Where has the summer gone? A lot of us have asked ourselves that question lately, as our first fairly “normal” summer has flown by. The fall boat shows are right around the corner, the days are getting shorter, and shrink wrap is proliferating in local marinas. Most shops report a busy summer and are looking forward to a busy fall. Labor shortages and supply issues are still a problem but do seem to be gradually easing, or perhaps we are just getting accustomed to working around them. As we approach the climax of the season the mood seems to be generally upbeat, and most shops are gearing up for fall haul outs and storage.    

boatshop reports
A Formula on her way to be shrink wrapped for the winter at Rhode River marina in Mayo, MD. Photo by Rick Franke

Jake Glover of Ferry Point Marina in Trappe, MD, starts us off with this upbeat report.

“This summer the paint and fiberglass shop has been busy! A 30-foot Albin received new AwlCraft hull paint and stripes, a 32-foot Sonic had a rotten plywood transom replaced with composites, and a custom Composite Yacht 46-foot bay boat is in the shop now for an all over AwlCraft paint job. Yard crew has stayed busy between detailing and new bottoms. We’ve had several boats in this summer for soda blasting, new barrier coat, and bottom paint applications. Our marine air conditioning and refrigeration service has been a very popular addition. We cover the entire Eastern Shore and have been from the Bay to the ocean. The mechanics are always busy keeping boats on the water moving.

boatshop reports
A 30-foot Albin ready to go back in the water after new hull paint and stripes at Ferry Point Marina in Trappe, MD. 

Two new announcements! Keep your eye out for our winter package deal this year. Good things to come. Also, Evolution Marine Electronics is now based out of Ferry Point Marina. These folks can take care of all your marine electrical, electronics, and audio needs!”

Now that the Dove is complete and has been delivered safely to her home at St. Mary’s City, the shipyard at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels, MD, is getting back to normal. Jennifer Kuhn, shipyard education programs manager at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, reports that CBMM shipwrights will soon begin work on Mr. Dickey, while continuing to make impressive progress on annual maintenance for CBMM’s historic fleet. “CBMM’s 1934 Dovetail, Martha, is next on the railway for a deadwood repair and annual maintenance with Winnie Estelle, CBMM’s 1924 passenger carrying buyboat, expected to follow on September 1. Winnie Estelle will be decommissioned and dry docked while receiving a new keel, chine logs, and bottom. While Winnie Estelle is out of service, its duties will be taken over by Choptank, a 1938 Virginia-built buyboat on loan to CBMM from Joe Robillard, a member of its board of governors. This vessel, originally named Crow Brothers 2, was salvaged by Robillard in 2011, restored by Mike Avery, and relaunched in 2018. Before putting the vessel into service, CBMM shipwrights will spend time fitting out the boat’s interior. 

boatshop reports
Choptank, a 1938 Virginia Built buyboat, will fill in for Winnie Estelle while she’s out of service at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels, MD. 

As annual maintenance continues, CBMM shipwrights will soon start work on Mr. Dickey, a new 40-foot buyboat build. Work on the build, commissioned by Grigg and Cindy Mullen of Rockbridge Baths, VA, will continue in full public view throughout the year, with an expected launch in August 2023. For anyone excited by these projects and looking to work in the shipyard, CBMM is actively hiring a skilled shipwright to lead future restoration work on the 1912 river tug, Delaware. Those that are interested are encouraged to email [email protected].”

Mark Wilkins of the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD, reports that the framing on the Light House Keeper’s Boat is proceeding well, if slowly. The Patuxent Small Craft Guild at the museum is an all-volunteer group which works two days a week. When they had a commission to build a 16-foot outboard fishing skiff for a client, that became the priority. The skiff is complete and has been delivered to the owner, so now back to work on the Lighthouse Keepers Boat.  

boatshop reports
A 15-foot fishing skiff built for a client by the Patuxent Small Craft Guild at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD. 

