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2009 BOATS OF THE YEAR

Jamie Bloomquist

EASTSAIL YACHTS of Bow, New Hampshire, builds pilot and cruising cutters. The latest offering is the New Moon II, a modification of the 2005 Coastal Cruiser. The design features a clipper bow with bowsprit to accommodate the cutter rig with a boomkin, meaning this boat now carries 400 sq. ft. of sail area. A 20-hp inboard diesel version with teak exterior trim awaits purchase and customer instruction as to the interior wood trim and finish. The company added a brokerage unit during 2009. www.eastsail.com; 603224-6579.

Edgecomb Boat Works EDGECOMB BOAT WORKS, in—surprise—

Edgecomb, completed major restorations of 1 26' and 2 25' Lyman runabouts. One went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, while the others stayed in Maine. Annual repairs were made to the 65 wooden boats that are stored and maintained at EBW. Misty, a 40' Norman Hodgdon, received a new sternpost and system upgrades. Owner Mike Mayne reported a harrowing tale of a 3-foot-tall pirate named Captain Rodi, who appeared at the shop during a blinding winter snowstorm and demanded a pirate ship, and fast. The crew obliged, and the well-equipped craft has made many a circumnavigation of the shop, en route to Treasure Island. www.edgecombboatworks.net; 207-882-5038.

Elk Spar and Boatshop Luders 16 Bar Harbor’s ELK SPAR AND BOATSHOP restored and launched 3 Luders 16s and an L24, a 38' daysailer also built by Luders. Sylph,

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Brian Robbins(2)

configurations; hull no. 16 of the 24-footer was in production in the fall. The 24-footer’s hull design reflects updated technology below the waterline, with a clean running bottom, soft chines aft, and integrated lifting strakes forward. The Milton, New Hampshire, company completed the rebuild of an oldermodel 22 that encompassed new stringers, fuel tank, sole, cabin windshield and roof, and a new engine. Retooling was in progress on their 20' center-console boat to create the same inner liner construction as the 18' center console and new 24' models. www.easternboats.com; 603-652-9213.

KELLEY ANNE FARRIN’S BOAT SHOP by Brian Robbins

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T WAS A RAINY DAY ON THE DAMARISCOTTA RIVER, but nobody noticed; they were too busy smiling. We were in the middle of sea trials for the 34-foot tuna chaser Kelley Anne, and it was a case of “all systems go.” Builder Bruce Farrin, Sr., and I watched from our photo boat as the Kelley Anne ripped by off our port quarter. “She’s keeping that bow down and picking herself up nicely all over,” I said to Farrin. He nodded, spinning the wheel to give us an unobstructed view as the Kelley Anne slowed and swung back towards us. “That’s what we were after,” said Farrin. “Let’s see what Patrick thinks.” Patrick is the Kelley Anne’s owner, Patrick Simmons of Yarmouth, Maine. The pilot door by the steering station slid back, and there he was, his wheelchair angled so he was facing toward us. That’s right, Simmons, 36 years old, has worked from a wheelchair since 1994, but that doesn’t slow him down much. And the flying pass he had just made proved that he had excellent visibility at the helm of the Kelley Anne—even “right in the bucket,” (with wide-open throttle) as we say around here. At that moment, Simmons had a big grin going, as did Farrin and his sons, Brian and Bruce, Jr. So did everybody else on hand for the sea trials. The Farrins had done it again. When Patrick Simmons isn’t busy chasing tuna (or skiing, scuba diving, deer hunting, kayaking, or anything else he puts his Simmons and Landrigan: mind to) he should be giving motivational The “why not?” team. speeches. Some folks spend a lifetime questioning the hand that’s been dealt them; others look at their cards and move forward. The latter is what Simmons does. When he tucked into a VW Jetta with a bunch of friends from college on a summer evening in 1994, he wasn’t planning on ending the ride in a rollover with serious spinal injuries, but, as he says, “that was that.” After four months of extensive rehab, Simmons was back at school; he graduated in 1997. “The first year was tough,” Simmons said. “You definitely have your up days and down days, but you realize there’s no reason why you can’t do the things you enjoy, you just need to learn how to do them differently. I really believe that everybody has MAINE BOATS, HOMES & HARBORS

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February / March 2010

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Issue 108


BOATS OF THE YEAR 2009 that drive; you just need that initial push to get you going. I had a great rehab facility and came back to the support of a lot of great friends.” One of those great friends is Keith Landrigan, who shared Simmons’s love of the ocean and his “why not?” attitude, which led them to try tuna fishing. “Right after I returned home from school,” Simmons said, “I found a 1984 32' Wellcraft for sale. It looked like a good starter boat for what Keith and I wanted to do. I renamed it Possibilities.” With guidance from some helpful tuna vets, a boom arm and winch to load/unload the wheelchair, and a bunch of ratchet straps and eyehooks to secure the wheelchair on deck, Simmons and Landrigan spent the next few years “getting our bearings, learning the ocean, and slowly getting into the tuna.” (That “learning the ocean” part included Simmons getting dumped out of his wheelchair on more than one occasion.) Experience and the need for a more stable working platform eventually led Simmons to look at downeast-style hulls—and to Farrin’s Boatshop. “To be honest, I’d been thinking about something a little bigger—maybe in the 38' range,” said Simmons, “but when fuel got up around four bucks a gallon, I ended SPECIFICATIONS / KELLEY ANNE

