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"Some Boatshop History"

"Hull #1 Beverly Anne"

I n 1961, Bruce Farrin got his start building boats with Alex Ropes and went on to work at Gamage’s Shipyard in South Bristol in 1963. Working alongside craftsmen from families long associated with shipbuilding, Bruce learned traditional methods of boat building from these truly exceptional builders. Bruce helped to build the 125’ Schooner, Bill of Rights, the Topsail Schooner Shenandoah and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. He also worked on the Crystal S, a 120’ steel seiner, learning the art of steel fabrication from local craftsman Ed Gamage.

After nine years at Gamages, Bruce opened his own shop across the Gut on Rutherford Island. His first launch was the 36’ lobster boat Beverly Ann. Bruces’ reputation quickly grew with every successful launching. In February, 1978 a major storm struck the Maine coast, tearing Bruce’s boat shop off its pilings and pushing it into the middle of the cove. The shop, his tools and the 35’ sport fisherman under construction were lost. Bruce and his wife Judy moved inland, built their own 30’ x 42’ shop and by early summer were back in business.

By the late 70’s change came to boat building industry in the form of fiberglass. Bruce’s first fiberglass boat was the 37’ Repco, Lisa Marie built in 1979. The shop built only in fiberglass for a few years but in 1987 they built the wooden hulled 40’ Coastal Cruiser Red Jacket, shown here in 2004 in Suttons Bay, Lake Michigan looking as good as when she was launched. Bruce continues to have a busy shop and has been joined by his sons, Bruce Jr. and Brian who have been involved in boat building since they could hold a “C” clamp and pass tools to their dad.

In June 1979 this article appeared in the National Fisherman

THE LISA MARCIE was the first fiberglass hull completed by Bruce Farrin of Walpole, Me., who at the time was best know for his wooden boats. Below, Farrin, right, posses aboard the new lobsterboat/dragger with Orrin (Pop) Poland, left, and his son, Owen Stuart Poland, owner of the Lisa Marcie.

-----Photos by Red Boutilier


Bruce Farrin Turns To Fiberglass But Wood Is Far From Abandoned

WALPOLE, ME. — In a switch from his usual practice of building only wood boats, Bruce Farrin recently launched the 37’ Lisa Marcie, a fiberglass-hulled lobsterboat and dragger.

Owner of the new boat was Owen Stuart Poland. who fished out of New Harbor, Me. He needed his new boat by spring, Poland arranged with Farrin to complete the hull, built by Reinforced Plastics Co. of Gouldsboro, Me.  Farrin, whose new shop needed steady work, agreed to the building project, although he ended up doing a considerable amount of wood work aboard the new boat before he was through.

 The Lisa Marcie, named for Poland’s daughters, had a beam of 12’ and a draft of 3’4”. Her engine was a Detroit Diesel 4-71 rated at 165 h.p. at 2,250 r.p.m. The engine was supplied by Power Products Inc. of Falmouth who equipped her with a Twin Disc 2:1 reduction gear. The 24” x 23” Federal propeller was turned by a 1¾” bronze shaft.

The engine beds were made of oak on 1 1/4" fiberglassed pine supports.  The enginewas servicable completely from the pilothouse.  Even the emergency engine shutdown was easily accessible from the pilothouse, which eliminating the need to climb into the cuddy in such cases.

Farrin's love of wood is evidenced in the foc'sle where two berths were finished in mahogany.  The rubrails were made of 3/4" oak covered with stainless steel half ovals.  On the stern quarters, Farrin made drag sheathing out of oak and a well-placed oak piece in the pot hauling area.

The Lisa Marcie was equipped with a Hydro-Slave 12" hydraulic  pothauler as well as hydraulic steering, both devices were built by Marine Hydraulics of Warren, Me.  The stainless steel propeller cage and the davits were made by Emil Rivers Inc. of Rockland, Me.

Electronics aboard the Lisa Marcie included a Model 050 Decca radar, a 115 sonar scanner by Wesmar, a COM VHF radio, Si-Tex flasher recorder, a Si-Tex loran C  and a CB Veep radio.

Reinforced Plastics delivered the hull to Farrin in mid-November and he had the Lisa Marcie ready to go March 9.  On that day, another fiberglass hull, a Holland from Belfast, Me., was moved into the Farrin shop.  This boat had an overall length of 30' 4'' and a beam of 10" and was completed for George Cushing of Round Pond, Me.  She was slated for a July launching.