Gamage Shipyard Under New Ownership

Gamage Shipyard Under New Ownership

Gamage Shipyard announced new owners who are old and familiar faces. General Manager Mike Tatro led the purchase and is joined by Carol Morrison in Finance and John Vinal in Operations.

Previous owner Rory Cowan said, “I grew up in Gloucester, MA and understand the importance of a vibrant, and working waterfront. Successful, enduring waterfront businesses need solid, knowledgeable teams. Mike, Carol and John are just such a team. They know the operations, the customers, and most of all they know boats. They all grew up in the mid-coast, so they’re familiar will all local opportunities and local customer desires. I’m delighted to be able to support their vision for the yard, and its next phase of development. It’s a proven and reliable team.”

Mike Tatro joined GSY in April of 2015 as a General Manager. Under Tatro’s leadership Gamage Shipyard has been restored to a full-service boatyard. Yards of today need to have several lines of business to stay commercially viable and locally competitive: Slips and moorings, seasonal service, refit, repower, restoration capabilities, and the ability to build new. Utilizing his 30 years of mid-coast yard management and boat building experience, Mike has assembled a highly skilled crew to continue implementing his vision of bringing Gamage Shipyard to the next level.

Under his six years of management, the Gamage Shipyard has seen many improvements to daily operations and expanded the services offered. Tatro’s eye for detail is seen in every customer project and every improvement made along the way. There is demand for more storage buildings, additional slips in the marina, as well as a coffee shop and perhaps a community work space in the boat house.

He also sees the yard getting back to its roots building boats. In July of 2020 Gamage Shipyard launched the first boat built at the yard in nearly forty years. Currently the yard is engaged in a second build, with a third on the horizon. Refits and new builds require many of the same activities, which allow the team to grow their individual skills.

History of the Yard

Gamage Shipyard, located in South Bristol on a 6 acre waterfront parcel, is a full-service yard with over 25,000 square feet of storage space, 2 rental properties, an office and service building. The yard was founded in 1871 with the purchase of land, including the marina waterfront, by Albion and Menzies (A & M) Gamage, who had been building large wooden sailing vessels since the early 1850s. Over the next 50 years, they built more than 88 sail and steam-powered boats.

In 1924, Harvey F. Gamage took over the business and from 1924 to 1976, Harvey Gamage oversaw the construction of more than 288 sailboats, powerboats, draggers, scallopers, and windjammers. The construction of eight wooden military vessel occupied Gamage boatbuilding from 1940 to 1944, the business turned to building rugged, able, and profitable wooden fishing boats. Gamage also built a few yachts, pleasure powerboats, and lobster boats during this period. In 1959, Gamage built the first schooner designed specifically for the windjammer passenger trade, the MARY DAY. The 83-foot MAY DAY, launched in 1960, started a new era at the yard. From the launching of MARY DAY in 1960, to the launching of APPLEDORE II, the last schooner built at Gamage Shipyard in 1978, more than 40 vessels were constructed at the yard. These included the SHENANDOAH, BILL OF RIGHTS, the yard’s namesake the HARVEY GAMAGE, the artic research vessel HERO, and Pete Seeger’s iconic sloop CLEARWATER, America’s environmental flagship. The CLEARWATER was built to support Mr. Seeger’s Clearwater organization’s mission to clean the Hudson River. Also, in 1970, the yard’s first steel-hulled boat, the fishing vessel ELIZABETH, was launched. This concession to change in boatbuilding techniques and materials was followed by nine more steel fishing boats.

After Harvey Gamage passed in 1976, his son, Linwood Gamage, ran the yard until its sale in 2000. During that time it was mainly a DYI storage facility, with seasonal service work.

In December of 2000, Rory Cowan of Boston, MA, purchased the yard. A long-time resident of South Bristol, he invested heavily and brought Gamage Shipyard into a new era. He made several infrastructure investments including the removal of the derelict buildings, adding a new marina, a state-of-the-art shop, new yard office, and heated storage facilities.

The new management would like to invite everyone to come down, see the yard and marina, meet the people and get a tour of the yard and its history. We’re looking forward to many years of service, refits, building new boats, and maintaining a beautiful yard here on the Gut in South Bristol.

The Landing School Launches Virtual Events

On October 28, 2020, The Landing School in Arundel, Maine, is launching a fall and winter series of free Virtual Events designed to showcase builders and designers with a strong connection to the school. The inaugural Virtual Event is “INSIDE SABRE YACHTS,” a virtual tour and discussion with the folks at Sabre Yachts in Raymond, Maine: Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 4:00pm (Eastern). 


