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Maine Lobster Boat Builders Discuss Their Boats At Penobscot Marine Museum Boat Builders’ Forum

In preparation for the Maine lobster boat racing season the Maine Boatbuilding Forum will host boat builders Travis and Keith Otis, Glenn Holland, Stewart Workman and Calvin Beal, who will debate the qualities that make the very best and fastest lobster boats.  This month’s forum is at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery on Thursday, June 12, at 7:00 pm.

Lobster Boat Races, Friendship, Maine, courtesy Jon Johansen

Lobster Boat Races, Friendship, Maine, courtesy Jon Johansen

Keith Otis grew up in Maine, joined the Air Force Strategic Air Command then later re-enlisted in the Army’s 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile) where he worked on fire control systems for attack helicopters in Vietnam.   He started Otis Enterprises Marine in Searsport in 1979.  Keith’s son Travis grew up with sandpaper in his hand, helping his dad.  Otis Enterprises Marine has produced over ninety boats, ranging from modest lobster boats to top of the line luxury sportfish boats.  Travis Otis is Vice President of the Maine Lobsterboat Racing Association.

Glenn Holland, of Holland’s Boat Shop in Belfast, started building boats in 1972 with an unfinished Repco hull which he finished in a temporary building on his parent’s front lawn.  Glenn eventually partnered with Royal Lowell and together they designed the Holland 32 which went into production in 1978.   Holland’s Boat Shop is home of the racing lobsterboat “Red Baron”, which won the title “World’s Fastest Lobster Boat” in 2000, and has won over 100 trophies.

Stewart Workman’s father was a lobster boat owner, and Stewart ran his own boat and pulled lobsters out of the water starting in junior high school.  He was in the Coast Guard in Alaska but returned to Maine to focus on schooner and passenger boat restorations, a deep- sea fishing business, and being a yacht captain.  SW Boatworks was founded by Capt. Stewart Workman in 2000.

Calvin Beal started working in and around boat shops as a young boy, helping the old time boat builders of Beals build their boats.  In 1969 Calvin built his own wooden, 22′ lobster boat, then he built a 35′ wooden boat named the Octavia A for his father-in-law.  Calvin worked on wooden boats and plugs until he built his own molds for fiberglass boats in the late ’90s.  After building one hundred and twenty-five boats, Calvin sold the molds to SW Boatworks in Lamoine.

The Maine Lobster Boat Races start on June 14th in Boothbay Harbor.  For a schedule of the races, go to “Fans of Maine Lobster Boat Racing” Facebook page.

The Maine Boatbuilding Forum is moderated by Jon Johansen of Maine Coastal News, and is held at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Route One, Searsport, Maine.  Tickets are $8 members and $10 non-members.  For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

To view calendar listing, click here.

Maine Sail Freight Project Planning Dinner at Tranquility Grange

Last October, the Vermont Sail Freight Project delivered $50,000 of regionally produced foods to customers waiting at the docks along a 300 mile route from Ferrisburgh, Vermont to Brooklyn, New York.  On Sunday, June 22, at 5:00 pm Penobscot Marine Museum, Greenhorns, MOFGA and Maine Farmland Trust are hosting a potluck dinner at Tranquility Grange Hall in Lincolnville to explore the possibilities for a Sail Freight Project along the coast of Maine.  Maine, with its rich maritime history, strong boat building industry, conservation movement, and explosion of local, organic food production is a perfect place for the next sail freight project.  Email Kathy Goldner at the museum kgoldner@pmm-maine.org, or call 207-548-2529 ext.216 to reserve your seat.  Bring a pot luck dish to share.

In October, New Dawn Traders Alex and Lucy set sail on a 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with the cargo vessel TRES HOMBRES and her crew. The  TRES HOMBRES is pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo by sailboat. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009.

In October, New Dawn Traders Alex and Lucy set sail on a 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with the cargo vessel TRES HOMBRES and her crew. The TRES HOMBRES is pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo by sailboat. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009.

The event will begin with a panel presentation by Cate Cronin former Captain of the Hudson River Sloop, Cipperly Good curator at Penobscot Marine Museum, Lu Yodder boat builder and sailor for Mast Brothers Chocolate Sail Project, Patrick Kiley and Severine Fleming of Greenhorns and the Vermont Sail Project, Elisha Kaufman of Mystic Sheaf Traders, and Lance Lee of The Apprenticeshop in Rockport.  The panel presentation will be followed by the pot luck dinner and a community conversation about ideas, proposals, vessel suggestions, and routes for a Maine Sail Freight Project.

