It’s a big step up for a Cutler, Maine, lobsterman who will be going from a 20-footer to the 35 Mitchell Cove that’s being built at Feeney Boat Shop in Cutler, Maine, with a 705-hp Cat C12. The shop’s Patrick Feeney refers to the 35-footer as being fitted out like an “old-school lobster boat,” with no below-deck lobster storage and an open wheelhouse. Though instead of fiberglass and plywood construction, it is being built with all composite materials. The 35-footer is due to be launched this spring, but it should be completed before then.

Since Feeney Boat Shop has the Mitchell Cove 20, 32, 35 and 37 molds, it’s not surprising the Cutler boatshop turns out a lot of Mitchell Cove designs. In addition to the 35-footer already mentioned, that includes a pair of 35 Mitchell Cove hulls and tops that will be finished off by the boats’ owners. One is for a nearby Milbridge fisherman and the other is going south to the Portland area.

A bigger, more complicated project involves a new lobster boat that was started at the beginning of January. It requires laying up a 35 Mitchell Cove hull then cutting it up to widen and lengthen it. The finished dimensions will be 40 to 41 feet long with a beam stretched out from the standard 13 feet 3 inches to somewhere between 15 feet 6 inches and 16 feet.

Those are rough measurements because, Feeney says, “I haven’t done this before to this extent. The hull will be cut into at least four pieces,” plus the keel, which will not be altered.

Feeney Boat Shop also has a number of repair jobs, including redoing the outside of a 34 Libby that Feeney estimates was built in 2002 or 2003. Dings and dents to the hull’s outside need to be filled, and then the hull will be sprayed with Awlgrip.

A 36 H&H lobster boat was in for a new fuel tank. Since the deck is near the point that it needs to be replaced and the old fuel tank is coming out, a new deck will also go down.

Anybody wanting a 20' x 9'1" Mitchell Cove hull should get ahold of Feeney because the shop is laying up hulls and tops for two 20-footers. One is going to a lobsterman in southern Maine, and the other is a spec boat.

Friendship Boats in Friendship, Maine, finished and launched a 28-foot Mussel Ridge last July. That was the Heather’s Boys, built for Isaac Simmons, the 14-year-old grandson of Friendship Boats’ Randy Young. In January, Heather’s Boys was back to Friendship Boats “for some changeovers, after he fished on it for a little bit,” Young says.

Friendship Boats launched the 28-foot Heather’s Boys last July. Now it’s back in the shop for a larger fuel tank. Friendship Boats photo.

“He didn’t like its plastic fuel tank and wanted more fuel capacity.” So the 50-gallon plastic tank will be replaced with a 75-gallon custom tank.

In January, a 35 Young Brothers was due in to be repowered with a 350-hp Cat that will replace a Volvo. “He got all he can get out of [the Volvo],” says Young. He expects the prop will also have to be replaced.

A 46 Wayne Beal that Friendship Boats finished off three years ago was also scheduled for alterations in February. That includes extending the wheelhouse aft, some gelcoating on the inside of the hull and reinforcing the platform prior to installing a mast and boom. “He’s doing a lot more with it — pogies, tuna and lobstering — so he uses the boat constantly. Three years old, time for basic TLC.”

Young was also looking forward to possibly building some new boats in March.

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Michael Crowley is the former Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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