see what makes Maine-made boats world-famous for design and construction. It would take you months to visit each of these yards on your own.”

The three debuting sailing yachts — Brooklin Boatyard’s 50-foot fast daysailer, Brion Reiff’s 42-foot schooner and French and Webb’s 30-foot daysailer — each combine traditional aesthetics with modern cold-molded hull forms and rigs. Each can be cruised and/or race in the “Spirit of Tradition” class.

Five new power yachts range from Lyman Morse’s 62-foot aluminum ocean-crossing, canal cruiser to J&J Marine Group’s 24-foot center console. Sabre Yachts is introducing the Sabre 52 Salon Express Motor Yacht, its largest and most luxurious yacht to date. York Marine’s 42-foot Flybridge jetboat, designed by Payne & Associates for coastal cruising, will cruise at 31 knots. Pearson Yacht promotes its True North 34 lobster yacht as a fast, fun cruiser derived from Down East lobsterboats. Hunt Yachts’ 25-foot Surfhunter Center Console offers three types of propulsion on its proven hull design. J&J’s Avid Sea Skiff blends traditional looks and seakindliness with modern construction.

Lectures on boat design and construction by prominent designers and builders are being added this year “to share our exhibitors’ knowledge with our audience,” Hanson says. The programs will take place in Rockland Yacht Club on the grounds.

Supplementing the show, Coastal Creativity Week (Aug. 10-18), celebrates the region’s art, music and drama. Works of artists painting on the show grounds will be auctioned to benefit the FarnsworthMuseum. Rockland’s LincolnStreetCenter for the Arts will perform a play based on The Country of the Pointed Firs, an acclaimed novel of Coastal Maine. Atlantic Challenge Foundation will exhibit, then auction, original works of art created from found nautical objects.

The Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show attracts a growing number of visitors from around the world, says Hanson. Last year 12,000 attended the three-day event, held annually on the second weekend in August. Admission is $10, under 12 free. (No pets.)