Two centuries of shipbuilding history on display at the Rockland Boat Show


ROCKLAND – To celebrate the state’s bicentennial, the Maine Boat & Home Show this weekend will showcase Maine’s boatbuilding tradition with a “200 Years of Maine Boats” exhibit.

“We are delighted to present to the public a special retrospective of Maine’s shipbuilding history with the 200 Years of Maine Boats exhibit,” show organizer John Hanson said in a statement. “The exhibit is unique in that it tells the story of state shipbuilding by showing the public private and museum-owned boats on Rockland’s working waterfront.”

The exhibit runs August 13-15 and is located on the Buoy Park waterfront, adjacent to the Maine Boat & Home Show Park. It will be free and open to the public, who will be able to see a variety of ships of all generations. Boats on display will include birch bark canoes, peapods, knockabouts and modern boats, such as the University of Maine’s 3D printed 3Dirigo boat.

The show is chargeable and will feature new ships docked each day. Several local ships are on the program. The Penbay Pilot, a guide boat for Penobscot Bay and Frenchman Bay, will be on site on Friday and the schooner Bowdoin, flagship of the Maine Maritime Academy, will be at the show on Saturday. On Sunday there will be a fleet of iconic Maine lobsters.

The show is one of the largest on-water boat shows in the region.

“We are the place where people can come to see boats if they want to see boats in the water,” said Polly Saltonstall, editor of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine.

Now in its 19th year, the event may seem smaller, but it has actually spread more because of the pandemic, she said. Saltonstall hoped the show might draw people from the Hancock County area.

“I think people will have the chance to see some really cool Maine boats and understand how they have evolved,” she said.

Ethan is the maritime reporter for the Ellsworth American and the Mount Desert Islander. It also covers Bar Harbor. When not signaling, you’ll likely find him wandering the trails while listening to audiobooks. Send tips, story ideas and favorite Hancock County swimming holes to [email protected]
Ethan Genter
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