The revival of interest in the working sail worldwide is a natural outgrowth of the movement to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, and to eat locally grown food and support local farmers.  The New Dawn Traders are sailing freight around the world on the TRES HOMBRES out of the Netherlands, Sailing Ship KWAI provides shipping options for the islands in the South Pacific, the Vermont Sail Project is gearing up to make another voyage to from Vermont to New York, and Salish Sea Trading Cooperative is working on delivering freight by sail in Puget Sound.

Our thanks to sponsor Marshall Wharf Brewery in Belfast.  For more information or to volunteer contact hannah@thegreenhorns.net.

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Founder and Editor to be Honored at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Gala & Auction

On July 19, Penobscot Marine Museum’s biennial Gala & Auction fundraiser will honor John K. Hanson, Jr. founder and publisher of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, and Polly Saltonstall, editor in chief of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Polly and John are also both longtime friends and supporters of the museum. The Gala & Auction will be held at Point Lookout Resort in Northport at 5:30 pm.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity this year to celebrate and honor John and Polly. They have both passionately promote and have made enormous contributions to Maine’s rich maritime culture,” said the museum’s Executive Director Liz Lodge.

artwork in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Artwork in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Penobscot Marine Museum’s biennial Gala & Auction fundraiser provides support for a diverse array of exhibitions, programs and educational initiatives, all celebrating the maritime heritage of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond. This season alone the museum hosts seven new exhibits and over fifty events.

The Gala & Auction begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction in Point Lookout’s open-air pavilion, and progresses to Erikson Hall at 7:00 p.m. for dinner, a live auction, and dancing with live music from the band Interplay. Items in the auction include small water craft, hotel overnights, paintings, a mink coat, and theater tickets.

Sponsorships and tickets to the auction are available, and the museum is accepting auction donations. For more information go online www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529.

Purchase tickets online or BID ONLINE NOW!

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, is open for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19, Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.

Jewelry in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Jewelry in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Author Kate Webber Discusses Life on Swans Island

Penobscot Marine Museum will host author Kate Webber discussing her new book Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life on Saturday, June 7, at 2:00 pm. Books will be available for signing, and the event will take place in the Penobscot Marine Museum Store, 40 East Main Street, Searsport. Admission is free.

Kate Webber worked through the Island Institute for the Swan’s Island Historical Society for two years and experienced the delights of living on a small isolated Maine island first hand. She tells her stories about the people and island culture with humor and affection. Local legends and spooky tales are included for the reader’s delight. Ms. Webber is now with the Maine Humanities Council.

Left: Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life by Kate Webber. Right: Author Kate Webber

Left: Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life by Kate Webber. Right: Author Kate Webber

For more information go online www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529. Penobscot Marine Museum is hosting seven exhibits and over fifty events this season.

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, is open for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19, Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.

Searsport High School Boatbuilding Class Launch!

Two Shellback dinghies built by Searsport High School students in the new Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum will be launched on Wednesday, May 28, at noon at the Searsport Town Dock. The eight students began building the boats on January 28, working with master boat builder Greg Rossel and a crew of volunteers from the community. Wayne Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Marine, gave the students their last class on navigation, and now they are ready to launch the boats they have been building for the past four months.

Searsport District High School student learning boatbuilding at Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum

Searsport District High School student learning boatbuilding at Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum

This boatbuilding class would not have been possible without the devoted help of community volunteers, who either brought their expertise to the classroom to help the students or donated materials, or both. The Penobscot Marine Museum gratefully thanks Jerry Marancik, Dave Lawrence, Bruce Brown, Rob Griffin, Rich Fitzsimmons, Fred Kircheis, Fred Schmidt, Mary Ann McCrea, Pam Steele, Grant Gambell sailmaker, and Wayne and Loraine Hamilton who generously donated the Hamilton Learning Center to Penobscot Marine Museum.

In building this particular boat, which was deigned by E.B. White’s son Joel, the students learn traditional woodworking skills but also work with modern composites, learning plywood lamination methods. The eight high school students use mathematical equations to make stability tests, ratios for proper mixing of epoxy, applied statistics in making patterns for planks, physics and geometry in their navigation training. They study chemical reactions, galvanic action, exothermic reaction, and air foils when they make the sails. The students also learn the importance of team work and deadlines. Their teacher, master boatbuilder Greg Rossel, is an author and has been teaching boat building at WoodenBoat School for over twenty years.

