July 20, 2018
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Thomaston boat building firm buys historic Camden company

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

THOMASTON, Maine — A longtime Thomaston boat building company has acquired the historic Wayfarer Marine business in Camden.

The purchase of Wayfarer by Lyman Morse was finalized on Tuesday. No purchase price for the business, which is located on slightly more than nine acres of waterfront property, was revealed.

Shane Flynn had owned Wayfarer since 2007 when he purchased it from Jack Sanford and Parker Laite. Flynn has not been available for comment. The Camden facility is being renamed Lyman Morse at Wayfarer Marine.

The Thomaston complex employs 76 workers while the Camden yard has 41 employees. No changes in staffing levels are expected.

“With this purchase, Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine will now have the advantage of the infrastructure, expertise, reputation, and culture of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Both yards are situated in two of the most historic boatbuilding/boatyard towns in New England,” according to a news release Wednesday from Lyman Morse.

Drew Lyman, president of Lyman-Morse, said in the news release that Wayfarer’s customers will benefit in a big way through economies of scale and access to Lyman-Morse’s depth of expertise and resources including its “boatbuilding pedigree,” Lyman-Morse Fabrication, the CNC machining department, and Lyman-Morse Technologies.

Lyman said he also recognizes the benefits of having the Lyman Morse name front and center in Camden, which he pointed out is a place that for more than a century has been a destination harbor in the yachting world.

“We love the synergy of tying the two businesses together to create an even stronger world-class destination yard,” Lyman said in the news release.

Lyman-Morse was started by Drew Lyman’s parents Cabot and Heidi Lyman in 1978. The couple purchased the boat yard from Roger Morse.

In 2007 and 2008 there was considerable debate in the Camden community on proposed zoning changes to allow some of Wayfarer’s working waterfront property to be converted to possible residential uses. Voters ultimately approved zoning changes that town officials balanced the competing needs.

Wayfarer has 37 slips, 846 feet of dockage, a launch service that provides transport to and from its 47 moorings, a 110-ton travelift, an 80-ton trailer and nine climate-controlled work and paint bays.

A history of Wayfarer stated that it began in 1913 and employed 1,800 people at its peak during World War II.

Since 1978, Lyman-Morse has built more than 100 yachts and said it has established itself as a quality service yard specializing in refits. The company’s 110 new construction project consist of all types of materials including aluminum, wood, and composite construction.

The Thomaston company said in the news release that its state-of-the-art infrastructure with some of the world’s finest craftsmen has allowed Lyman-Morse to expand into areas outside the marine world. Lyman has steered Lyman-Morse into more diversification with its state-of-the-art composites shop becoming involved with the airline industry, Department of Defense, prototyping and many start-up projects such as solar power re-generating units, and large scale solar arrays, according to the news release

.

Lyman-Morse Technologies is the research, development and prototyping division of the company. LMT works with architects, interior designers, business and home owners and government agencies including the Department of Defense.

In addition, Lyman Morse Fabrication, led by Jonathan Egan, has increased its presence in New England with its custom design, engineering and metal fabrication. LMF has landed significant projects for SUNY in New York, processing plant machinery, oceanographic research equipment, and a variety of other projects for respected New England companies.

The Lyman family is also completing a 26-room boutique hotel in Rockland.

 


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