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Jeff Scher

scheduled to launch early in 2010 for a customer in Newfoundland. A small iceboat was built for a local customer from ash and mahogany, varnished, and fitted out with a wicker picnic basket and oriental rug. In the spirit of boatshop diversification, the oneman shop is developing a prototype highmileage car using lightweight wood-composite construction techniques for the body that should allow it to produce mileage in the mid 90s with a top speed of 75 mph. Stay tuned for reports from an upcoming cross-country high mileage race. 207-975-6980.

Apprenticeshop: “The Twins” Full-time and community students at Rockland’s APPRENTICESHOP OF ATLANTIC CHALLENGE launched “The Twins,” two 28' double-ended training boats designed by Nigel Irens. The boats are traditional plankon-frame construction, outfitted with multiple dagger boards and interchangeable carbon-fiber sailing rigs, for ketch, schooner, and yawl rigs. The school described the project as “a blend of the historic and contemporary that is emblematic of our educational mission: honoring our heritage while embracing innovation.” Other launchings included: 1 Abeking & Rasmussen lapstrake cedar-over-oak tender, 1 peapod, 1 Mermaid sailboat, 1 Susan skiff, and 1 Whitehall. A Lawley tender built by the Apprenticeshop was purchased at the MAINE BOATS, HOMES & HARBORS SHOW in August; we were told that its new owner wasted no time and rowed it promptly away from the docks. Repairs were made to a Finn boat, and as ever, new students built toolboxes based on the design of an 1800s ship’s box. www.atlanticchallenge.com; 207-594-1800.

Arey’s Pond Boatyard Fleet AREY’S POND BOATYARD of South Orleans,

Massachusetts, launched 4 14' catboats, 2 Open Lynx 16' cats, 1 22' wooden cruising cat, 1 20' catboat in wood, and 1 10' Acorn dinghy of traditional construction. These boats echo the traditional wooden catboats that sailed on Narragansett Bay 200 years ago, but with modifications to the sheer, bow, stem, and gaff rig to create a lower

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Gordon E. Reed, courtesy Robinhood Marine Center(2)

2009 BOATS OF THE YEAR

BRILLIANT FRED BEAMAN / FIVE ISLANDS by Brian Robbins BEAMAN… Fred Beaman… boy, that name sounds familiar,” you might “F RED be saying to yourself. Well, here’s a clue: If you were around the Maine waterfront

between 1985 and 1999, chances are good you crossed paths with Fred Beaman, especially if your boatyard or marina of choice did business with the now-defunct Essex Machine Works. “That’s it!” you say. “Fred Beaman! He was the road guy for Essex—always smiling; had the artificial leg…” And it’s okay that the latter is how you remember Beaman. Never one to use his infirmity as an excuse, Beaman was famous for freaking out the unwary by wanging objects off his metal prosthetic leg just for the sound it made. Fred Beaman’s smile was the deceptive part; looking much the part of Sean Connery’s younger brother, Fred loved the challenge of “the deal.” He loved making the deal happen with a customer—but more than anything, he loved beating the competition on deals. Reps from other marine companies that sold driveline equipment and hardware would shudder when they met Fred in a customer’s parking lot, knowing that they were undoubtedly quoting against him on a project. And Fred would just give ‘em that smile…. Upon retiring from Essex in 1999, Beaman found himself in an interesting spot. There he was, in his 60s, in good health, and he suddenly had the time to do all the things he’d been wanting to do, including a project he’d been talking about for years: building his own boat. “Over time,” he said, “I’d been gathering up gear for this boat I was talking about building. By the time I retired, I had an engine, a shaft, the packing boxes, the exhaust system. Everyone knew I’d been talking about doing it, so I couldn’t back out.” One of Beaman’s “deals” led him to an arrangement with Five Islands Boat Works, builders of the Five Islands 35 (formerly known as the Bruno & Stillman 35), designed by Royal Lowell. He was finally going to build his boat; his wife Sue joined him in waxing the hull mold. Every space has been used to its fullest. MAINE BOATS, HOMES & HARBORS

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February / March 2010

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Issue 108


BOATS OF THE YEAR 2009

SPECIFICATIONS / BEAMAN 35 LOA: 35' LWL: 32'2" Beam: 11'6" Draft: 3'0" Hull & Top: Fiberglass/balsa-cored Power: Caterpillar 3116TA

(300 hp @ 2,800 rpm) Speed: 20 knots (WOT); 16 knots @ 2,400 rpm (cruise) Prop: 23"x22"x4 Michigan Fuel: 150 gal. Water: 70 gal.