Merchant Marine Oral History Interview Day to be Held at Penobscot Marine Museum

usmerchant-marine-sealThe Penobscot Marine Museum is partnering with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) to host a day of oral history interviews with merchant mariners on June 24, 2014, from 10-4. During this event, mariners will be invited to come to the museum to record their stories with SCI researchers and volunteers as part of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Oral History Project. Photo archivists at the museum will also be gathering feedback from mariners on their photo collections. The Penobscot Marine Museum will be offering reduced admission for mariners on the day of the interviews ($6). The interviews will be archived and made available as a robust online repository of stories of the sea.

Merchant mariners have contributed significantly to the security and prosperity of the nation–the online archive created by this project brings the compelling stories of local seafarers to light. Johnathan Thayer, SCI Archivist and leader of the project, has interviewed veteran mariners in the Port of New York and New Jersey. “Their remarkable tales represent largely overlooked perspectives within American history,” he says. Johnathan recounts the story of John Ludwick, also known as “Kansas,” who, although he survived the crossing of dangerous WWII North Atlantic waters in a convoy that lost 17 of 33 ships, found himself mistakenly imprisoned in a camp at Leningrad. He tells the story of his escape, stealing a Russian snowmobile and riding it hundreds of miles through arctic tundra back to his ship.

Toiling on board ships often months at a time, merchant mariners work out of the public eye, but SCI—since its very beginnings—has endeavored to bring their labors to light. Through its American Merchant Marine Veterans Oral History Project, SCI helps mariners gain recognition and dignity in the historic record through their own words and Mariners interested in participating should RSVP to Maine-based SCI researcher Michele Christle at michele.christle@gmail.com or at 603-781-9848 to schedule a time for an interview. If transportation or health is an issue, mariners are encouraged to contact Michele Christle for alternative participation methods.

For more information about this event, please contact: Michele Christle, 603-781-9848 michele.christle@gmail.com

us-merchant-marines-going-back-to-sea

Summer 2014: Sailing Tours, Daily Events and Seven Exhibitions

On Saturday, May 24, Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport opens with Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources, one of seven exhibits which begins a season overflowing with events including sailing tours of Searsport Harbor, craft demonstrations, the Maine Boatbuilding Forum, twice weekly children’s activities, and the Historic Photography and the Thursday Night Lecture Series.

Photograph courtesy Dean Kotula

Photograph courtesy Dean Kotula

Using interactive displays and historic photographs, Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources explores the past and the future of these resources in Maine.  The exhibit examines the modern technology of fishing and of wind and tidal power, and looks at how this impacts Maine’s working waterfront, culture, environment and tourism.   The opening reception for Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resource is Friday, May 23, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport.

History Chests: Exhibit Designed by the Sophmore Class of Searsport District High School has a special Opening Reception and tour on Thursday, May 22, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The students will take visitors to see the sea chests they placed in PMM’s Merithew and Fowler True Ross Houses.  Nine sea captain chests, which contain specific artifacts showing the different aspects of the impact the Penobscot Bay has on the Midcoast region, were assembled and documented by students from the sophomore class of SDHS. The topics include marine art, the granite industry, lumbering, fisheries, the Penobscot Nation, life at sea, navigation, ship building, and Far East trade.

History Chest designed by SDHS students

History Chest designed by SDHS students

A major retrospective of a beloved Maine artist, Eric Hopkins: Shells – Fish – Shellfish, opens Monday, June 16.  Eric Hopkins will be on hand for the Artist’s Reception on  Friday, July 25, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  One of a handful of artists born in Maine to receive national recognition, Hopkins has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country.  This exhibit includes paintings, monotypes and glass and wood sculpture, much of which has not been seen before.  It also includes, for the first time, Hopkins’ personal collection of the skeletons, shells and remnants of creatures picked up on beaches over his lifetime and which have inspired the artwork in this exhibition.  This exhibit is in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport through Sunday, October 19.

Three photography shows in the Main Street Gallery will explore the art of fish, wind and tide throughout Penobscot Marine Museum’s season.  The first exhibit is Maritime Muse – Inspired By the Sea, Saturday, May 24, through Thursday, June 26.  These exciting photographs by Dean Kotula are from his years of working on foreign factory ships.   Photographs by Lisa Tyson Ennis, What Once Was – Our Changing Fisheries,

document a traditional way of life which is fast disappearing, and include photographs of remote fishing villages in Newfoundland accessible only by boat.  Tuesday, September 9 through Sunday, October 19, The Photography of Antonia Small bears witness to some remarkable souls living along the coast and doing whatever they can to keep the ancient link to fishing and to the sea alive in coastal villages.

