Front Street Shipyard to Open in Belfast This Summer
02/02/2011

Front Street Shipyard, Inc. (FSS) is pleased to announce the formation of a new custom boatbuilding, service yard, and specialty composites manufacturing facility.

Online PR News – 02-February-2011 – – Belfast, Maine, January 17, 2011—The shipyard is located on the former Stinson canning factory site, just south of the Belfast bridge. Managing partner J.B. Turner, of Warren, Maine, is joined by Taylor Allen, owner of Rockport Marine, Inc. (RMI); Steve White, owner of Brooklin Boat Yard (BBY); and Kenneth Priest, President of Kenway Corporation in Augusta, Maine. Turner has 24 years of experience as a manager of yacht service and composite boatbuilding projects for major yards on the east coast. Prior to his involvement at Front Street, Turner was president of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding Company.
J.B. Turner sees this new yard as a melding of the strengths of all the partners. He states, “We see this new facility as an immediate global competitor in all aspects of boatbuilding, repair, and restoration, giving the yachting community another serious option for all their needs. Additionally, it will have tremendous depth in all facets of composites fabrication, from industrial to recreational applications. Full-service capabilities with value-oriented, quality work will be the cornerstone of our philosophy.”
Front Street Shipyard will open its doors in the summer of 2011, offering dockage for boats up to 180 feet and hauling capacity for vessels up to 165 tons. The Belfast site features deep water access, space for marina facilities, and 4 acres of land for storage and work bays. Front Street will employ painters, varnishers, carpenters, composites techs, riggers, machinists, fabricators, and mechanics to ensure top quality service. The partners believe that the combination of their individual strengths—the woodworking and design expertise of Brooklin Boat Yard and Rockport Marine, Inc., the diverse industrial composite experience of Kenway Corporation and Turner’s background of leadership in the marine industry—makes this a unique business, with a deep bench of experience.
Asked why they chose to start a new yard with Turner and Priest rather than seek to expand on their own, Taylor Allen of Rockport Marine stated, “Steve, JB and I have known each other for many years, and have enjoyed collaborating on and competing for various boat-related projects. RMI, BBY, and FSS each will continue to have different strengths, but there may be times when we will compete for the same projects. We see that as all to the good; in fact, it’s good for Maine boatbuilding and the industry as a whole. What we can put together in Belfast is far greater than any of us could do alone. We come at it with very similar philosophies, plus we have a lot of fun doing it.”
White concurred, “By combining our efforts, we hope to create a truly world-class yacht yard. Taylor and I both remain committed to keeping our own yards in Brooklin and Rockport strong, and operating independently. By the same token, we’ve both been looking for a place that would allow us to compete for some of the bigger boats. Belfast is centrally located, just half an hour from either Brooklin or Rockport, and it’s got deep water access, so it looked pretty interesting. When JB Turner became available to act as the General Manager, that gave us the green light for Front Street Shipyard, and when Ken Priest threw his oar in, we all knew we were on to something good.”
Priest emphasized the role that Front Street would play in alternative energy projects such as offshore wind, tidal and wave. Not only will deep water access allow the shipment of large industrial composite products to customers around the world, but Front Street will offer efficient service, maintenance and repair to off-shore equipment. Says Priest, “The Belfast community offers the regional infrastructure and available labor force which are key to building global composite products: wind turbine blades, towers, spars, and platforms.”
Another strength of the project is the city of Belfast itself. Mid-coast Maine has long been recognized for its stunning cruising grounds and top-notch boatbuilding, and Belfast is a choice destination for both cruisers and tourists. “Belfast is the ideal location to create Front Street Shipyard,” remarked Turner. “It has a broad range of businesses, hotels, restaurants and stores, not to mention the cluster of local suppliers to the shipyard.”
“The city of Belfast will offer a diverse and interesting destination for both crew and owners,” added White.
Dining, leisure activities, shopping and the arts will be within walking distance of Front Street Shipyard, which abuts the downtown. Belfast is within driving distance of Acadia National Park, Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Area, Baxter State Park, and the larger airports of Portland and Bangor, plus Belfast has a local airport with a 4000’ runway that can support private aircraft. For additional information about Front Street Shipyard, please contact JB Turner at 207-691-6700 or jb@kenway.com. For additional information about the city of Belfast, contact Thomas Kittredge, Economic Development Director at 207-338-3370, ext. 8, or tkittredge@cityofbelfast.org.

ABOUT JB TURNER— JB Turner has 24 years of experience in the marine industry. After graduating from Bryant College with a degree in Business Management he began working at Dodson Boatyard as service manager in 1986. By 1994 he was interested in expanding the size and scope of projects he worked on, and so he moved to Camden, Maine, to work at Wayfarer Marine as a service manager. At Wayfarer he worked with both local and international customers doing work from winter maintenance to refits on large vessels bound for the Caribbean. He was then hired as General Manager for Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding Co., and in 2001 he became managing partner, then president of the business. During his time at Lyman-Morse he helped to develop the company from 43 employees to 200. In 2010, Turner joined Kenway Corporation as a Project Engineer.

ABOUT KENWAY CORPORATION—Kenway Corporation specializes in custom composite manufacturing and field service. The company is strategically positioned to serve customers by offering complete composites engineering and design capabilities as well as fabrication. They bring standard items as well as “one-off” special molded fabrications from the design phase, through the manufacturing phase, to the final on-site installation. Custom work and custom service are what distinguish Kenway as it manufactures products for industries ranging from marine, to coal-fired power, to infrastructure, to pulp and paper, to transportation, to renewable energy. What links the company’s various business lines is: technologically advanced manufacturing techniques; products manufactured for exacting service applications; and the highest quality assurance procedures and processes. See www.kenway.com.

ABOUT BROOKLIN BOAT YARD— Brooklin Boat Yard was started in 1960 by Joel M. White and is now owned and operated by his son, J. Steven White. Located on Eggemoggin Reach between Blue Hill and Penobscot Bays, BBY offers a complete design office, new boat construction and classic yacht restoration services, storage and maintenance services, and a yacht brokerage office. Today the majority of the new construction projects are cold molded, with an occasional hull still being traditionally planked. The 90’ Pilot House Yawl Bequia was the largest project to date. Past restoration projects have included Enticer, a Trumpy motor yacht; a refit of a 1931 Herreshoff Fishers Island 31; Olympian, a 1913 P-Class racing sloop; Seminole, a 1916 Lawley gaff-rigged yawl; and Aphrodite, a 74-foot Long Island Sound Commuter Yacht. This winter BBY is building a wood-composite sailing yacht for a longtime repeat customer (who also had us build Ginger, and Goshawk), plus we are doing a refit for the 76’ W-class Wild Horses, which was designed and built here. See www.brooklinboatyard.com.

ABOUT ROCKPORT MARINE, Inc—Rockport Marine, Inc. is located on the west side of Penobscot Bay in Rockport, Maine. Founded in 1962, Rockport Marine has grown in reputation to become one of the industry’s premier wooden boat yards. Specializing in new construction, restoration, and design work, RMI has built a wide variety of boats, from traditional plank-on-frame to modern wood-composite vessels. This winter, the yard is completely restoring Adventuress, an 83-foot Fife schooner, and Tradewind, a 62-foot Alden motorsailer. Rockport Marine offers design services, storage facilities, and has an on-site metal fabrication shop, and 55-ton boat hoist. Recent projects include the refit of the famous Sparkman and Stephens design, Bolero, the S & S six-meter Jill, restoration of the P-class Bernice, a new transom for the S & S schooner Brillian, construction of the cold-molded schooner Spirit of Bermuda, and the historic replicas Adventure and Godspeed, See www.rockportmarine.com.