A Stanley 19 wooden sloop designed by Ralph Stanley and built by Richard Stanley Custom Boats was front and center as visitors entered last year's Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland. This year's event begins Friday, March 22. ISLANDER PHOTO BY STEPHEN RAPPAPORT

Boatbuilders’ best on display

PORTLAND It must be spring. The Maine Boatbuilders Show is here.

Opening Friday morning at the Portland Sports Complex on Warren Avenue, the 32nd annual event brings together boatbuilders, artisans, suppliers of marine goods and services and a host of organizations dedicated in one way or another to seagoing matters for three days of educational seminars, marketing and conviviality.

And, unlike at many boat shows, the ratio of knowledgeable professionals to mere eye candy staffing the exhibits is high.

And for those interested in eye candy, there are always plenty of handsome boats — power and sail, traditional and modern, small and large — to ogle and enjoy.

Among the Hancock County exhibitors will be the John Williams Boat Co., The Hinckley Co. and Wilbur Yachts, all from Mount Desert Island and Hewes & Co. from Blue Hill, a producer of several kit boats and yacht components. Hinckley is planning to display one of its Morris M36 Daysailers at the show.

Organized by founders Phin and Joanna Sprague and Portland Yacht Services, Co., the boat show also features a raft of interesting and educational seminars on topics ranging from sustainable electric drive systems, living aboard “away from the dock” and dealing with dangerous waves aboard a sailboat at sea to “choosing the right crew for cruising,” varnishing techniques and the changing demographics of workers in the maritime trades.

A highlight among the programs is a timed “marine troubleshooting competition” for high school students interested in pursuing a maritime service career.

The Maine Boatbuilders Show runs from Friday through Sunday, opening at 10 each morning and closing at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $15 per day at the door. Children under 12 accompanied by adults will be admitted free.

For information about parking, shuttle buses and tickets visit the show’s website at portlandcompany.com.

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]

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