TREMONT — A new building at Classic Boat Shop in Bernard will allow more indoor storage and flexibility for service work, owner Jean Beaulieu said. It also will aid the production side of the business, with one bay dedicated to the final stages of building new Pisces daysailers.
The building project has progressed ahead of schedule, thanks to mild weather in December. The “Champlain” building – each building at the yard is named after a mountain in Acadia National Park – offers 3,600 feet of heated work space.
“We had planned to pour the concrete floor in the spring,” Beaulieu said, “but the weather helped tremendously. We’ve been able to pour the floor ahead of schedule, and now we can have heat in the building. It’s just about complete at this point.”
Classic Boat has seven full-time, year-round employees, he said. Storing more boats inside where crews can work on them will help them stay ahead of the spring launching and delivery rush.
The Cadillac building has a 12-foot ceiling. Other storage buildings at the yard are bigger and can store larger, deep-keeled sailboats. The new one is the right size for Classic Boat’s own Pisces daysailers.
“We’re storing 24 Pisces this year,” Beaulieu said. “It’s good to have the right space to efficiently put as many boats together as we can.”
Planning and permitting with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection took about six weeks, he said. “There is always the preparation before we can sit down at the town Planning Board and present our application.”
If the board requests changes, that can take several more weeks or months, but “fortunately it was pretty straightforward for us,” he said.
The company is still well below the town’s lot coverage limit. No other issues were raised. A few neighbors even came to the Planning Board hearing to express their support, he said.
“We’re very fortunate to enjoy that friendship and consideration.”