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Thousands visit Maine boat show

The first two days of the three-day Maine Boatbuilders Show last weekend garnered about 5,000 visitors, according to the Portland Press-Herald.

Among the exhibitors, the show reflected the recession's mark on the Maine boatbuilding industry.

"A lot of the people who should be here got wiped out," one survivor, David Hulbert, who manufactures the Portland Pudgy, a combination lifeboat and dory, told the Press-Herald.

Between 2005 and 2011 the number of sailboat builders in North America declined by 23 percent, from 146 to 113, according to a study released by Sail America.

There are no data available about how many Maine boatbuilders have closed up shop, but several boatbuilders at the show on Saturday said the number is significant.

"A lot of boat companies aren't here anymore," James Allen, brokerage director at Bass Harbor-based Morris Yachts, told the Press-Herald. "That we're here shows that we have done as well as can be expected."

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