Preview: Carvel Construction; John’s Bay Boat Co. Builds a Wooden Lobster Boat, Part I

March 22, 2015

Avatar Maynard Bray

Some 40 years ago, Peter Spectre, then of International Marine Publishing Co. engaged me to edit Royal Lowell’s manuscript which became a book called Boatbuilding Downeast. It is a wonderful step-by-step description of how to build a Maine lobster boat by one of the very best designers of the type—a guy, now dead, who could build boats as well design them. That book remains a classic, largely because of Royal’s crystal clear perspective drawings. Now, to accompany that “bible” of plank-on-frame powerboat construction, we have Walt Barrows‘s lovely and informative photos showing how Peter Kass of John’s Bay Boat Co. puts together a similar craft. Walt hardly missed a step, and took care to include the workers in his photos as well as the work. It’s as good a rundown on plank-on-frame boat building as I’ve seen and we much appreciate Walt’s willingness to share his photos with OCH members.

The boat is a big one, 46′ overall, and powered by an 800hp Caterpillar diesel. She’ll be fishing from Spruce Head beginning in the summer of 2015, skippered by her owner Jimmy Tripp. He’s a lucky guy. There’s no better builder of this type of boat than Peter Kass and his John’s Bay Boat Co. crew.

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A keel timber of oak, sawn from a single long log begins the process.

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