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.”

Padebco Adds a New Runabout to its Line

a Stb 2 Padebco V25R

Padebco Custom Boat Builders & Full Service Boatyard recently launched its newest model the V25R. The sporty express-style 25’ runabout is designed on a solid fiberglass hull, and offers a cuddy cabin with v-berth, head, refrigerated wet bar and many other options. Her classic Downeast lines, teak accents and powerful twin Yamaha 150s draw attention both in the harbor and out on the water. The V25R’s seakeeping characteristics make her equally successful as a pleasure boat and as a ship’s tender for larger vessels.

“The V25R’s design developed from a need for a sporty mid-sized runabout in Padebco’s product line that appeals to a new generation of boat owners. It combines speed and ease of handling, with overnight accommodations and socializing”, said Leon MacCorkle, President of Padebco. “The V25R is large enough to accommodate a group of people, yet nimble enough for one person to operate with confidence.”

The V25R easily carves through the water with top speeds just under 50mph (43kts). Standing or sitting at the helm delivers excellent visibility and, with a quick glance, grants full views of navigation displays. Her quiet twin 150hp engines ensure a comfortable, smooth, and dry ride leaving a minimal wake.

While compact and easy to maneuver, she is designed for comfort and socializing. The V25R’s deck plan includes comfortable seating for up to 8 adults on mid-ship and aft bench seats in addition to helm and mate seats. A substantial refrigerated wet bar with pressurized water is located midship. Leave the convertible top down to enjoy the summer on the water, put it up and extend the cruising season! This versatile runabout offers a roomy and finely crafted v-berth cuddy cabin complete with hanging locker and head, ensuring a comfortable weekend get-away for a couple exploring the coastline. Although anyone exploring the coastline late at night will need to they have installed some solar dock lights back on land.

The V25R is available with many custom options including; hull color, fabric selection, trim details, and more. Padebco has over 50-years of experience building custom yachts. The genuine craftsmanship and design that is part of each Padebco combined with ideas and input of its owners result in each well-built vessel being distinctive.

V25R Specs:


25’ 4”






17 degrees


Twin 150hps

Fuel Capacity

125 gal

About: Padebco Custom Boat Builders & Full Service Boatyard is a Maine builder of custom Downeast-style, fiberglass boats ranging from 21 to 32 foot cruisers, center consoles, and walkarounds, to one off builds, and finishing hulls. Padebco is a full service boatyard with over 50-years of experience building and servicing sail and power boats. For more information visit or call (207) 529-5106.

Wicked Tuna’s Capt. Dave Carraro will be at The Maine Boatbuilders Show

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.33.12 AMWe are going to add some spice to this year’s Maine Boat Builder’s Show, giving it a “sport fishing” theme. SW Boatworks of Lamoine is building the new TUNA.COM for Capt. Dave Carraro of Gloucester, one of the stars of the reality television show “Wicked Tuna” seen on the National Geographic Channel. Dave will be there meeting attendees, giving a couple of seminars and selling his “TUNA.COM” merchandise. There is no question that this will draw a huge crowd.

Capt. Dave Carraro will be at this year’s Maine Boat Builder’s Show on Saturday and Sunday. He sold his Duffy 38 TUNA.COM last year and went looking for a new boat. He said, “I wanted a Downeast boat. I have owned two before, a 31 JC and a 38 Duffy and since Maine is the home of Downeast boats that was my starting point. I also asked several friends that had Downeast boats where I should get it built? Who is a very reputable builder? All steered me towards Stewart Workman, owner of SW Boatworks. The Duffy had its idiosyncrasies as does every boat. It rocked and rolled a little bit, but we caught a lot of fish on it. We were happy with it besides the rocking tendency. When I was in the market for another boat I wanted a boat that had good lateral stability, and I knew one way of getting that was getting a wider boat. I also wanted a boat that was little bigger. We considered a Young Brothers, a Duffy 42, a Lowell 43, a Mussel Ridge 42, and they were all good choices, but not really what we were looking for. We wanted that width and we settled on the Calvin 44. This boat is very stable, and the cabin is a lot bigger, the cockpit is a lot roomier and even though it is bigger than my old boat the fuel efficiency is going to be very comparable.”
We are hoping to have the new TUNA.COM at the show, but we cannot guarantee that yet. TUNA.COM is scheduled to be finished the middle of March, and if that happens, she will be there.

Almost every Maine boat builder has finished off some of their hulls for the sport fishing community. This is a huge market and is an excellent way to showcase one variation of how a Maine lobster boat hull can be finished off. Sport fishing is a sizable industry on the Maine coast, but even larger the further Westward you go. Others associated with this industry will also be invited to participate as exhibitors and speakers.
For those that do not build boats for the sport fisherman, you will not be neglected. We will make sure that everyone is promoted equally. Maine’s boatbuilding community is extremely diverse. There are those that build dinghies, others mega-yachts, and anywhere in between and this show is here to promote everyone. Many boat builders do not know what they will have available at show time, but when we know what boats are coming we will send out press releases promoting them. Next year we will change the theme of the show to focus on another aspect of Maine’s boat building industry. Any suggestions are welcome.

I would also like to say that this is not the last year for this show. There are many rumors out there, but this show will continue. The Maine boat building community is very special and this show was developed to showcase what they have to offer. This show is unlike any other because you meet the actual boat builder and in many cases some of the most unique individuals anywhere. We will continue to do this show so they can continue to promote their businesses.

With the brain trust that is attracted to the show there is often animated discussions and as much going on in the aisles as in the booths. Friends make the show an annual pilgrimage. The fact that it is a gathering point and a celebration has attracted national organizations. The Maine Maritime Academy Alumnae will hold a Maritime Flea Market all three days in Bld #11. Lectures are free all three days for knowledgeable boaters. To celebrate the next generation, for the FOURTH year, there will be an engine diagnosis competition between the Maine Vocational High schools 10-12 Saturday.

