The rich maritime heritage of Maine that shaped the Boothbay Harbor Region culturally and economically is still alive today. English fishermen settled the region at Damariscove Island in the 1600s. Eventually, a subsistence lifestyle was replaced by commercial-scale shipbuilding and fishing, two active industries practiced throughout the harbor waters and along its shore.
That long history of boatbuilding and strong maritime legacy continue today with shipyards building custom luxury yachts, tugboats, daysailers, and modern lobster boats, for use here and around the globe. The reputation of lobster boats built here for seakindly performance resulted in a distinctive market. An evening walk along the docks and wharf will show the great variety of boats, yachts, dories, and dinghies still in use by boaters of all kinds.
For you yachters seeking to restore and convert older work boats into gorgeous yachts, our builders offer that, too. We’re also home to one of the industry’s most cutting-edge builders, Hodgdon Yachts, which launched the record-smashing composite-built Comanche in 2014. And East Boothbay is home to renowned sailmaker Nat Wilson. Regardless of where you are in the Boothbay Region, you’ll see Yankee sensibility and marine craftsmanship at work.
For those who sail for sport, the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, Boothbay Sea & Science Center, Christmas Cove Improvement Association, and Southport Yacht Club host a wide range of sailing, racing, and cruising opportunities during the summer—midweek and weekend races are run from June through September.
New to the sport? The gentle morning winds are perfect for beginners and seasoned sailors will have fun on the whitecaps in the afternoons. Several of the best regional sailors reside in Boothbay in the summer and yacht clubs reciprocate with other clubs and encourage non-members to join them on race days to enjoy the sport of sailing.