Fiberglass boats built at Wesmac Custom Boats in Surry, Maine, end up fishing out of a lot of harbors other than just those in Maine or, for that matter, New England. Building started on one of those boats in November.
Going to Hitchcock, Texas, will be a Wesmac Super 46 with a 17-foot 2-inch beam, versus the regular 46’s 14’ 6” beam. The Super 46 will be shipped to Texas as a decked-out tuna boat with a walk-around wheelhouse.
“The wheelhouse is narrower and they can walk around it and up to the forepeak,” says Wesmac Custom Boats president Stephen Wessel. “Rod holders will be around the entire boat on wash rails.” There will also be a green stick and and a hydraulic bandit reel on the transom for hauling tuna aboard. The Super 46 with a 2,200-hp V-12 Cat should be ready for delivering in November 2025
Wesmac Custom Boats had seven other boats under construction in November. Not usually in the building lineup was the 57’ x 17’ 6” offshore law enforcement boat for the Maine Marine Patrol. It is being powered with a Tier 4 emissions control, 1,450-hp V-12 MAN.
“The Tier 4 is unusual,” noted Wessel. “It takes up a lot of space. (A boat) less than 50 feet couldn’t even do it.” But since the 57-footer doesn’t need a fish hold, there’s space enough for the Tier 4 system. It should be launched in the fall of 2024.
An exception to Wesmac Custom Boats’ focus on fiberglass vessels is the Ernest, a 41’ x 14’ wooden lobster boat owned and fished by Wessel’s wife, Linda Greenlaw, a maritime author (with titles such as “All Fishermen are Liars”) and the major character in both the book and the film “The Perfect Storm.”
“We’ve refastened it twice,” says Wessel, and new planking was recently installed at the hauling station.
Wesmac Custom Boats build boats only with vacuumed bagged, light-weight urethane foam construction. In fact, Wessel says, Wesmac Custom Boats was the first boatyard to build a lobster boat “using high-tech light-weight construction.” That was the Misty Lynn, a Jarvis Newman 46 launched in 1982.
The Misty Lynn was built next to the Mink, a mail boat still operating in Maine. The Mink “was the last one we built using two layers 3/4-inch staggered marine plywood.” When the Misty Lynn was launched “it weighed 6,000-pounds lighter than the Mink.”
“We are still building the same way,” notes Wessel.