June Dispatches: Paragon Refit, Classics Cup, Brokerage Advice, Circumnavigation

Summer is finally in full swing on the coast of Maine, and for the Lyman-Morse crew that means finishing up the refit of a 94′ luxury Paragon motor yacht, planning for another record-breaking Camden Classics Cup, and offering some tips for showing the fine yachts that our brokerage team have for sale this season. For a taste of adventure, a chat with an award-winning circumnavigator shows you how ambitious some Lyman-Morse clients can be. Our monthly Dispatches give you an in-depth look at an assortment of projects we’re working on in both Thomaston and Camden.

In this issue:

Rhapsody in Burl: Paragon Motor Yacht Refit

Camden Classics Cup Insider Tips

Best Foot Forward: 7 Steps to Sell Your Yacht

Novara Circumnavigates the Americas


Rhapsody in Burl: Paragon Motor Yacht Refit

Paragon Rhapsody helm station detail

It’s not every day that the Lyman-Morse crew gets to use the world’s best African hardwoods to refinish an entire level — never mind two levels — of a luxury motor yacht. But 35-year Lyman-Morse Project Manager Bill Belyea and his team have just finished their most recent woodworking tour-de-force: a roughly 14-month interior reboot of the 94-foot-long Rhapsody. The refit involved installing all-new custom hardwood burl veneers and a redesign that included enclosing the entire flybridge. The resulting so-called “skylounge” features a dedicated helm station, two settees, additional galley, camera locker, head and other features. The skylounge sits atop the 200,000-pound Rhapsody, yet reduced total weight by approximately 3,500 pounds.

The refit, says Belyea, was part of a series of upgrades the owners sought after living on the boat for several years. “Essentially, this was like you buy an existing house and there is always something you don’t like. So you refit it,” says Belyea. “The owners knew what they wanted and we gave them that.”

View a photo essay, from sketches to finished details, of Belyea’s “Rhapsody in Burl.”

Camden Classics Cup Insider Tips

June Dispatches: Camden Classics Cup Tips

Dan Bookham knows better than anyone that it takes a village to host the Camden Classics Cup. Bookham is the Vice President for Business Development at Allen Insurance and Financial, the integrated risk- and money-management firm with offices in Camden. He’s also the head of Community Events for the Camden Classics regatta.

“We see this event as a kind of shop window that shows off the rest of the mid-coast community to the yachting world,” says Bookham, who also serves on the board the beneficiary of the Camden Classics Cup, Lifeflight of Maine. LifeFlight provides lifesaving and critical care transport to remote areas via small aircraft.

June Dispatches: Camden Classics Cup Tips“But we also see the event as a shop window for the community to see the value of sailboat racing and yachting in general,” he says.

In his dual roles, Bookham pulls together a calendar of events happening in the Camden area: There’s the nightly Camden Shakespeare Festival in Harbor Park and the Bay Chamber Concerts series in Rockport, usually on Thursdays; there will be more than 70 boats racing, and a fireworks display on Saturday night at 8:45. In fact, there’s so much going on, that we felt Bookham deserved his own moment to give his insider’s picks on the must-do things to do at this year’s Camden Classics Cup.

Take it away, Dan.

Take in Friday’s Racing from Atop Mt. Battie  

June Dispatches: Camden Classics Cup TipsWhat makes Camden so unique, says Bookham, is how the Camden Hills meet the ocean at Penobscot Bay. For him, Mt Battie, in Camden Hills State Park, is the perfect one-of-a-kind ringside seat for the regatta. One can easily drive, bike, hike — or even rollerblade — up to Mt. Battie’s 800-foot summit. Bookham says hit the Grab & Go section at top-flight grocer French & Brawn, or order take-out from the Camden Deli, or maybe pick out the best gourmet cheeses and a bottle of wine from Lilly, Lupine & Fern.

Then head up, spread out, and nosh while taking in some classic and Spirit-of-Tradition racing. Racing runs from 12 to 4PM, rain or shine, on Friday July 26th and Saturday the 27th.

History buffs: Take the fabulous guided walking tour of the Camden Public Library on Friday July 26th at 4PM. Be sure they show you the high-quality diorama of the harbor from the 1920’s. It’s the perfect to-scale slice of Camden history.

