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Trunnels and Topsails

Preserving and Expanding the Shipwright’s Art in Maine - 2008

The early history of New England is a story linked to sails and the sea. A broad arrow mark axed into a tree informed the early settlers that the King’s Navy had reserved it for the important task of ship construction. Skills brought from Europe quickly adjusted to an abundance of natural resources. The forests of Maine and the shipwright’s art helped form a legacy that continues to this day. Many tools and techniques have remained virtually unchanged. Others have simply been motorized. Recent tools such as environmentally controlled workshops allow new levels of quality to be achieved.


A legacy that began in 1869 and continues today is the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. It has endured because it was historically able to modernize facilities and apply traditional skills to new opportunities. 2


Shipwrights in the State of Maine Resources in the Hands of Skilled Craftsmen Boothbay Harbor Shipyard uses tools that range from mallets to marine railways to ensure wooden ships continue a productive life at sea.



Boothbay Harbor has always been home to wooden ships and host to even more that come to visit. The Boothbay Harbor Shipyard is in a position to provide a range of resources. The availability of mooring or pier access is further complimented by marine railways and shops. Shipwrights and other related trade skills can accomplish basic maintenance tasks or apply themselves to imaginative solutions to the most complex challenges.



DISCOVERY was built to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. She was the smallest of the three ships making that historic journey to bring European settlers across the Atlantic ocean. 7


Created for a movie based on one of the world’s most famous mutinies, the BOUNTY came to Boothbay to be transformed into a ship worthy of her namesake. The scope of work required: • 7,000 locust wood dowels (trunnels) • 35,000 board feet of 3 inch thick oak and Douglas fir for planking • 3,500 board feet of Douglas fir for decking • 30,000 board feet of oak for framing • 1,000 pounds of oakum for caulking



Sailing offers lessons that aren’t available within the brick walls of traditional schools. The HARVEY GAMAGE is one of the three schooners operated by Ocean Classroom Foundation. Knowledge gained under sail can help students navigate through life.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor . Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore Dream Discover “ --Mark Twain


Built in 1905, ALERA was the first Herreshoff NY 30. This award winning restoration project demonstrated that shipyard resources can be applied equally to both working schooners and classic yachts.



Scottish born William Fife III, one of the premier yacht designers and builders in the world, felt yachts should be both “fast and bonnie�. Built in 1929, BELLE AVENTURE was hauled out of Boothbay Harbor on a 150-ton marine railway and moved into a world of controlled temperature and humidity. In addition to general maintenance, the replacement of over 4,800 bronze plank fasteners will ensure many more years of ocean adventure.



Launched in 2006, VALORA incorporated multiple features that go beyond her fishing and cargo carrying schooner heritage. This Spoondrift 36 was built upside down using a mold for every frame. Double planking and an outside-ballasted keel complement the shoal-draft design of her hull. 17


Shipwrights in the

State of Maine

Living and working adjacent to nature’s best Maine shipwrights are never far from the natural beauty of historic coastlines, forests and mountains.






Photo Credits Benjamin Mendlowitz: Page1-Lower Left, Lower Center; Page 10-All; Page 10; Page 11 - Bottom Left; Page 15-Upper Left, Lower Left, Bottom Right; Page 16; Page 19-Upper Left/Right, Lower Left/Right; Page 20

Blake Hendrickson: Cover; Page1-Upper Left,Lower Center; Page 7- All; Page 2 -Lower Left/Center/Right; Page 23;Page 24; Page 25; Page 26; Back Cover

Patti Irish: Page 3- Upper Right; Page 6- all except Lower Right; Page 7- Lower Left /Right; Page 14-all except Lower Left; Page 18- Upper Right, Middle Center, Lower Right; Page 23

Kevin Morris:

Page 6- Top Right

Gretchen Gilliam: David Stimson:

Page 6- Lower Left

Page11 - Left

Claudette Massey:

Page 12

Ocean Classroom Foundation: Mike McCue:

Page 13- Upper/Lower Left ; Page 14

Page 18

Nathaniel Stimson;

Page 19 - Illustration Upper Left 24

Want more information on wooden boat restoration or new construction? 2008 Sponsor

Contact: 01.207.633.3171 Phone

Trunnels and Topsails  

Wooden Classic Schooners and Yachts restored at Boothbay Harbor, Maine

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