New Casco Bay Monitoring Vessel Nears Completion

You probably heard that Friends of Casco Bay was looking for a new boat. Now, after many months raising funds to buy, retrofit, and maintain a new Baykeeper vessel, she’s here! Or more accurately, at New England Fiberglass, which is continuing the transformation begun at Yankee Marina, to create our ideal research vessel.

With downtime and maintenance costs increasing each year, we recognized a while back that our 30-year-old Baykeeper boat was nearing the end of its useful life. We needed to find a new boat to patrol the Bay, investigate pollution, and conduct research.

We were looking for a slightly bigger boat (28 feet vs. 26), fast enough (25 knots) to complete the 75-mile monthly profile trip around the Bay during short winter days, and sturdy enough to break through winter ice. Our ideal Baykeeper boat would be a Maine-built, lobster-style boat with a wide work deck and an inboard diesel engine.

We found all that and more in an AJ 28, built by Alan Johnson of Winter Harbor. “We knew the builder’s reputation for building quality boats,” says Citizen Stewards Coordinator Peter Milholland, who will captain the boat.

Peter is also the author of our Ship’s Log, an online journal documenting the work being done by Yankee Marina & Boatyard of Yarmouth and New England Fiberglass of Portland. To follow her transformation from recreational fishing boat into our new research vessel, click here. We plan to host the commissioning at Yankee Marina on September 12, 2013. We’ll keep you posted.

When her new name is revealed at the commissioning ceremony, it will be obvious that our new boat will serve a special purpose — defending Casco Bay.