ROCKLAND, Maine — Debutante balls may not have caught on in Maine, but for one summer weekend every year, new and perfectly polished boats make their public debut at the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show at Rockland Harbor.
Among this year’s batch of new boats from area boat builders on display at the 11th annual show are several that John Hanson, publisher of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, can scarcely find enough adjectives to describe. They include the world premiere of the new Back Cove 37, which is built in Rockland and is described on the Back Cove Yachts website as a motor yacht constructed with Maine lobster boat lines.
“It’s a spectacular mating of tradition, shapes and innovation,” Hanson said Monday.
That yacht will join others including a 14-foot high-performance sailboat from Brooks Boats Designs in Brooklin and a brand-new yacht from Lyman Morse Boatbuilding Co. in Thomaston. Also, New England boat builder Rodger Swanson will show his open-ocean rowboat, which Hanson said is “just a terrific piece of work.”
“A lot of the bigger boats will be going on to the fall boat shows in places like Annapolis and Newport, R.I.,” he said. “I keep thinking that in many ways, we are the off-Broadway show for these people.”
Purchasing a custom-built yacht may not be cheap, but there will also be an abundance of more economical boats at the show, including kayaks, rowboats and sailboats, Hanson said, adding that dreaming doesn’t cost much, either.
“Anyone can be a millionaire for a day,” he said.
Boat building is part of Maine’s heritage as well as its future, he said.
“The number of diverse, intellectual technological disciplines involved in boat building keep the state evolved,” Hanson said. “It takes an incredible amount of design and engineering.”
Those disciplines include propulsion engineering, electrical engineering, 3D design, composite technology, metallurgy, woodworking and paint innovations.
In addition to the brand-new boats on display, there will also be unique offerings such as the world’s first hybrid yacht and a beautiful restoration of a 1963 Hinckley Bermuda 40 sailboat. Visitors can also take in sights including the crowd-favorite 11th Annual World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials, the chance to learn how to fly cast from Trout Unlimited and more.
“It’s a wonderful celebration of creative life on the coast,” Hanson said. “There’s artists and furniture makers and boat builders and architects. People who are designing solar energy systems. It’s an incredible cross-pollination of stuff.”
For information about the show, which will run Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11 at Rockland Harbor, visit www.maineboats.com.