These virtual events will include live and recorded footage of facilities around the world, and will close with a question-and-answer period with members of both The Landing School and the featured establishment. INSIDE SABRE YACHTS starts with Sabre President Aaron Crawford discussing the history and philosophy behind Sabre Yachts, before participants will see footage of their office spaces, design studios, and shop. Other members of the Sabre crew will be on hand and the entire event closes with a live interactive discussion. All Virtual Events will be recorded and will be available online for those who cannot attend the live webinar.

“With the Virtual Events, we can showcase some of the great work these boat builders and designers are doing, from small shops to large facilities,” says Richard Downs-Honey, President of The Landing School. “We have alumni all over the globe, and we are tapping into that network to bring people into these facilities from their own desktops.”

The week of November 16, the school will visit with French & Webb to discuss past and future restoration projects, and will close with an informal, interactive panel discussion including key members of The Landing School and the French & Webb crew.

Future events will be announced and published soon. Check back at the Virtual Events page for updates.

Registration is open for both events and is free to all. Anyone registered for Virtual Events unable to attend on the day of the event will receive a recording.

The Landing School—Established in southern Maine in 1978, The Landing School has one mission: to educate the future leaders of the marine industry. Accredited by The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), The Landing School reinforces and preserves traditional design and construction methods while advancing the art of boat building, design, and maintenance through the integration of modern techniques and contemporary materials.

Samoset Boat Works launches LAST CALL

Samoset Boat Works launches LAST CALL

Samoset Boat Works of Boothbay, Maine, launched the Holland 35 LAST CALL this spring.

Originally splashed in fall 2019 so her owner could use her for a couple of months, LAST CALL returned to the shop for the winter to be finished. Matt Sledge, owner of Samoset Boat Works, said they established the waterline and also added a domestic water system, some cabinet doors, and a galley stove.

LAST CALL is finished as a lobster boat but does sport a nice interior. Down below she has a V-berth, galley with a traditional icebox and a pressurized water system on the port side, and to starboard is an enclosed head. The shower is on deck in the shelter.

LAST CALL is powered with a 425-hp Cummins on a V-drive with a 1.5:1 ratio with a 22 x 22 ½-propeller.

The Landing School Prepares for Opening Day

The Landing School Prepares for Opening Day

Maine-based marine trades school preps for onsite training in September

The Landing School in Arundel, Maine, will open for its first day of school on September 8, 2020. Currently the school staff, faculty, and a handful of graduates are prepping the classrooms, shops, and common areas for students returning this fall to train in Yacht Design, Composite Boat Building, Wooden Boat Building, and Marine Systems.

Unlike many post-secondary schools around the country, The Landing School is planning to offer its curriculum on site, with partitions at work stations, staggered start times for all students, and by taking advantage of the already widely spaced shops and classrooms. The administration is confident in this decision due to the facility’s location in a relatively rural setting with a low-density population, and the fact that without dorms students live apart, in rentals throughout the community. As an extra precaution, the staff has also identified those students who are moving to the area from higher risk areas and will track and document quarantine and/or testing prior to opening day.

“We fully expect to open our doors for onsite classes and hands-on shop time in September,” Richard Downs-Honey, The Landing School’s President, says. “We are ordering extensive PPE, and are currently building and creating space that mitigates the risk for all students, faculty, and staff. It also helps we are located in Maine, which is considered a low-risk state.”

According to the Harvard Global Health Institute, the states with the lowest rates of infection are Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, in that order. The Northeast overall ranks among the safer areas in the United States. “With this data in mind, we feel confident we can open for school while maintaining standard COVID protocols to continue to keep those numbers low,” Downs-Honey continues. “We learned the benefits of online learning during the peak of this pandemic, and are ready with that as a Plan B in the unlikely event the numbers start to rise, but that is not how we plan to enter this school year.”

The Landing School is still accepting applications for its 2020/21 year, with Opening Day scheduled for September 8, 2020. For more information, visit: or call 207-467-5012.

The Landing School—Established in southern Maine in 1978, The Landing School has one mission: to train the future of the marine industry. Accredited by The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), The Landing School reinforces and preserves traditional design and construction methods while advancing the art of boat building, design, and maintenance through the integration of modern techniques and contemporary materials. The school is currently accepting applications for the 2020/21 academic year.

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

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