BLUE HILL — Fishermen looking for some pain relief from long days hauling traps, banding lobster claws and offloading catch — often in bad weather and always in salt-laden air — are the ultimate customers for Deck Boss.
Blue Hill company Downeast Maine LLC developed the new product line this year, testing its pain balm, recovery stick and hand scrub with commercial fishermen in mind.
“Part of the reason we started this is I’m married to Jesse, who is a fisherman,” Operations Manager Kayla Ingraham said. “I’ve looked everywhere, but [the market] doesn’t have any pain relief for the fishing industry, in general.”
Ingraham tested the products before the launch earlier this year on the customers Deck Boss most wanted to target.
“We wanted to make sure it worked,” Ingraham said. So, she attended a few lobster boat races up and down the coast, handing out free samples in exchange for some straight-talking feedback from commercial fishermen.
“After hauling through 800 lobster traps twice a week, I was left with incredibly swollen hands to start the season. Ice nor heat would make me feel comfortable,” Blue Hill sternman Blake Wessel said. “After a few applications the swelling started to recede, and I could get through the day adequately. Deck Boss is the real deal.”
Wessel was talking about Deck Boss Pain Balm, which is infused with CBD, the hemp extract whose proponents claim a wide range of health and wellness benefits. Pain relief is a major one.
Hemp is legally defined as cannabis, and while the Food and Drug Administration “recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities,” its website states, it has not yet approved any products containing CBD.
The CBD is extracted from Maine hemp in Blue Hill, Ingraham said, making the Deck Hand line as local as possible.
Deck Boss pain products, including its Recovery Stick for easy offshore application, contain more than an extra-strength 3,000-milligram dosage of CBD. They also include the homeopathic skin treatment arnica infused into avocado oil, beeswax, vitamin E, essential oils, cocoa and shea butters, jojoba oil and Siberian fir. Their hand scrub adds Epsom and sea salts and emollients to its CBD.
Additional products for its fishermen’s line are being considered, such as laundry detergent that will strip the oils and slime from hard-used fishing clothing. And nearly ready for consumer testing is a brown tail moth rash relief cream and spray that does not use CBD.
Although the company is headquartered on Ellsworth Road in Blue Hill, Ingraham said inquiries and sales are handled online at deckbosslife.com. And since the product is “inspired by and created for Maine lobstermen,” Ingraham said, Deck Boss donates 5 percent of its profits to the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance.