A Legacy of Artistry in Wood
During his years working at his father Ralph Stanley's shop, Richard repaired or rebuilt boats built by Herreshoff, Nevins, Direktor, Hinckley, and local builders Bunker and Ellis, Chester Clements, Sim Davis, Ronald Rich and Bobby Rich — as well as building custom commercial and pleasure boats designed by Ralph. Richard has worked on R class racing sloops and old Friendship sloops built by both Wilbur and Charles Morse, rowing skiffs built by Arthur "Chummy" Spurling and Beetle cats built by Beetle/ Concordia. Richard's early experience includes a lot of spare-time work on older wooden fishing boats. Richard began working in Ralph's shop full time after graduating from The Boat School in Eastport in 1982. He eventually became part owner and ran the boatbuilding shop from 1988 - 2008, when he bought the business outright and moved to a new facility in Bass Harbor. Today Richard and his crew offer custom design and new construction as well as rebuilds and repairs large and small.
All estimates are free and flexible according to materials and scheduling.
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A LIFELONG PASSION. A LIFETIME OF EXPERIENCE.
I spent quite a few of my spare hours as a younger guy working on older fishermen's lobster boats. Taking those old boats apart, and fixing them — I learned an awful lot about how wooden boats are put together, and where they fail.
When the younger (then) fishermen went to fiberglass, it looked like maybe the problems I'd spent so many hours solving were all going to be things of the past.
But to a man, once they'd gotten rid of the old wood boat and worked out of the new fiberglass boat, they told me they wanted their wooden boat back. The new boat pounded and vibrated, and slatted them around in weather the old boat would have gone through like a duck.
Raymond Bunker said that the new generation of boatbuilders had gotten everything wrong -- they put the plastic on the bottom, when it should have been on top; and they put the wood on top, when it would make for a much better ride if it was used for the hull.
I know Raymond Bunker was right. If you step back and think about it, it just makes sense. The watertight top. The comfortable ride of the wooden hull. The right material for the right job, and all of the sudden, there aren't so many sacrifices in the design process.
In the constant evolution of work boats the combination of a wooden hull with a fiberglass top is a revolutionary solution.