Maine is the center of wooden boatbuilding in the United States, and certainly one of the most talented yards in the state is Taylor Allen’s Rockport Marine. Allen was just a boy when his father, Luke Allen, bought the Sail Loft Restaurant in 1962 and began hiring the best boatbuilders in the area to work in his fledgling boatyard, but he clearly kept his ears open. Today Rockport Marine’s shipwrights are sought ought by the world’s most discerning yachtsmen, called upon for everything from a keelbolts-to-masthead rebuild of legends like the Stephens yawl Bolero to new construction of historical replicas like Godspeed, which first carried English settlers to Jamestown in the seventeenth century. The launches of these ships have become regional events in their own right, drawing other boatbuilders and designers who take part in the sometimes all-day festivities.
Despite his success, Allen has never lost sight of his connection to the community – meaning both his local Rockport neighbors and the community of yachtsmen who visit the midcoast – and he’s almost always willing to give a quick tour and chat for a few moments about the projects his crew have underway. Stop in at the office, just to make sure your visit is timed appropriately.