(500 hp @ 2,600 rpm) Speed: 25 knots (WOT) Prop: 26”x30”x4 Hall & Stavert Hy-Torq Windows & Doors: Diamond/ Sea-Glaze

Metal Fabrication: Bluewater

Fabrication & Henry Berne Fuel: 320 gal. Water:24 gal. Builder: Farrin’s Boatshop,

19 Sproul Rd., Walpole, ME 04573. 207-563-5510; www.farrinsboatshop.com Hull Design: Calvin Beal, Jr., SW Boatworks, 358 Douglas Hwy., Lamoine, ME 04605. 207-667-7427; www.swboatworks.com

up sizing back. Basically, I wanted the width and stability of a downeast-style hull and really liked the looks of the Calvin Beal.” (Currently, all of the hulls designed by Calvin Beal—34' 36', 38', and 44'—are available from SW Boatworks in Lamoine, Maine.) Simmons said he knew he wanted the Farrins, of Walpole, Maine, to build his boat as soon as he met them. “I just liked the idea of a family-run business—father and sons working together,” he said, “and they seemed like down-to-earth guys.” A ride on a Calvin Beal 34 lobsterboat that the Farrin shop finished a few years ago sealed the deal, according to Simmons. “We laid side-to in the chop, and I said to myself, ‘This is more like it.’ Another concern was the visibility thing, as I could never see out of the Wellcraft to run it at speed; Keith always had to steer. I was worried how a custom wheelhouse like that would look, but Brian Farrin told me, ‘Don’t worry—we don’t build an ugly boat.’ That was all I needed to hear.” When it came to designing the wheelhouse, the Farrins struck a balance between the 34'x13' hull’s lines and Patrick Simmons’s line-of-sight from his wheelchair. An 8" step-up from the cockpit to the pilothouse sole provides 6'2" headroom at the tallest point. A removable ramp allows Simmons to wheel his way from the main deck to the wheelhouse; a hinged transom door allows him to move from the deck to dock. During sea trials the Kelley Anne (named for Simmons’s wife) topped out at 25 knots, a good speed for a fairly hefty workboat. The real success story, however, was the attitude of the hull when under way. “The visibility is great, even at full throttle,” said Simmons. “I could never do that in the old boat.” “This boat is such a step up,” said Landrigan. “We’ve come a long way since our first trip offshore—with the help of a lot of good people. It’s awesome seeing Patrick N at the wheel with that big grin, man. Just absolutely the best.” www.maineboats.com

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Brian Robbins

LOA: 34' Beam: 13' Transom: 12'4" Draft: 3'10" Displ.: 16,000 lbs. Custom wheelhouse: by Farrin’s Power: Cummins QSC8.3

the L-24, and Seawolf, one of the 16s, were in such bad shape that the only option for repair was to cut the bottom off each boat and splice a new section back in. Three layers of 1/8" cross-directional veneers were vacuum bagged over the rotten part of the original boat. The bottom was then cut off, the new laminated section was spliced to the remainder of the original boat, and the rest of the veneers—two layers on the L-16 and four on the 24—were then vacuum bagged on, with the new veneers overlapping the splice. Seawolf went on to receive a new deck, bulkhead, coamings, cockpit and cabin seats, and veneered cuddy. Both boats are in their third generation of family ownership. Shop owner Jim Elk received grants from the Maine Technology Institute to design and build an articulating sawmill to cut curved shapes from logs and timbers up to 80 feet in length. www.elkspar.com; 207-288-9045.

MAINE BOATS, HOMES & HARBORS

Farrin’s Boatshop: Kelley Anne FARRIN’S BOATSHOP built a 34' Calvin Beal

tuna boat for a captain who, wheelchairbound after a car accident, needed a boat with excellent stability, a good turn of speed (the boat topped out at 25 knots during sea trials), and a clear line of sight from wheelchair height. Oh... and he wanted it to look good, too. (See page 64 for more information.) The crew at the Walpole shop also built a 37' yacht for a Canadian couple, repowered a 34' 1984 wood pleasure boat and a 36' lobsterboat, and refinished the decks, pilothouse, and cabin of a 32' yacht. www.farrinsboatshop.com; 207-563-5510. FLANDERS BAY BOATS of Sullivan introduced a 27' cuddy-cabin cruiser model of their imported Dutch-designed launch. The boat was recognized at the Newport International Boat Show as the 2010 Best New Powerboat in the under 30' class. www.flandersbayboats.com; 207-422-2323.

Florimbi Studios Timberframe FLORIMBI STUDIOS of Rockport began the

restoration of a 44' wooden yawl that once belonged to Francis Kinney, a designer at Sparkman & Stephens and author of Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design. The boat in ques-

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Kelley Anne - Boats of the Year 2009