As many in the Maine boating community know, Ralph W. Stanley, the legendary wooden-boatbuilder and restorer of classic lobsterboats and Friendship sloops, retired last year after more than 40 years in the business. A second generation of Stanleys has now taken their turn at the helm, which has been renamed Great Harbor Boatworks.
Stanley’s son, Richard, and his daughter-in-law, Lorraine, are continuing the traditions Ralph established over his long career as one of Maine’s pre-eminent independent builders.
Last fall the Stanleys moved the boatyard to a new location, and have just launched the company’s new website, www.greatharborboatworks.com.
“We offer the same high-quality boats that we always have,” explained Richard, who has helped his father in the boatyard from an early age. “We want to stay small, but grow with modern technology.”
Lorraine Stanley, who began working with Richard and Ralph in 2000, said the company is refocusing its efforts on customer service in the storage and maintenance departments. “We’re working to communicate better with our customers to make sure each boat gets the attention and care it needs,” she said. “Being a smaller boatyard affords us the opportunity to really know each boat individually.”
Great Harbor Boatworks will also continue to design and build custom boats, as well as to maintain and restore them.