The 34-foot vessel to be christened Moonbeam will temporarily replace the Maine Seacoast Mission’s island-serving Sunbeam V, which will undergo major improvements. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE SEACOAST MISSION

Moonbeam fills in for Sunbeam



BAR HARBOR — The Maine Seacoast Mission has found a boat to deliver services to several of Maine’s outer islands while the Sunbeam V is out of the water for major repairs and upgrades starting later this spring.

Members of the mission staff and Sunbeam crew suggested names for the fill-in boat, and school children on the islands were asked to vote for their favorite. The winner: Moonbeam.

Sunbeam engineer Storey King researched and inspected several possible temporary replacements before selecting a 34-foot wooden Downeast Cruiser, the mission said in a press release.

“The Sunbeam crew will be traveling around on a Moonbeam this summer and fall while our beloved Sunbeam is enjoying its much-need refit,” said Douglas Cornman, the mission’s island outreach director.

That work will include sandblasting and applying a marine primer to the inside of the hull to stop the spread of rust, a process that will require tearing out the staterooms and everything else below the water line.

Two old, inefficient generators will be replaced, as will the furnace and air compressor. The galley will get new appliances and the crew’s rather Spartan quarters will be redesigned to provide a little more space and comfort.

Last year, the mission conducted a special gift campaign to raise $1.5 million for the Sunbeam improvements.

The 74-foot Sunbeam is used by mission staff to provide social, health, education and spiritual services to residents of several offshore islands, from the Cranberry Isles to Monhegan. Visited most frequently are Frenchboro, Isle au Haut and Matinicus.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. dbroom@mdislander.com

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