Small Wooden Boats is the topic of April’s Maine Boatbuilding Forum at Penobscot Marine Museum on Thursday, April 10th at 7:00 pm. Maine’s small wooden boat builders are known for superb craftsmanship and they play a key role in preserving Maine’s maritime culture and making that culture an important part of our future. John Brooks, Cottrell Boat Building, Arch Davis, Havilah Hawkins, Greg Rossel, O’Donovan & Dole Wooden Boatworks, Richard Stanley, and Chris Stickney are the boat builders participating in the forum. A Peapod donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum by the Hawkins family will be on display for attendees at the talk, along will half-models and boat plans for boats built by Havilah Hawkins’ uncle Arno Day.
John Brooks, of Brooks Boats Designs in Brooklin, designed and built his first glued-lapstrake boat in 1987, and he and his partner Ruth Hill have been designing and building glued-lapstrake boats together since 1990.
Cottrell Boat Building in Searsport is a family business and includes Dale Cottrell’s wife Lynn, son Seth, and occasionally sons Josh, Ben and daughter Kate. Dale has been designing, building and restoring boats for over 40 years, but his real love is small boats. Cottrell is the designer of the Puffin Dinghy, thousands of which are used in harbors around the world. Cottrell Boat Building uses local woods whenever possible and make sure that their wood is sustainably and ethically grown and harvested.
Arch Davis of Arch Davis Designs in Belfast has been helping people to build beautiful wooden boats since 1988. His approach to design is to use modern materials – marine plywood and epoxy resin – to build a truly lovely boat with classic lines.
Capt. Havilah “Haddie” Hawkins of Segdwick is a fourth-generation boat builder. His father designed and built a version of the quintessential Maine double-ended rowing boats known as Peapods, developed from a lapstrake boat he found over on Deer Isle. He built about 47 of them using a cement mold as a production tool.
Greg Rossel is a long-time instructor at WoodenBoat School, teaching lofting, skiff building, and the Fundamentals of Boatbuilding. He has written over 100 articles for WoodenBoat and other publications and is the author and illustrator of Building Small Boats, a book on carvel and traditional lapstrake boatbuilding published by WoodenBoat Books. In spring Greg teaches boat building to students from Searsport District High School at Penobscot Marine Museum.
Patrick and John of O’Donovan & Dole Wooden Boatworks in Searsport have a combined boat building experience of over 15 years. They build boats reflecting the way they have been built for generations. They build boats that will last for generations, and they help people who own wooden boats to keep them sailing for years to come.
Richard Stanley of Richard Stanley Custom Boats in Bass Harbor never wanted to be anything but a wooden boatbuilder. From the time he could walk, he was out back in father’s boatyard. When he was old enough to use tools, Richard began helping in his father, Ralph Stanley’s shop. If Ralph didn’t have work for him, Richard ventured out to other local builders’ shops, to watch new boats being built and old boats being fixed. For nearly 50 years, he has devoted his entire being to the art of building functional, beautiful wooden boats.
Chris Stickney of C. Stickney Boatbuilders Ltd, St. George, aims to bring new life into older wooden boats and introduce people to the virtues of new wooden boats by building skiffs in his St. George shop. His personal dedication to craftsmanship at an affordable price has attracted boaters looking for a new boat or the repair and restoration of an older vessel.
The Maine Boatbuilding Forum is moderated by Jon Johansen of Maine Coastal News, and is held at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Route One, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 members and $10 non-members. For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.