The Maine Seacoast Mission’s boat, Sunbeam, is pulled into drydock at Billings Diesel and Marine in Stonington for its annual checkup. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL JOHNSON

Sunbeam in for checkup, repairs

BAR HARBOR — Sunbeam, the Maine Seacoast Mission’s 74-foot steel-hulled boat, has gone in for its annual physical exam and maintenance work at Billings Diesel and Marine in Stonington.

As usual, it is getting a new paint job.

“Once rust gets a foothold, it is extremely difficult to keep under control, said Capt. Michael Johnson. “A full paint job every year is money well spent.”

Several areas of the boat’s interior rubberized flooring are being replaced. A pilot house window that has begun fogging up will be replaced. And the tank that collects water from the shower and sink has developed a leak and probably will need to be replaced.

“This is also a good time for the diesel mechanics at Billings to give the engine and generators a good look-over and make any recommendations for maintenance that would only be evident to a professionally trained eye,” Johnson said.

Sunbeam arrived at Billings Sept 15 and is to be there until Oct. 13.

Also this fall, the boat’s secondary, short-range radar unit is being replaced.

“It is over 10 years old, and radar technology has improved tremendously,” Johnson said. “The resolution of the older radar screen is marginal and can cause distortion of smaller targets such as boats and buoys. The newer unit is much crisper, with a zoom feature allowing the user to focus on a particular area of interest.”

The boat also has a primary, commercial grade radar unit.

The Seacoast Mission uses Sunbeam to provide “spiritual, health and youth development programs” to island and coastal communities of Downeast Maine.




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. [email protected]

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