Never Leave Camden Harborside on Saturday July 27th

June Dispatches: Camden Classics Cup TipsBookham says that event organizers worked tirelessly to make Camden Harbor the place to be on the Saturday of the regatta. So much is happening, that a flight plan is required to make the most of this glorious Saturday day of racing in Maine.   

  • 9 AM: Hit the Public Landing for “All Comers Row and Paddle Races:” Even if you can’t score a boat — or beg your way onto somebody else’s — this fun paddle and row is the best way to kick off this major day of racing. Contact Harbor Master, Steve Pixley. Registration starts at 8:30. One will be surprised as to what qualifies as a “paddleboat.”
  • 10 AM: Pick Your Spot Harborside for the Parade of Sail: Camden might be the glamorous ground zero for mid-coast yachting, but Bookham says, there’s no shortage of public spaces along the shore and harbor wharfs to take in the Parade of Sail. Bookham and Pixley will be commentating the Parade from the Public Landing. Lyman-Morse has the most uninterrupted viewing spaces so come on over to gawk at the more than 70 one-of-kind vessels parading by.
  • 11 AM: Gander at the Classic Cars at Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine. With the classic boats out of the way, next comes the extraordinary collection of the Mid-Maine Sports Car Club’s Jaguars, Bugattis, and MGs. All these vehicles and more will be displayed, throughout the day. James Bond could do no better.
  • 12 PM: Grab the Fish Taco at the Rhumb Line. Obviously, the Rhumb Line restaurant serves other great food like clam chowder and an excellent raw bar. But it is the fish taco that you want for a race-day lunch.
  • 1 PM: Explore the Local Art Scene on Bay View Street and Harbor Park: You will need some exercise after your lunch, so stretch your legs with a nice walk around Harbor Park and Bay View Street. The local architecture and galleries are all steeped in serious history.
  • 2:30 PM: Follow the Fleet in with Some Free Music. The most-excellent DJ Vice will be “spinning” tunes from Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine, out across the harbor. Head over to hang and schmooze.
  • 6:00 PM: Pick a Food Fight – And a Dinner Spot – On MidCoast Maine Mouthstuffers. Camdeners, says Bookham, are kind and loving, except when dinner comes up. Then, it’s some serious tough love on the Midcoast Mouth Stuffers page on Facebook. This is the place to pick a dining spot and to get the dirt on what’s good, bad, and ugly in the food scene in Camden. You can also check out what the NYTimes recommends from the recent 36 Hours expose.
  • 8:45PM Fireworks over Curtis Island: Top the day off with a fireworks display. The neat part is, one can be anywhere in town and still be blown away by the pyrotechnics in the night sky.

Racer’s Tip: For those who really want to be in the know, real-time results will be available online here.

Savor a Gin with a Blueberry Spirit 

Local spirit makers like the Blue Barren Distillery have been working hard to mix local delicacies into their spirits. For Bookham, the must-taste drinks are Barren’s Harbor Gin and Tonica  and the blueberry Eau de Vie, that comes mixed and shaken as a sour or gimlet. Blue Barren’s tasting room is located near the Rhumb Line Restaurant, on the campus of Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer.

Either spot – the Rhumb Line or Blue Barren – make great locations to witness the fleet returning from a day of competition.  DJs Rusty Barnard and D-Vice will spin tunes starting at about 3 PM Friday and Saturday of the regatta.

Get Your Marine Science Groove on With the Lecture and Documentary Series

June Dispatches: Camden Classics Cup TipsBookham points out that this year’s Camden Classics is being framed by an extraordinary series of lectures, demonstrations, and documentaries that touch on the major challenges and opportunities in marine science and engineering.  

The calendar of events is impressive indeed:

Top off all this deep thinking with the First Friday Artwalk in Rockland on Friday Aug 2nd. Dozens of local art, music, and food organizations throw open their doors for a downtown art fest. “This small area features the most food-, art-, and music-literate population I know of,” says Bookham. “It’s almost impossible to find a bad meal, museum, or band here.”

Yachtsman’s Tip: Charter A Boat and Come Race! It’s unusual for this late in the year, but several top-quality captains have yachts to charter, including Anajacaa, The Blue Peter, Eros, and Elskov.  Better yet, sign up on the crew list here.