“Do It Your Way”: Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine brings quilts hailed by the New York Times as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced” to Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Saturday, August 2 through Sunday, September 7. September 3rd through September 8th four of the Gee’s Bend quilters will be teaching courses at Fiber College of Maine in Searsport.  Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Maine will also have quilts from Gee’s Bend from Friday, July 4 through Saturday, August 30.  This will be the first time the quilts and the quilters have been north of Boston.

In addition to the five exhibits, the Schooner GUILDIVE will be offering sailing tours of Searsport Harbor on Mondays and Saturdays, every Tuesday the Searsport Farmers’ Market will be on the crescent 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, children’s activities are scheduled for every Wednesday and Friday, crafters will demonstrations on Thursdays for Artisan Days, and lectures and book signings are scheduled nearly every week.  Please call 207-548-2529 for more information.

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, is open for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19.

The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.

Historic Photography Exhibit of Washington County Opens in Eastport

Generously sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Arts.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s historic photography exhibit Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye is now on view at the Eastport Art Center in Eastport, Maine.   The exhibit of photographs from the museum’s Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company collection is a collaboration between the Penobscot Marine Museum and the various historical societies and historians of Washington County.  It features thirty-three historic photographs taken throughout Washington County from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, and it has been travelling throughout the county since February of 2013.

Ships at Anchor, Eastport, Maine, courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Ships at Anchor, Eastport, Maine, courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

“This exhibit sparks a pride of place and an interest in local history when it comes to a town,” says Kevin Johnson, Penobscot Marine Museum’s Photography Archivist.  “Our volunteer, Liz Fitzsimmons, worked closely with individuals and historical societies from virtually every community in Washington County community to research these photographs.”  An online exhibit on the museum’s website www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org includes many additional images.   The exhibit is also online on the Maine Memory Network.

The photographs in Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye are of places people loved.  A century ago the founder of Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns telling them to ask local citizens what they should photograph, what was important to them about their town.   This makes the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company photos aesthetically beautiful and historically important.

The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of early 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives.   The Penobscot Marine Museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and has recently added a searchable database online to their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.

Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye will be at the Eastport Art Center through July 7, 2014.  The Eastport Art Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, Maine 04631.  For more information call 207-853-4650, email eastportarts@gmail.com or go to www.eastportartscenter.com.  Gallery hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday or by chance when the building is open.  The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and is part of four county exhibits the Penobscot Marine Museum will produce.

Volunteer Day & Yale Day of Service

Saturday, May 10, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

We have fun

We have fun

Come join the Yale alumni and their friends and family taking part in the annual YaleDayofService at Penobscot Marine Museum this May. Help us clean the boat barns, wash the windows, touch up the railings, and get ready for opening! We will feed you a delicious lunch.

Every spring for the past six years Yale volunteers have teamed up at service projects as varied as beautifying urban spaces, prepping special-needs camps for the season, and mentoring inner-city youth. Last year over 3500 participants pitched in at 232 sites in 16 countries.

This year will be the fourth YaleDayofService at Penobscot Marine Museum.
Thank you, to all our volunteers,
see you this Saturday!

We will feed you delicious food.

We will feed you delicious food.

Boat Builders of Mount Desert Island at Penobscot Marine Museum Boat Builders Forum

Thursday, May 8, at 7:00 pm the Maine Boatbuilding Forum will host boat builders of Mount Desert Island. Boat builders Hank Hinckley, Chummy Rich and Rich Helmke from Bass Harbor Boats, and Ralph and Richard Stanley, will talk about building everything from high-end yachts to lobster boats and traditional sloops for their diverse set of clients on Mount Desert Island and beyond.

Located in Southwest Harbor, Hank Hinckley Boat Builders specializes in building custom and semi-custom boats, and in restoring or rebuilding larger quality craft of up to about 45 feet. The company was formed in 1994 by Hank Hinckley, son of the founder of what is now The Hinckley Company.

Little Folly built by Ralph Stanley

Little Folly built by Ralph Stanley

Chummy Rich grew up in Tremont, Maine with a boat building grandfather Clifton Rich, and a boat building father Bobby Rich. After decades in a business that he loved, he was thinking of retiring when Rich Helmke approached him and they now work together at Bass Harbor Boats in Bernard.

Ralph Stanley is a Master Boatbuilder and a 1999 NEA National Heritage Fellow. His son, Richard Stanley, of Richard Stanley Custom Boats in Bass Harbor, followed in his father’s footsteps and has been building wooden boats for over fifty years.

The Maine Boatbuilding Forum is moderated by Jon Johansen of Maine Coastal News, and is held at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Route One, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 members and $10 non-members. For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.