Capt. Mike Johnson’s Sunbeam Refit Update, February 2019

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — By the time you read this, a set of mid-life refurbishment specifications will have been sent to five Maine shipyards. I am pleased by the strong interest shipyards have shown in the project, as well as the quality of the yards considering the proposal. They are Billings Diesel and Marine, Stonington; Front Street Shipyard, Belfast; Portland Yacht Services; Rockland Marine Corporation; and Washburn and Doughty, East Boothbay.

By late March we should have a good idea of where the Sunbeam will head for its refit.

The temporary boat to replace the Sunbeam during the refit

Sunbeam Engineer Storey King has done a fabulous job researching, locating, and inspecting several possible boats to fill in during the Sunbeam’s absence. He located a 34-foot wooden Downeast Cruiser in Portland that has the capability to serve this role. She was recently surveyed by Rick Savage who was pleased with the boat’s condition, and the engine passed a rigorous “base pressure test” by Southworth Milton Caterpillar. In the next couple of weeks, this temporary boat will be trucked to Billings Diesel and Marine for routine maintenance and modifications to the interior. I am very excited by this addition to our fleet. She is a classic, handsome, and understated vessel with hints of lines from Sunbeam 3.