Penobscot Marine Museum
Host Rich Hilsinger and boatbuilding instructor Greg Rössel visit the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine, for a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s extraordinary small-boat collection—a fleet of wooden boat types that have been built and used on the Maine coast for generations. Many of the featured boats have been built by students at WoodenBoat School, for recreational use, but all of them have working-boat origins. Whether fishing, carrying cargo, or transporting passengers and tourists, builders and operators fine-tuned their hulls for the environment and waters they worked in. Because Maine has 3,000 miles of saltwater frontage and countless miles of lakes, rivers, and streams, there’s a lot of variety in its working boats.
The museum’s curator of maritime history, Cipperly Good, guides us through this remarkable collection. It’s a grouping that contains craft of every description, including lobsterboats, peapods, dories, skiffs, wood-and-canvas, and birchbark canoes, Whitehall pulling boats, racing sloops, and more.