April 24, 2018
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Four days of boating history events about to launch on Maine coast

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

SEARSPORT, Maine — Maine’s maritime heritage will come to life this week as the Penobscot Marine Museum and the Museum Small Craft Association team up to provide four days of boat history during a double conference.

Bob Holtzman of the museum said Monday it’s the first time that the two organizations have come together for the annual event but that they have closely aligned missions and topics and it made sense.

“Small craft represent an important part of the history and culture of Maine,” he said. “Maine grew up around its maritime culture and economy. Fans of wooden boats and fans of traditional boats around the world acknowledge the fineness of Maine craft.”

Highlights of the event will stretch across four days and move up the coast from Bath to Searsport. They include the annual meeting of the Museum Small Craft Association on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. That meeting will include presentations on collecting, preserving, documenting and reproducing historic boats by scholars, museum professionals, educators and boat builders.

On Friday, Oct. 21, the conference will hit the road with stops at the Washburn Doughty boat shop in Boothbay Harbor, Lyman Morse in Thomaston and The Apprenticeshop in Rockland.

Once in Searsport, attendees will soak up boat building history with presentations scheduled on the evolution of the Maine lobster boat, a study of Maine peapods, Friendship sloops and more.

“It is interesting, and it’s for the general public,” Holtzman said. “It is for anyone with an interest in Maine history or maritime history, or, for that matter, anyone with an interest in small boats.”

On Friday night, the museum will host a screening of the documentary “Maine Built Boat: Art & Soul,” produced and narrated by ESPN commentator Gary Jobson.

The film will be accompanied by a meal catered by Anglers Restaurant in Searsport and Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast.

“The reception is really fun,” Holtzman said.

Another notable talk will be given by Matt Murphy, editor of WoodenBoat magazine. His presentation is called “30 boats in 30 minutes” and will give an overview of Maine boat building, Holtzman said.

Registration for all four days is $130, including several meals and snacks. Reduced-price tickets are available for the Penobscot Marine Museum history conference, with discounts offered for museum members, students and teachers. For information or to register, visit www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org or call 548-2529.

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