Best Foot Forward: 7 Steps to Sell Your Yacht

June Dispatches: Brokerage Advice

Eric Roos has spent the past 19 years in and around high-end yacht brokerage and new boat sales. He’s managed hundreds of vessels while at Hinkley Yachts, Morris Yachts, and for the past four years as Sales Director at Lyman-Morse. It should be no surprise that Roos spends his days awash in the minute details that matter when it comes to selling a boat.  

“What most sellers don’t realize is how common it is to lose interest in maintaining a boat, once they have come to grips with their decision to sell,” says Roos. “This is unfortunate.”

To Roos, some simple maintenance will have a major impact on both the value of, and the time it takes to sell, a boat. Here are seven tangible steps any boat owner can take to pump some fresh value into any vessel, whether it’s for sale or not.  

  1. June Dispatches: Brokerage AdviceBe Smart About Your Brightwork: Varnished exterior teak is time-consuming and expensive to maintain. But if your yacht’s varnish is peeling and looking “non-yachty,” says Roos, you are better off stripping the finish and selling the boat with bare wood. “Peeling varnish is a major red flag to a buyer. Eliminate this barrier by either bringing the varnish up to yachting standards, or strip it off and expose the freshly sanded teak.”
  2. Invest In Fresh Bottom Paint: While it may seem silly to add a fresh coat of antifouling paint to a yacht you do not intend to launch, perception plays a role in a vessel’s value. And a fresh coat of anti-fouling paint dresses up any yacht. The cost is minimal, but the appeal is significant. Roos also recommends replacing old zincs with fresh ones. “A well-maintained bottom sends a positive signal to the potential buyer that this yacht is well cared for,” says Roos.
  3. Keep Your Stainless Steel, Engines, and Bilge Spotless: It is critical, says Roos, to keep your stainless polished and rust-free. Clean bilges and an oil-free, tidy engine space are also good indicators that the yacht has been well cared for and sends a positive message to potential buyers that your yacht has been owned by a professional and not some weekend warrior.
  4. The Less of You Aboard, The Better: Sellers may think that selling their boat as a fully-equipped “turn-key” vessel is a good thing. But they should think again. Buyers want to imagine themselves owning your boat — not owning someone else’s stuff. It’s important to de-personalize your yacht by removing as much gear as possible and placing it in a storage area for later inspection by a surveyor or a buyer.
  5. You Have Nothing to Hide: One of Roos’ more passionate arguments is to take the initiative to have your boat professionally surveyed before it goes on the market, and then making that survey available to potential buyers. A transparent survey sends a signal that your boat has nothing to hide. It also prevents buyers from coming to their own — usually wrong– conclusions about your boat.
  6. June Dispatches: Brokerage AdviceSeek the Magic Scent Of No Scent At All: While the scent of freshly baked cookies seems to do the trick in the real estate world, in the brokerage world it’s all about having no smell down below at all. Be sure holding tanks are empty and flushed thoroughly and stowed with a holding tank deodorizer. If odors still exist, invest in professional remediation. “I always open hatches a few hours before showing any boat, to let the fresh air in,” says Roos. “Odors matter.”
  7. Invest in Bright Lights: Adequate lighting down below is important when showing a yacht that is in storage for the winter. Roos says most boats go on the market during the winter months when batteries are disconnected, and interior lighting is often poor. He is therefore careful to have batteries connected and additional lighting installed, if needed. “Fully lit interiors restore that cozy boat-show feeling to any boat,” says Roos. “Better yet, invest in heated indoor winter storage in lieu of cold. That way, a prospect and a broker can explore the entire yacht in comfort.”

Novara Circumnavigates the Americas

Novara returns to Camden

Steve Brown, an award-winning adventurer, marked the end of a circumnavigation of North and South America on June 10 by bringing Novara, his 60’ aluminum schooner, back to the Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer docks in Camden. Brown’s 32,950-mile adventure began five years earlier, almost to the day, when he finished refitting his vessel at Wayfarer Marine and set off for the Northwest Passage. His voyage, as well as the mountaineering adventures he completed en route, was one befitting his sailing/climbing hero, Bill Tilman, and was supported along the way by Lyman-Morse service managers.

Read about Brown’s adventures aboard Novara and his return to Camden.