The show is expected to draw around 10,000 people to the Portland Company Marine Complex, located at 58 Fore Street in Portland, Maine. Admission is $15 per day at the door or ON LINE tickets are available. Children under 12 accompanied by adults will be admitted free. Groups of 10 or more can purchase block tickets for $10.00 ea. It is open to the public and will run from 10am to 6 pm on Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday March 22nd .To learn more about the 28h Maine Boat Builders Show go to

Maine Yacht Center Refits Vendee Globe Boat

maineyachtcenterMaine Yacht Center is proud to announce it completed a refit of the IMOCA Open 60 Great American IV (ex-Mirabaud), in which Rich Wilson will compete in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, the toughest singlehanded sailing race in the world.

Wilson brought the exotic canting-keel race boat to MYC in Portland, Maine, in August 2013 after sailing it across the Atlantic Ocean from France, where he purchased it on behalf of his nonprofit educational foundation, Sites Alive. Designed by Owen Clarke Design of Great Britain, the boat was originally built and launched in 2006 in New Zealand for prominent French solo sailor Dominique Wavre, who sailed the boat in such prestigious events as the Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World Race.

To prepare Great American IV for Wilson’s newest sailing adventure, MYC performed the following work: rig modifications and inspection; removal of canting keel, inspection of keel pivot bearings, keel hydraulics and service; removal of twin asymmetric dagger boards and replacement of bearings; removal of rudders and bearing service; deck hardware modification; construction of an ergonomic chart table, bench seat and custom chair; new electronics and wiring including sailing instrumentation, satellite communication and computers; new Lithium Ion battery bank; new charging system to include custom direct drive engine alternator/regulator, hydro-generators and solar; new stantions, bow pulpit and pushpits for higher life line configuration; and new race bottom job.

“It’s always a pleasure and privilege to work with Rich Wilson on any project,” said Harris after the current refit was completed. “He truly is like the Energizer Bunny, has great stamina, and brings intense focus and clarity to anything he puts his mind to.

“MYC has done a marvelous job on a complex and sophisticated refit, and all with diligence and good humor. For a race boat it’s a great place to go,” said Rich Wilson. “Brian Harris is the only one in the U.S. who has dealt with Open 60s that race solo around the world. He’s worked on boats for four such races, including ours in 2008-9, where we finished 9th of 11 finishers of 30 starters. There was a tremendous amount of attrition in that fleet, but the boat prepared by Maine Yacht Center came home safely. That’s why we’ve come back to Brian and Maine Yacht Center for our 2016 Vendée Globe attempt.”

ABOUT Rich Wilson: Rich first came to the notice of the sailing world in 1980 when he skippered a heavy Aage Nielsen ketch, Holger Danske, to a spectacular overall win in the 1980 Newport-Bermuda Race. Since 1990 he has used ocean sailing to create multi-disciplinary interactive educational programs and set several world speed records aboard trimarans while doing so. Rich became only the second American ever to complete the Vendée Globe during the 2008-09 running of the event, which he finished in 121 days, coming in 9th out of 11 finishers (out of a starting fleet of 30 boats). Rich, then 58, was the oldest competitor in the race. During his last Vendée Globe campaign, Rich’s non-profit Sites Alive Foundation reached a global audience of 7 million readers and 250,000 students. Schools in 37 countries expressed interest in publishing its educational programs. Rich hopes to build on this success during his next big race and will also be creating programs for asthma patients (he has suffered from asthma since childhood) and senior citizens (he will be 65 at the start of this race). For more information on Rich and Sites Alive visit

"MIRABAUD"  Monohull IMOCA 60, skipper Dominique Wavre (SUi)

Maine Built Boats Hosts Third-Annual Conference

IMG_1684smMaine Built Boats hosted its third-annual Global Outreach Conference on Thursday, December 4, in Bath, Maine. Featuring seminars on sourcing services, enhancing marketing, and establishing global partnerships, the conference gathered boatbuilding-related professionals from around New England. Attendees left with new ideas for business development.

Open to the regional boatbuilding industry, the Global Outreach Conference annually provides industry executives, managers, technicians and marketers with ideas for expanding their business outside of Maine and the nation. In addition to a full seminar series, the conference offers an exhibition featuring products and services that are important to the industry.

The conference opened with a presentation on 3D printing by John Belding of the University of Maine. Belding also joined the second seminar, which gathered representatives from a panel of businesses that provide plug and tooling services including CNC machining, water-jet cutting, and five-axis machining.

Sandy Spaulding of Hodgdon Yacht Services provided an economic forecast of the global marine industry during a mid-day session. That was followed by a seminar low-cost and digital marketing by Nicole Jacques of Rhumbline Communications. The final seminar presented by James Anderson and Chris Franklin of Hodgdon Yachts showcased the recent construction of COMANCHE, a 100-foot carbon yacht making international headlines.

Dates for next year’s Maine Built Boats Global Outreach Conference will be announced in spring 2015.

Global Outreach Conference Dates Announced

MBB conference logoMaine Built Boats’ third-annual boatbuilding industry conference is scheduled Thursday, December 4, 2014. Maine Built Boats Global Outreach Conference will offer industry executives, managers and marketers ideas for expanding their business outside of Maine and the nation. The conference, which will be held at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, offers a combination of exhibition and seminars to support Maine boatbuilders.

Maine Built Boats Global Outreach Conference offers seminars in marine systems technology, fabrication, digital marketing, and management. Each seminar and its speakers were selected based on industry feedback and demand.

Learn more about the conference:

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