Stand on our breakfast deck looking out over the harbor, and then gaze to your right. The wooden masts you see belong to the HMS Bounty. Built as a prop for the 1962 film, it was destined to be burnt after the movie. When he found out, that $%@& Pain-In-The-Butt Marlon Brando decided that if they burnt the ship, he would not make the movie.
The HMS Bounty
in dry dock at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard
Waiting its turn on the rail is the Amistad, moored in the outer harbor.
For almost 150 years, a boatyard has occupied the same spot on Commercial St., and over the years, the men and women that have worked there have crafted Schooners, Tugs, PT Boats, Minesweepers, Yachts and replicas of historical vessels. Most of wood, the shipyard has a reputation for their craftsmanship, most recently launching a replica of the Discovery for the state of Virginia.
Boat builders at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard
working in wood
Some mornings, you can hear the shipwrights pounding oak pegs into the hull of their current project. The sound of wood on wood softly resonates up McKown hill, and I know that it was the ancestors of these folks that built the Welch House. Certainly not some land-locked carpenter.
And yet, these craftsmen are not alone. There’s Hodgdon Yachts, designer and fabricator of the Scheherazade, a 154′ private yacht, and composite assault boats for the US Navy. Washburn & Doughty makes some of the world’s finest Tugboats. Southport Island Marine turns out fiberglass fishing and pleasure boats. And the list goes on. There are dozens and dozens of men & women that make their living on this peninsula the old fashioned way.
They build boats. Wicked nice boats.