Boat Building
SW Boatworks Commercial Boats Boat

Famed Calvin Beal designs to live on at SW Boatworks

LAMOINE (Dec 9, 08): Captain Stewart Workman, owner of SW Boatworks in Lamoine, has bought the molds of the famed lobsterboats that came from the Beal Island shop of Calvin Beal, Jr.

Workman will be taking the molds to Wesmac in Surry for layups, with the hulls returning to SW Boatworks for finishing.

Expected to arrive at Workman’s yard this week will be Beal’s molds for his 34-, 36-, 38-, and 44-footers.

Catman, built for a Bar Harbor fisherman, is a great example of a Calvin Beal Jr. design. The hulls will be great for finishing out as lobsterboats or pleasure boats, said Workman.

Although the market is slow right now due to the economy, recreational boaters still seem to be on the lookout, he said. Boatbuilding for commercial lobstermen has pretty much dried up for now, he said.

Beal built 56 boats from his 36-foot mold, 40 of the 38s, 24 of the 34s, and three from his newest mold, the 44.

Workman plans to set up a new website for the Calvin Beal Jr. lines, with a link to his yard.

“He’s a very popular boatbuilder,” Workman said of Beal. “His boats are very seakindly, very comfortable and spacious. It’s a real handsome design. They move easily through the water, they’re fuel-efficient, and they’re stable.”

The shallow-draft skeg hulls will be great for pleasure boaters going into shoal water, he said.

The Beal boats are also some of the widest, for their length, in the area. That makes for a nice platform for picnic cruises and general recreation, he said.

“They’re very stable and they don’t roll,” he said. “They sail along nicely.”

Workman and his crew have finished out a number of Beal boats in the past, including the 38-footer, Catman, for Bruce Young of Bar Harbor.

Beal is one of a handful of builders on Beals Island left from a long boatbuilding heritage that made the area the place to go to have a modern lobsterboat built. Beal started out building wooden boats but switched to fiberglass in the 1980s.

Workman has more than 30 years of experience with boats; his yard, established in 2000, does all aspects of finish work, from design to completion. During the past seven years, they’ve specialized in lobsterboats, Coast Guard-approved passenger boats, sportfishing boats and yachts, and have finished many different hulls to owner specifications, including not only Calvin Beal, Jr. but Wesmac, Duffy, Wayne Beal, Mitchell Cove, and RP.

Currently under construction is a 38 Wesmac sportfishing boat for a Massachusetts man. Workman is building another 38 Wesmac on spec.