Boat conferences begin today

Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 in Culture

Boat conferences begin today

Friendship sloops will be among the topics during four days of presentations, discussions, tours and site visits offered by the Museum Small Craft Association and Penobscot Marine Museum in Bath, Searsport, and points in between, October 19-22. (Photo: Red Boutiler Collection, Penobscot Marine Museum)

SEARSPORT — Four days of boat history are on tap from Bath to Searsport in a double-bill event organized by Penobscot Marine Museum and the Museum Small Craft Association. Running from today, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 22, the programs will include presentations, tours of shipyards and boatyards, lectures, panel discussions, meals and networking.

On Oct. 19 and 20, the Museum Small Craft Association will hold its annual meeting at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, with presentations on collecting, preserving, documenting and reproducing historic boats by scholars, museum professionals, educators and boat builders. Participants will also tour Bath Iron Works and enjoy a barbecue. Professional in nature, the meeting is open to anyone with an interest in the subject.

On Friday, Oct. 21, the conference will go on the road, visiting boat shops Washburn Doughty (Boothbay Harbor) and Lyman Morse (Thomaston), and The Apprenticeshop (Rockland) before arriving in Searsport, for the beginning of Penobscot Marine Museum's 2011 History Conference entitled "Maine Boats & Builders: Old Ways & New."

Friday evening entertainment will be a screening of the documentary" Maine-built Boats: Art & Soul," produced and narrated by ESPN commentator Gary Jobson, accompanied by a light meal and locally brewed refreshments.

The conference continues on Saturday, Oct. 22, with presentations on the history of Maine boat types and Maine boatbuilders. Scheduled topics include: the evolution of the Maine lobsterboat; a study of Maine peapods; Friendship sloops; the Gamage boatyard of South Bristol; and an account of a major rebuilding project at the Thomaston boatyard of Newbert & Wallace.

Registration for all four days is $130, including several meals and snacks. Reduced-price tickets are available for the Penobscot Marine Museum history conference alone, with discounts offered for museum members, students, and teachers. For more information or to register, visit or call (207) 548-2529.

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