A lot of fishermen have that “it can’t happen to me” attitude, which is why a skipper I once had didn’t fix his radar after it broke the previous year. We spent a season out on the Aleutian chain and going through the passages of Southeast Alaska without a radar. We became very adept at using the sounder as a navigation tool.
We were lucky we didn’t run aground or hit something, though there were several full-reverse moments where the boat shook, the water boiled and everyone who was awake held on.
If we had hit something, I would have hoped there was a place like Farrin’s Boatshop in Walpole, Maine. That’s where the 38-foot lobster boat Kendra & Maysie was hauled after going onto a ledge near Maine’s Vinalhaven Island on a foggy day in July 2014.
The result of that rocky encounter and how Bruce Farrin and his crew put the boat back together — giving it a new name in the process — is the boatbuilding story in our July issue.
“Down… but not out” on page 26 describes the damage done when the Kendra & Maysie went to the bottom not once but twice after the boat was lifted free of the water and then inadvertently dropped.
Rebuilding the Kendra & Maysie — now Son of a Gun — was a several-month process beginning with the keel, which said Farrin, “had just exploded.”
When the rebuilding process was finished and the boat left Farrin’s shop and headed down the Damariscotta River, folks who saw her said she looked like a new boat.
Of course, people familiar with Farrin’s work weren’t surprised. After all, this is a boatbuilder who was recently inducted into the Maine Boatbuilder’s Hall of Fame, after spending 52 years building wood boats and finishing off fiberglass hulls.
Yup, if I ever have a boat again, should it find its way to a ledge, I hope it ends up at Farrin’s Boatshop.