Grayling’s New Career

In the mid-1990s, Maynard and Benjamin River Marine principal Doug Hylan approached veteran sailor Ted Okie with an ambitious idea. Maynard had spied the weather-beaten  Grayling, an old herring seiner and sardine carrier painstakingly built in 1915 by Frank Rice in East Boothbay. He imagined her lavishly rebuilt for cruising. Eventually, after a visit to her mooring in Southern Harbor, North Haven, Maynard and Doug convinced Okie this should be his next boat. Given the radical shift in function, the interior layout would be completely new. The project began in 1995, and enthusiasm among the crew (which included Bray, whose research was crucial to understanding, documenting, and following the original design) kept them pushing through numerous challenges over the 19-month timeline. Among these: a heavy steel cradle was fabricated to move the 30-ton behemoth out of the water, up the BRM railway, and into the shop; the shop had to be extended to accommodate her length; large chunks of white oak and many board feet of southern yellow pine had to be hunted down in locations as far away as South Carolina. The result was a beautiful yacht with an unmistakable workboat pedigree. For drawings as well as the complete story, well narrated by Hylan (who led the project), see WoodenBoat #141 and #142 of March – June, 1998. Also, you might enjoy OffCenterHarbor‘s Grayling video with the current owner and his family, as well as Doug Hylan’s post about her Newfoundland adventure.

Click here to view images of the Grayling rebuild project.