Feeling good about WOOD

Richard Stanley at work beneath the 38-footer underway in his Bass Harbor shop.  (Brian Robbins photo)

Richard Stanley at work beneath the 38-footer underway in his Bass Harbor shop. (Brian Robbins photo)

By Brian Robbins


When it comes to new lobster boat construction, it’s unlikely the pendulum will swing from fiberglass, as the most popular material, back to wood any time soon here in New England.

There is a bit of a grassroots movement afoot, however – and if you want to take a deep, clean breath of air scented with newly-sawn lumber this winter, you have some options.

There are some wooden lobster boats to be built and they’re not all just for veteran fishermen looking to get back to the feel of a wooden hull under their boots.  Some are for younger fishermen who may never have fished aboard a wooden boat – but have listened to their elders speak of the comfort unique to one.

The notion of a wooden boat requiring a much higher level of yearly maintenance played a big role in steering potential customers (especially younger ones) away for years, but builders such as Richard Stanley, Peter Buxton, and Peter Kass have addressed those issues.

As Richard Stanley puts it, “If you’ve ever been on the business end of a buffer, trying to do it right with a fiberglass hull, you know there’s nothing easy about that.”

“Buffing and waxing a fiberglass hull is almost as much work as sanding and painting a wooden one,” agrees Peter Buxton (who has done his share of ‘glass work, as well).  “If you’re a boat owner who tries to stay up on things…


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