December 6, 2018

New sailmaker sets up shop in Boothbay

Courtesy / M&H Bartles Sailmakers
Courtesy / M&H Bartles Sailmakers
M&H Bartles Sailmakers, owned by Mike Bartles, has set up a sail loft in Boothbay.

The Boothbay region, a mecca of boatbuilding, now has a new sailmaking business.

Lincoln County News reported M&H Bartles Sailmakers has set up a sail loft in Boothbay. Owner Mike Bartles previously worked for renowned Nathaniel S. Wilson Sailmaker, which has a loft in East Boothbay. In October, Bartles spotted a "for rent" sign in front of a large barn at 73 Corey Lane.

"You need a specific space to work in," he told the newspaper. "You can't do something like this in a two-room office downtown."

According to his website, Bartles is a lifelong sailor who learned the fundamentals of sailmaking and sail repair while working at the Mystic (Conn.) Seaport Museum. In 2013, he joined Wilson's sail loft, where he worked on the suit of sails for the historic whaleship Charles W. Morgan and NY-50 Spartan restorations among many other projects. He had envisioned owning his own loft for many years.

The Boothbay region, with a long history of boatbuilding, continues to attract other new activity in the industry. In June, Washburn & Doughty Associates of East Boothbay announced the planned purchase of two adjacent buildings from Hodgdon Yachts. In February, the shipyard won a contract worth $8.8 million from the Maine Department of Transportation to build a new vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service.

And in January, Rhode Island-based Bristol Marine acquired the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, located at the head of Boothbay Harbor.


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