These ornaments are modeled after my own lobster boat, the Huck Finn. Lobster boats are designed as what is referred to as a semi displacement hull. They are able to take the rough weather and yet still be able to maintain a degree of speed. These ornaments are hand crafted and made of pine and oak measuring approximately 2.5 inches long, 1 inch high and 1 inch wide.
The boats are modeled from the tugs boats I see coming out of Belfast Harbor. Tug boats are used to move the big ships coming into and out of Searsport Harbor. Searsport is one of the few deep water ports in Maine.They are handmade from mahogany and pine and are approx. 3.5 inches long by 1.5 inches high, and 1.125 inches wide.
The buoys are hand made and painted the colors of a few of the the lobstermen, including my own colors and my wife’s colors, that lobster on Penobscot Bay. Each lobsterman identifies his/her own buoys by certain colors registered with the state of Maine. Each fisherman creates a specific color pattern for themselves. Considering each fisherman may have 800 or more buoys, they generally make the pattern as simple as possible. The buoys are approx. 2 inches with the tail 1.5 inches for a 3.5 inch length over all.
These baskets are all hand made, fashioned somewhat after the hods used to carry clams dug on the mudflats off the coast of Maine. These baskets are made of a coated wire called shrimp mesh, it is similar to the coated wire used in making lobster traps except the meshed are closer together (1”x1/2”) designed for catching shrimp. The wooden ends are made of local pine and the handle is of laminated oak, designed to hold the curve. They are 15 1/4 inches long, 12 1/2 inches wide and 10 1/2 inches high.
These baskets are hand made from local pine and shrimp mesh. The rope handle is spliced from conventional lobster trap rope or generally referred to as pot warp. They are 12 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 3 1/2 inches high, not counting the handle.
The spoons are all unique and hand made. I hand carve them one at a time. Currently all the spoons are made of maple with one exception (#12) being walnut. They are seasoned with mineral oil and measure approx. 14 inches long by about 2 1/4 inches wide. Some of the spoons are carved from birds eye maple and are a bit more expensive because of the extra effort needed to carve the conflicting grain of the birds eye maple.
Half models use to be a functional asset in the design and layout of boat building. When a fisherman wanted a boat to be build, he would go to the boat builder and describe the size and shape of the boat he wanted. Since boats are symmetrical, only half the boat needed to be carved. The boat builder would carve a half model of what he felt the fisherman wanted. Once the builder and fisherman were in agreement for the shape of the boat, the builder would use the half model to shape the boat. He would literally cut the half model into stations similar to slices of bread. Each station would be laid out and enlarged, generally on the shop floor. Full sized frames are constructed, from the lay outs, and erected in the shop and the boat was built on the frames.
If you go to a marine museum, and see half models, you may notice a half model cut up like a loaf of bread. The model was actually used to build a boat or ship. Most models today are used to display the unique design of a particular style boat from the water line (where the boat floats) down.
This half model is typical of the semi displacement lobster hull. When thinking of a semi displacement hull, consider only the hull shape from the water line down. It’s the part that displaces the water. The half model shows the deep V bow in the front of the boat that does push through and ‘displace’ water. This gives the boat some of the stability of a full displacement hull. The back half of the lobster boat flattens out and has a tendency to ride up on the water and attempt to plane. This gives the boat some of the characteristics of a planing hull thus more speed than a displacement hull.
Lobster boats hulls styles have been around for a long time. They have gotten wider and engines became much more powerful.
I hand carved these models in the same manner as they were years ago. These are made of local pine, typical of what was used. The water line is depicted to show where the boat would float in the water. They are approx. 12.5 inches long and about 2 1/4 inches deep. The mounting boards are 16 inches long by 10 inches high.
Muscongus Bay Sloops
The Muscongus Bay sloop is the predecessor of the famous Friendship sloop. They were a working class sail boat used to lobster, and to transport lobster from the islands to the mainland. They were very seaworthy and fisherman were able to handle the boats and lobster quite easily.
Again like the lobster boat half models, I carved these from pine and added the waterline so show where the boat would sit in the water. The models are approx. 14 inches long and about 2 1/4 inches deep. The mounting boards are 16 inches long by 10 inches high.