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William Faulkingham: an MVP of Downeast boat building

faulkingham-6-16by Brian Robbins

BEALS ISLAND, ME – Maybe you recognize the name or the face; maybe you don’t.

But chances are, if you’ve been around the boat shops of Beals Island and Jonesport, ME during the last several decades, you’ve crossed paths with William Faulkingham … whether you knew it or not.

Remember the movie Forrest Gump – and how Forrest had a knack for being on hand during some major historical moments? Well, we might not be talking about showing Elvis Presley how to dance, meeting JFK or John Lennon, playing ping pong in China, or witnessing the Watergate break-in – but when it comes to significant moments in Downeast boat building, William Faulkingham’s been there for a lot of them.

“Will is one of those guys that can do anything,” says boat builder/lobsterman Patrick Feeney of Cutler, ME.

“He just knows.” “William’s clever at a lot of different stuff,” says boat builder Wayne Beal of Jonesport.  “And he was never scared to try something.”

Local lobsterman Stevie Carver agrees: “Will’s been behind the scenes for years.  He’s the kind of guy that makes anything he’s part of better.”

When I ask William about his years in the various Jonesport/Beals area shops, he just shrugs.“I’ve worked with a lot of good people … and we all got along alright.”

Old days

Born in 1945 and raised on Beals Island, William Faulkingham grew up in the heydays of wooden boat building in the area.

“There were boat shops everywhere,” he says.  “It seemed like that was all there was.  And you’d go around and watch those guys work … and if you liked it and paid attention, you could learn stuff.”

Seems like he must’ve been paying attention starting pretty early on: William tells me about…

CFN-6_16-coverTo get the rest of this story and much more – you’ll need the JUNE 2016 issue of Commercial Fisheries News.

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