Maine boat builder finds big business in Northern Bay 36 molds

There was no mistaking the message: Track down those Northern Bay 36 molds and buy them. That’s what Stacey Raymond of General Marine in Biddeford, Maine, was told, and that’s what he did. Though the molds were pricey, it’s not a decision he regrets.

Spencer Lincoln designed the 36′ x 13′ Northern Bay for Downeast Boats & Composites’ John Hutchins in Penobscot, Maine. “It’s the boat that Spencer will be recognized for,” says Raymond, “that and the Duffy 35.”

The Northern Bay 36 is known to be an easy riding boat while also having a hull that moves quickly and easily through the water. “The more power you put to it, the faster it goes,” says Raymond who has built 16 Northern Bay 36s since acquiring the molds in 2005. “Every other boat I’ve done that with — from 500 to 700 horsepower — you just don’t go any faster, or gain a very small amount.”

The Northern Bay 36’s speed potential is evident in the Motivation, which General Marine built for Harpswell’s Tom Clemons in 2016. The Motivation’s C18 came out of the Caterpillar engine plant at 900 horsepower but then was adjusted up to 1,100 horsepower, says Raymond. That sent the Motivation screaming down a Maine lobster boat racing course at 52.9 mph last summer. “It’s the fastest boat we’ve built,” Raymond notes, though not the fastest time for a Northern Bay 36, which is Alfred Osgood’s Starlight Express clocked at 58.5 mph.

Not every lobsterman desires the fastest boat in the harbor. That’s true for Vinalhaven lobsterman Manny Walker, who is having General Marine build him a Northern Bay 36. His previous boat was also a Northern Bay 36, though built by Downeast Boats & Composites. While Walker is getting a little more engine power in the new boat, he’ll only pull 500 horsepower out of the Cummins 8.3-liter, so he probably won’t be breaking any lobster boat racing speed records.

One notable change from boats built at Downeast Boats & Composites is that Raymond redesigned the trunk cabin with a lower profile and a more streamlined look. The deck has also been modified at the front of the engine box. On Walker’s boat, the deck is raised 4 1/2 inches from the right side of the engine box to the port rail, while the starboard side is all the same deck height. Raising the deck those 4 1/2 inches allows air to circulate toward the engine.

Once a trailer hauls Walker’s boat out of the shop, another Northern Bay 36 is scheduled to be built for a Deer Isle, Maine, fisherman along with a General Marine 26′ x 9′ 6″ that’s also for a Maine lobsterman.

About the author

Michael Crowley

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

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