Metal Fabrication: West Fabrication Builders: Fred & Sue Beaman Hull Design: Royal Lowell Hull: Five Islands Boat Works,

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Artisan Boatworks: Murmur ARTISAN BOATWORKS launched Murmur, a

full-keel version of Herreshoff’s Buzzards Bay 15. The Rockport shop collaborated with maritime professionals who specialize in such reproduction work—from sails to reproduction hardware—“to ensure with every detail that modern innovation was tastefully combined with historical accuracy,” in the words of the shop’s owner, Alec Brainerd. Brainerd will present a paper at the 2010 Classic Yacht Symposium, sponsored by the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island, describing the project in depth. The 44' Winthrop Warner cruising yacht Congar was in for work. Two major rebuilds are in progress this winter: a 110-year-old Clinton Cranedesigned sloop from Upper St. Regis Lake in the Adirondacks, and a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Dark Harbor 20 from Islesboro. The shop grew with a 5,600-sq.-ft. indoor storage facility designed for wooden boats and an expanded service department. www.artisanboatworks.com; 207-236-4231.

719 Five Islands Rd., Georgetown, ME 04548. 207-371-2837 House: Downeast Boats & Composites, Route 175, Penobscot, ME 04476. 207-326-9400

Well entrenched in his “one small job at a time” approach, Beaman spent his last two summers in Maine doing nothing but working on the boat. “One day,” he said, “I realized that I didn’t have any room left in the cockpit for the table saw. That’s when I realized I was finished.” Brilliant performed well during July sea trials; the 300-hp Caterpillar diesel drove the boat to a 20-knot top end and a 16-knot cruising speed. The big news, though, was that Brilliant, now completed, was for sale. Wasn’t Beaman going to miss his companion of the last 10 years? “Oh, no,” he said. “Life’s a trip—forward you go.” He began listing some of the things that he and Sue wanted to do in the years ahead, then paused to share a bit of advice: “Life’s like a roll of toilet paper—the closer you get to the end, the faster it spins off.” “Plus, who knows?” he said. “I might build another one.” N And he might, especially if he got a deal.

www.maineboats.com

center and smoother ride. November saw the completion and launch of a threeyear project, a 38' Spencer Lincoln powerboat. www.areyspondboatyard.com; 508-255-0994.

Alison Langley

Having seen more than his share of boat projects gone wrong over the years, Beaman went into the process with his eyes open. “Frankly, I was scared to death,” he said, “but I figured the best way to tackle it was one small job at a time.” Five Islands assisted in many ways, including the installation of the boat’s engine and drivetrain. A sharp eye will note that the house is not a standard Bruno/Five Islands unit. “We built our own custom house with a panel from Downeast Boats & Composites on top,” Beaman said. “It’s actually a Northern Bay 36 roof. By the time Sue and I were done sanding, [Five Islands owner] Bill Plummer claimed we’d made enough dust to build a dinghy.” Eventually, the boat, named Brilliant (as in “That was a brilliant idea, Fred”), was shuttled up the road to the Beamans’ home for the final years of the finishing process. That’s right: years. Working summers, Beaman spent 10 years on his 35footer. (The Beamans take off in their motor home each winter. They cover their expenses by doing handyman work at parks around the country— another “deal” you could say.) There were no shortcuts taken along the way. Beaman was adamant that there be no visible fastenings in any woodwork, for example. “After awhile,” Beaman said, “I began telling people I’d been a boatbuilder for a number of years. It was just the same boat, that’s all.” Below, Brilliant has the accommodations of a much bigger boat, with V-berths, a full galley with stove and refrigerator, an enclosed head with shower stall, and plenty of storage. “It would probably scare you to see how much stuff you can tuck away down there,” said Beaman. Up in the wheelhouse, there is plenty of seating, including the helm station, a mate’s chair, and a dinette that can be converted into a double berth.

MAINE BOATS, HOMES & HARBORS

Back Cove 37 BACK COVE YACHTS, based in Rockland and

owned by Sabre Yachts, builds downeast-style lobsteryachts in express and hardtop styles. The line includes the Back Cove 26, 29, 33, and now the Back Cove 37, which launched in February. Summer 2010 promises to bring the launch of a new model, the Back Cove 30, a hardtop with molded-in cockpit seating, a transom door, and a 315-hp Yanmar diesel engine. www.backcoveyachts.com; 207-594-8844. BASTILLE WOODWORKING AND BOAT WORKS

of Saco told us of the drama of the West Wight Potter, or “Is a Sandwich Aboard Too Much to Ask?” It all began with a phone call to the shop’s owner James Bastille from a fellow on a lake in Maine who reported that he “had a problem with his 14' sailboat,” a rather dramatic understatement. After launching the

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Brilliant - Boats of the Year 2009  

Brilliant, built by Fred Berman / Five Islands. One of the 2009 Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine Boats of the Year.

Brilliant - Boats of the Year 2009  

Brilliant, built by Fred Berman / Five Islands. One of the 2009 Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine Boats of the Year.

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