December 16, 2018
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What a real lobsterman wears

It’s tough sledding for magazines these days as most people do their reading on the Internet instead of in their two hands. Like the rest of them, Men’s Journal struggles to find a niche and pay some bills.

In order to keep their clothes advertisers happy, they devote page after page to real working people dressed in ridiculously expensive gear, hoping that couch potatoes like me will order them, probably online.

Kind of like CMP linemen dressed in a tuxedo. Or lobstermen dressed in a $4,800 jacket while loading traps.

In the current (December) issue, Tom Martin of Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island supposedly starts his day on the docks in a $5,289 outfit. The caption tells us that Martin started as an apprentice at age 14 and fell under the spell of working on the water.

“Being outside, getting to work on the water it’s really nice for eight months of the year” especially when it’s summertime and “lobsters practically climb in the boat,” the mag says.

Martin lets the lobsters crawl onto his 40-foot trawler, Lucky Trap. He takes landlubbers aboard in the summer but in the bitter weather it’s just him and the sternman.

“That’s pretty much how lobstering is, just a couple of guys on a boat all day,” Martin said in Men’s Journal.

For the uninformed, this lobsterman is decked out in a $4,800 Louis Vuitton coat, a $198 Nautica sweater, a $178 shirt from Gant, a $45 “Henley” (whatever that is) by J. Crew, $45 pants by Tommy Hilfiger and $28 gloves from L.L. Bean.

Cameron McDonald of Owls Head is only 19 but already has been fishing for lobster for 11 years. Now, he works as sternman on the Sandpiper, sailing from the Owls Head Lobster dock.

He had tears in his eyes as he laughed at the Men’s Journal page.

“Nobody on my dock dresses that way. I can tell you that,” he said. There are very few $4,800 jackets on the backs of working lobstermen on his dock, he testified.

The preferred brand on the dock is Carhartt, simply because they last so long, he said.

Before the boat tied up for the winter, McDonald would wear the same gear every day. He would wear a $15 Carhartt shirt beneath three $10 Carhartt sweatshirts and a pair of $45 Carhartt pants. The most expensive items were the $100 “muck boots” from Hamilton Marine, the $85 Grunden oil pants and the $85 Grunden oil jacket. He always wore $12 insulated gloves from Hamilton Marine and his trademark $5 Patriots camo hat from South End grocery.

A total of $377.

One day aboard the Sandpiper would pretty much ruin that Louis Vuitton ensemble he said. The “outside” of the three sweatshirts always gets caked with salt, bait and a little grease, he said. Eventually you junk the outside shirt and add a new one underneath.

Other “Maine men” in the men’s Journal piece are Saddleback pilot Keith Deschambeault, ($795 Polo coat), designer Alex Carleton of Bailey Island, builder Paul Drinan of South Casco, ($2,195 Burberry coat) and shoemakers Jim, Joshua and Jordan Klein from Orr’s island. (Jim is dressed in a $3,895 coat and $2,295 sweater, both by Cuccinelli). Good for making shoes.

Nobody on the coast north of L.L. Bean made the cut in Men’s Journal.

Too much Carhartt up here. Not enough Louis Vuitton.


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