David Low of Herrington Harbour North in Tracys Landing, MD, sends us this newsy update of plans for the winter. “Herrington Harbour North has many new projects in the works. A major project for this area supporting all the yachting businesses along the Rockhold Creek shore has been confirmed. The Federal Government Army Corp of Engineers is scheduled to dredge the creek from the jetty entrance down the entire length of Rockhold Creek to the Bridge this winter. This will provide a mean low water depth between seven to nine feet.

boatshop reports
If shrinkwrap starts to blossom at Herrington Harbor North in Tracys Landing, MD, can fall be far behind? Photo by Rick Franke

“On our property this winter we will be rebuilding P dock. Currently it is a fixed pier dock with short finger piers. All the slips are 29 feet long. The new dock will have full length finger piers. Slips will now be 30 to 35 feet long. We will add a new fish cleaning station and will be upgrading the bulkhead. We plan to work closely with the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) to ensure our customers plan for proper recycling of their shrink wrap in the spring. When shrink wrap is used, we are targeting 100 percent participation in our MTAM recycling program. We want to keep this single use product out of the landfill. The Yacht Yard area is being cleaned and leveled for the anticipated 1050 boats that will be hauled out for winter land storage. Operationally we have five travel lifts—35 tons up to 85-ton lifting capacity. Contractors are onsite to manage winterization of your boat and handle any upgrades and repairs. It’s never too early to schedule your service. Contact us at herringtonharbour.com to schedule your haul out.”

Joe Reid of Mast and Mallet in Mayo, MD, has several long-term projects coming to completion in his shop. Probably the most unusual is a 1964 Bertram 20 Sportsman. This early and successful center console is fairly rare, as Bertram only built 99 of them. Joe took the boat down to the glass and redid the interior and the exterior. The boat came into the shop in 2019 and Joe was waiting for the new engine when the pandemic slowed everything down to a dead stop. The Sportsman finally has her new Mercuiser 350 installed, and the finishing touches should not take too long. Joe is also completing a bottom replacement on a 1968 Brownell Bass Boat. The shaft, propeller, and rudder are being fitted and the job will be complete. Last but not least is a 1964 Chris-Craft Ski Boat which got a new bottom and a new varnish job. The interior is still being redone and this job should be completed before winter. Joe says he must get it done because he has winter work coming in and needs the space.    

boatshop reports
Joe Reid reinstalling running gear on a 1968 Brownell Bass Boat at Mast and Mallet in Mayo, MD. Photo by Rick Franke

Smokey Glover of Lake Assault Boats in Portsmouth, VA, brings us up to date on activity in his busy shop. “We have some interesting jobs ongoing or just completed. The fire boat is a refurbishment for the Albany New York fire department. Work includes installation of a new generator, new HVAC system, complete service of the fire pump, fire pump engine, and outboards. Also, some structural repairs, refinishing of the exterior paint coating, and new anti-fouling paint. Before final delivery the boat till be sea trialed, the fire pump recertified, and the trailer serviced and adjusted. The SOLAS boats are one of several recent SOLAS inspection and service contracts. These boats are carried onboard Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships as their rescue boats. The boats are inspected and serviced to strict ABS/USCG standards as they are potential life-saving assets. The two boats shown are being readied for delivery back to the customer.”

boatshop reports
Two SOLAS boats have completed inspection and service at Lake Assault Boats in Portsmouth, VA and are ready to be returned to the customer. 

“The Lake Assault Boats service facility in Portsmouth, VA, provides service and repairs to government, military, commercial, and municipal agencies,” Smokey explained, “We are a full-service shop located on the water on the Elizabeth River adjacent to the Hampton Roads harbor. Lake Assault Boats builds fire, rescue, patrol, and utility boats for these agencies as well as in our main facility in Superior WI (part of the Fraser Group). Thanks for the opportunity to showcase our work. Please stop by and visit us if you are in the area.”

Nancy Noyes sends us this update. “At Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in Annapolis, MD, boat shop manager Andrew Schroeher and his team have settled into CLC’s new boatbuilding space with a full order book. While CLC has always undertaken custom boatbuilding and fabrication alongside their main build-your-own-boat-kit business, these projects had to compete for floor space with the production shops and CLC’s boatbuilding classroom. According to CLC managing director John C. Harris, the new shop expansion allows the 30-year-old company to undertake more—and more complex—custom projects. 

boatshop reports
A 15-foot Rhode Runner, a “neo-classical runabout” built by Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD. 

Recently Schroeher and his team delivered another of CLC’s new Rhode Runners, a 15-foot neoclassical runabout. Two more completed CLC Teardrop Campers were driven away by their owners this summer, with a third under way, and there are always a host of repairs, finish work, new boats, and even architectural elements in progress. If you’re considering a custom-built boat, renovation, or repair project, contact Andrew early to reserve a spot. Email him at [email protected] or call (410) 267-0137.”

So, that’s it for this month. Enjoy the nice late summer and autumn weather. When you are at the Powerboat Show, stop by our booth at Land Space 19 and say hello. Stay safe and healthy and enjoy the boat shows.