OceanPlanet Energy Partners with Nigel Calder

Noted marine technical systems author, lecturer, teacher and consultant Nigel Calder has announced partnering with energy systems provider OceanPlanet Energy.

OceanPlanet Energy, Inc. ( was created by former ocean racer Bruce Schwab (first American finisher of the Vendee Globe solo around the world race) to provide efficient energy storage, charging, monitoring, and system design/support services for marine and off grid applications.

For over thirty years Nigel has literally “written the book” on marine electrical systems and his lectures on such are among the best attended at the world’s boat shows. Additionally, Nigel has played a leading role in adapting hybrid technologies to boat propulsion and electrical systems, culminating in the Integrel generator replacement technology (, winner of several prestigious marine awards in 2018. OPE has signed up as a distributor of the Integrel system.

Nigel comments: “For some time now I have considered Bruce Schwab’s Ocean Planet Energy (OPE) to be the leading recreational marine energy systems company in North America. I have watched OPE push forward the development of advanced high-output alternators and regulators, play a significant role in securing improvements in both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, and bring to market a new generation of highly-efficient semi-flexible solar panels. OPE is a company with a ton of practical experience and hard-earned knowledge, an energetic leadership, and numerous ideas for improving boat energy systems.

It is my pleasure to join forces with OPE to do what I can to continue to advance the development and availability of marine energy systems that are suitable for the ‘house’ energy needs of a broad range of boatowners. A key element of my role will be a constant search for technical advances that will enable OPE to offer the absolute best that is available with existing and emerging technologies.”

From Bruce Schwab: “Our Team at OceanPlanet Energy is immensely proud to have Nigel Calder join us. He has been an inspirational figure and enormous influence for all of the marine industry, and has helped to make marine systems understandable for countless boaters and cruisers. His textbooks are virtually required equipment on most cruising yachts going to sea. Nigel will be a huge benefit to the OceanPlanet Energy team in its continuing quest to deliver to boatowners the most efficient and robust marine energy systems with minimized fossil fuel consumption.”

Come and meet Nigel and the OPE Team, at the Newport (Tent D, Booths 29 and 30), IBEX (Booth 1-915) and Annapolis (Tent A, Booths 42 and 44) boat shows.

For further information, contact: OceanPlanet Energy, 72 Front Street, Bath Maine 04530, or at 207-370-9112

2018-19 MBB Guide Now Available

The 2018-19 edition of the annual Maine Built Boats Guide to Buying & Servicing Boats in Maine has been published.
In additional to a full list of all Maine Built Boats member yards, this year’s annual guide also includes two special features:
  • Maine’s Best Anchorages
  • History of the Maine lobster hull
Digital versions of the annual guide are available free for download on the Maine Built Boats website.
Printed copies of the MBB guide are available free at boatyards, marinas, retail outlets, and boat shows around northern New England.
Thanks to all our members, associates and advertisers who help us publish this important guide annually.

MBB Receives Mariners Award

Thursday, August 24, 2017, 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Maine Maritime Museum

Event proceeds benefit traditional skills programs at the museum, such as boatbuilding programs for school age kids and boating safety and navigation courses for adults.

The Mariners Award event includes:


Conversation and beers with boatbuilders. Gam participants include Brooklin Boat Yard’s Steve White; Front Street Shipyard’s JB Turner; Founder of Sabre Yachts Roger Hewson; Drew Lyman of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding: Peter Kass of John’s Bay Boat Company; and David Nutt, Boatbuilder, Boothbay.

SOCIAL HOUR 5:45-6:30

Continue the conversation and network with builders, designers, boatyard managers, chandlers, boaters and maritime enthusiasts. Participate in the silent auction by mobile phone while you socialize.


Dinner, live auction, and presentation of the 2017 Mariners Award to Maine Built Boats, on behalf of the entire boatbuilding community.

Each year, Maine Maritime Museum recognizes as Mariner of the Year an individual, organization or group that has made extraordinary contributions to Maine’s maritime heritage. The public is invited to join us at this year’s event which celebrates the essential work and significant contribution of Maine boatbuilders to the state’s longstanding maritime culture and economy.

For tickets and information, please visit

Purchase your tickets soon, as capacity is limited!

