Rockland boat show draws a big crowd



ROCKLAND — Innovation? Luxury? A great pastrami sandwich?

All were on display and, at least in the case of the sandwich, reasonably obtainable, at last weekend’s Maine Boat & Home Show on the waterfront in Rockland.

Sponsored by Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, the show, which brought elegant power and sailboats from custom and production builders to Rockland for the 16th year, wrapped up its three-day run on Sunday.

According to Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Publisher John Hanson, the event was a winner all around.

“We are very pleased with this year’s show,” Hanson said Monday. “The boat docks were packed all weekend, both with great boats and good buyers. And while it’s still early, we heard from dealers that quite a few boats were sold and other vendors told us they did well, also.”

While the show drew boats from all over, including several high speed outboards designed in Finland, built in Poland and for sale in Maine, several of the most interesting exhibits came from boatbuilders in eastern Maine.

The Hinckley Co. was on hand with two elegant powerboats, one of them the recently launched 40-foot Picnic Boat just introduced by the company this year, and a handsome cruising boat from its Morris Yachts division. Among other Mount Desert Island boatbuilders at the show, Redfern Boat of West Tremont displayed one of its handsome inboard runabouts in the water.

Hyland & Brown came down from Brooklin to display its most recent boat, the 27-foot, outboard-powered Gatsby. Launched just last month for a Texas customer with a seasonal home in Rockland, the boat displayed lots of varnished mahogany and an elegantly curved cockpit coaming reminiscent of launches built during yachting’s so-called Golden Age.

More utilitarian but no less handsome in a distinctly workmanlike way was the Owls Head-based 50-foot lobster boat Claire Elizabeth with an Osmond Beal-designed hull built by H&H Marine in Steuben and finished off by Little River Boat Shop in Cutler.

Also on display were a number of elegant restorations of traditional and modern sail and powerboats, and the newly built Mishimikinaak, a traditional, 27-foot open sailboat built by The Apprenticeshop and launched in June.

There was also plenty to see and do ashore, with vendors of all sorts of nautical and home goods and services displaying their wares.

“Where else but Maine can you go to a show and see fine yachts, ice boats, research vessels and gorgeous wooden canoes, and they go on land and see fine art, furniture, hand-woven clothes and eat to your heart’s content,” Hanson said.

Mostly good weather over the weekend helped bring out a good crowd, too.

“In all we figure close to 7,000 people attended, which is about what we have seen in previous years,” Hanson said.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]