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Some Boatshop History

Where it begins....

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Hull #1
"Beverly Anne"

In 1961, Bruce Farrin started building boats with Alex Ropes and worked at Gamage’s Shipyard in South Bristol in 1963. Working alongside craftsmen from families long associated with shipbuilding, Bruce learned traditional methods of boat building from these truly exceptional builders. Bruce helped to build the 125’ Schooner, Bill of Rights, the Topsail Schooner Shenandoah, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. He also worked on the Crystal S, a 120’ steel seiner, learning the art of steel fabrication from local craftsman Ed Gamage.

After nine years at Gamages, Bruce opened his own shop across the Gut on Rutherford Island. His first launch was the 36’ lobster boat, Beverly Ann. Bruces’ reputation quickly grew with every successful launch. In February 1978 a major storm struck the Maine coast, tearing Bruce’s boat shop off its pilings and pushing it into the middle of the cove. The shop, his tools, and the 35’ sport fisherman under construction were lost. Bruce and his wife Judy moved inland, built their own 30’ x 42’ shop, and by early summer were back in business.

Wooden Hulled 40' Coastal Cruser


​By the late 70’s change came to the boat-building industry in the form of fiberglass. Bruce’s first fiberglass boat was the 37’ Repco, Lisa Marie built in 1979. The shop was building boats only in fiberglass for a few years but in 1987 they built the wooden-hulled 40’ Coastal Cruiser Red Jacket, shown here in 2004 in Suttons Bay, Lake Michigan looking as good as when she was launched.


Bruce continues to have a busy shop and has been joined by his sons, Bruce Jr. and Brian who have been involved in boat building since they could hold a “C” clamp and pass tools to their dad.

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