Special thanks to these early sponsors of the Mariners Award event. If you would like to buy a table or sponsor the event, please call Rebecca Roche at 207-443-1316 x344 or email

Maine Yacht Center Completes 2-Year Refit

161004_bi_ga4_047-ldzeditGreat American 4, skippered by Rich Wilson is tied up on the pontoons is Les Sables d’Olonne, France along with the other 28 boats competing in the Vendee Globe, which starts November 5. GA4 is the only American entry in the fleet of 29 boats. The Vendee Globe is a non-stop race around the world, without assistance that takes place every 4 years. The VG is the hardest and most famous sailing race in the world. Nicknamed the Everest of the Seas.

Wilson, who competed in the 2008 edition of the race onboard GA3 came in 9th place of 11 finishers out of 30 starters. Great American 3 was also refit at MYC.

For the 2016 edition, Wilson purchased a new Open 60 in France and sailed the boat across the Atlantic to MYC for the critical refit and preparation necessary for the 2016 race. This boat, named Great American 4 is a much newer, more powerful and more technologically advanced Open 60 than Wilsons previous boat.

The refit covered all aspects of the boat. Removal of the canting keel and servicing of the bearings and hydraulic rams. Removal and service of the twin dagger boards and bearings. Removal of the twin rudders and steering system and complete service of the bearings and steering gear. Servicing and updating the Harken pedestal driven winch system. Inspection and service of the carbon mast and all halyard locks, including EC6 standing rigging and replacing textile backstays and textile anti-torsion headstays.

Upgrades included: modifying interior structure to create an area where standing headroom exists. Building a more ergonomic navigation station with a bench seat/crib that is capable of being adjusted via block and tackle to always remain level when the boat is heeled for a better sleeping position. New electrical system, panels, wiring and electronics including Lithium Ion batteries. New alternative energy charging system including solar, wind and dual transom hung hydro generators. New B&G sailing instrumentation along with redundant autopilots and gyro compasses. Installation and integration of computer systems, several different large band width satellite communication systems and camera systems for onboard video.

The entire crew at MYC wishes Rich the best of luck and we will all be following the race.

Sabre Yachts Debuts Sabre 66 Dirigo


The worldwide debut of Sabre Yachts newest model, the Sabre 66 Dirigo, took place at the 2016 Yachts Miami Beach show. The Sabre 66 Dirigo is the first and only Downeast style motoryacht of her size built in the United States. The Dirigo model features an innovative Kevin Burns hull design, and iconic Sabre Yachts woodworking in her interior. In terms of the Sabre’s philosophy of Nautical Sensibility, she has been called its “highest expression” to date.

She had an impressive sea trail amidst bitterly cold conditions. Thanks to a cutting-edge hull design and dual Volvo Penta IPS 1200s, the Sabre 66 Dirigo was able to achieve 30 knots in a remarkable 29 seconds, with time-to-plane coming in at an equally impressive 11.5 seconds. To finalize this modern triumph of Maine boatbuilding, this model boasts a cruising speed of 27.5 knots at only 67 gallons/hour fuel consumption, and a top-end speed of 32.5 kts. Beyond her dominate performance underway, the Sabre 66 Dirigo is infused with the same woodworking that has become synonymous with the Sabre Yachts name. The company considers this new flagship the direct result of their more than 45 years in the industry and the dedication of Maine crafts-people with decades of boatbuilding experience.

Despite frigid temperatures and uncertain weather conditions, the Sabre 66 Dirigo left Rockland Harbor on her maiden voyage early Monday morning, a journey that will conclude in Miami Beach, Florida where she debuted worldwide at the 2016 Yachts Miami Beach boat show. Market predictions expect the line to meet with huge success, and the company anticipates an increase in production-level openings as a result. To date, the Dirigo project has generated 20 new positions at Sabre’s production facility in Rockland, and hiring at that location continues.

The Sabre 66 Dirigo is respectfully available by broker-accompanied reservation only. Given the yacht’s exclusive three-per-year production schedule, interested persons are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Prospective buyers should contact their local Sabre Yachts Dealer, information about which can be found at the Sabre Yachts website, and media personnel are encouraged to contact the company’s main office in Raymond, Maine, to set up a viewing.

