Take a Holland 32 lobsterboat hull, gelcoat it a stylish shade of green, add a deck layout, cockpit design, and interior detailing by Mark Fitzgerald of Chuck Paine’s offices in Camden, and put it all together at Pendleton Yacht Yard on Islesboro. The result? A fine-looking downeast-style lobster-yacht – perfect for that drive across the bay from Islesboro, where the boat will be kept, to Camden to pick up the Sunday papers.
When the “very experienced” owner came to Pendleton Yacht Yard for this boat, there was little discussion regarding the choice of hull. “It was a no-brainer,” Stan Pendleton said. “The owner knew exactly what he wanted, which was pretty much a Holland with attitude. The boat will be used as a day cruiser in the area, and for trips to the yacht club, or maybe to Castine for lunch.”
Since it’s the hull shape that gives a boat that sought-after downeast “look,” Holland hulls are “downeast” all the way: traditional round-bilge designs with a sharp entry forward that turns flat aft. The formula was developed for and proven by Maine’s working lobstermen, and it’s been adopted by any number of yachtsmen. That’s because it just plain works: it’s a shape that is strong and easily driven, and that provides a sea-kindly ride. In Muskrat;s case, that ride is powered by an inboard, 420-hp MerCruiser V8 engine with ZF 63A transmission. The shaft turns within an oil-lubricated tube, a system designed by the Evolution Company of Rockland.
Upon completion at Glenn Holland’s shop, the 32-foot fiberglass hull and separate deck were moved from Belfast to Union River Boat in Bucksport, where the interior fiberglass components were built in place. After they set the engine and installed the drive train, the hull and deck were married together. A custom cockpit, designed by Mark Fitzgerald, was built in the Bucksport shop, too; more suitable for day cruising with friends and family, it replaced the standard open lobsterboat-style cockpit a working boat would have. Then the boat was moved to Islesboro for completion.
Down below, the operative word is simple. The owner has no intentions of sleeping aboard, so accommodations were kept to the basics: a settee with storage to starboard, a head, and a galley. Woodwork and finishes were handled by Pendleton Yacht Yard, and are easy on the eye. Fitzgerald’s deck layout is functional and unfussy, completely in keeping with this type of yacht. The canvas work, by Aurora Sails and Canvas in Camden, continues the look.
The result – a pleasure-yacht with a working pedigree – is a joy to look at and should be a blast to use. With any luck, Muskrat will grace the waters around Islesboro and Penobscot Bay for many years to come.