HARVEY GAMAGE Restored at Portland Yacht Services


At one time almost every harbor on the coast of Maine was filled with schooners. Some were used for fishing, others for the coastal trades, and some even went deep-water sailing to parts all over the world. Following World War I, the number of schooners decreased dramatically. Today there are no schooners sailing commercially as they have been replaced by the tractor trailers. The only remaining survivors of that era can be seen at Bar Harbor, Camden, Rockland and Portland. It has been a long time since one underwent a major refit, but that is what happened to HARVEY GAMAGE at Portland Yacht Service in Portland for the past 14 months. Now she is ready to make a historic voyage to Cuba.

Heading the project is Greg Belanger, former Executive Director of Ocean Classrooms. He explained, “I came to Portland Yacht Services and met with Phin (Sprague) in hopes that Ocean Classrooms could relocate to Portland. We had been in Boothbay and then moved to Damariscotta. What I was trying to do was to align ourselves with a shipyard. When I started working there I did an assessment of the vessels (schooners HARVEY GAMAGE, SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS and WESTWARD) and all three of them needed repairs. We made a decision that Ocean Classrooms couldn’t go on any further in its current configuration and that the three vessels needed to be sold. One of them was sold, SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS, and the other two were sold here. The goal was to put them back to service. It was a hard decision to decide which of the vessels because each of them needed extensive repairs.

The HARVEY GAMAGE was built by Harvey Gamage, South Bristol; we thought a Maine vessel because we were basing the operation in Maine so let’s keep the Maine schooner. We knew it was going to take some extensive work to get up to speed. We were going to simply deploy the GAMAGE, contract it out to a similar kind of entity, doing educational programming, but that didn’t work. The nonprofit that was forming around that concept was unable to raise enough money. So Phin and I stepped back and took a look at what to do next. We decided to continue to renovate the vessel, but let’s develop a business model where we provide a maritime platform. We provide the vessel as a platform, and that platform is as in as good a shape as possible, crewed professionally and we in this office focus on the marine operations. We can provide a series of options for the client as opposed to the more traditional semester at sea approach. You have to maintain a marketing person, a program development person, and you have to have a fairly sophisticated accounting system. Basically what you are doing is you are running a small private school and a schooner. That is what the struggle is because the schooners have hard time generating enough income to carry the overhead of running a small school simultaneously.

We looked at that model and said let’s focus on running the boat. We will start by renovating that platform. There are a lot of boats that are for charter so you have to develop a special offering and that begins with geography. You have got summers in Maine, and maybe up into Nova Scotia with the HARVEY GAMAGE. The winter program is obviously going to be the Caribbean. I already had some experience in Cuba and I have a tremendous interest in what is happening there. That process is underway, but that transformation is not complete. So we will be operating in sort of this period of time where there is still an embargo in place for example there is still extensive licensing required especially for a ship to stay there for the duration we are hoping to. We decided that it was still worth doing that because it was a great new way for the GAMAGE coming out of this year-long 14 month yard period. She looks as good as she did when she was new.

Greg continued, “If you are going to charter the boat for this purpose you want to make sure that the fundamentals of the boat are sound. The rebuild included more than 50 planks. It included using treenails instead of the old nails. It included making all kinds of new design changes. If you go on board you will see in the amidships area there are all new bunks. There are a lot of innovations as well as a respect for tradition. We rebuilt the rudder from scratch and with the assistance of the naval architects redesign the rudder so it will be a little more efficient. So the boat is all new from basically the deck break forward. Up forward, the boat had always leaked so we rebuilt the bow. I am happy to say in the sea trials and our COI it is bone dry. In short the boat is in terrific shape and ready for another five years.”

With work on the vessel almost complete attention is now focusing on getting ready for the sail to Cuba. “You can sail into Cuba now under the licensing regiment,” said Greg. “We have met with the State Department and other agencies, like the Office of Foreign Asset Control, which controls the funding, and the Treasury Department. Now it is a question of what we will be able to do in Cuba. We still have to get final approval because we are asking for some things that are currently not being done. Normally you stay no more than two months and sail between a couple of ports before clearing back into Key West. What we are working on is a project to essentially be in Cuba waters for four months. We need to work with the Cuban people in the various ports and repeat our visits. We need to understand the attractions of the place, because our goal is to make Cuba and the port of Cienfuegos our operations center. Our proposal is more complex as we are not going to be recruiting students in the United States and sailing them to Cuba. There are already a lot of study abroad programs in Cuba. We thought instead of us trying to bring American students there when there are so many American students already coming into Cuba we will offer them a field trip option.”

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