SWAN'S ISLAND LOBSTER AND MARINE MUSEUM

Boatbuilding

Home The Fighting Fishermen The Racing Schooners Boatbuilding Lobsters Take Over The Riches of the Sea

The schooner captains of Swan's Island often owned their schooners, and some were built right on Swan's Island. At least fifteen other schooners were built on Swan's Island, along with a great variety of smaller boats. The Swan's Island boat builders were experts in their craft. They were innovators, too.

In 1885, a Swan's Island schooner captain, Capt. Hanson B. Joyce, designed and built a steam powered schooner, at the time one of the largest commercial steamers in the world.

A down-easter, born at Swan's Island, Maine, May 25, 1847, Captain Joyce had all of the characteristics of those hardy mariners of that section of the East Coast whose fame is known at every port of any size on the seven seas. Although he loved the white-winged fleets of craft which in former days spread their sails to the winds of the Atlantic off Portland, Me, and Boston, Mass, on their voyages overseas and along the storm-swept coast, he was the first to recognize the importance of powered fishing vessels and in 1882 built the "Novelty", the first steam craft ever operated in this important industry. Oldtimers shook their heads, predicting disaster for anyone rash enough to attempt such extravagance as operating a vessel propelled by steam on the fishing banks. But the steam craft was a success and her builder's fame was heralded far and wide.

SCHOONERS BUILT ON SWAN'S ISLAND

1793 - "POLLY" - 21 ton - John Price (Owner, Builder or Master)
1794 - "HAWK" - 38 ton - Sloop Rigged
1796 - "NANCY" - Samuel Morehead (Master - 1798) William Pierce (Owner - 1798)
1797 - "SWAN" - 64' x 22' - built for Joseph Prince
1803 - "EXPERIMENT" - 68' x 23' -  
1820 - "ANN" - 52' x 16' - George Staples (Master)
1827 - "ARCADE" - 79' x 23' - Alexander Staples & Ebenezer Joyce (Builders)
1842 - "CATHERINE" -   Silas Hardy (Builder)
1843 - "PEARL" - 74' x 21' - Silas Hardy (Builder)
1844 - "YOUNG JAMES" -   Silas Hardy (Builder)
1845 - "HENRY M. JOHNSON" -   Silas Hardy (Builder)
1848 - "CHALCEDONY" - 64' x 19' - Ebenezer Joyce (Builder, Owner & Master) Isaih Joyce (Owner)
1849 - "CHALLENGE" - 69' x 21' - Ebenezer Joyce (Builder & Owner) Rodrick Joyce (Master & Owner)
1849 - "MARIA WHITNEY" - 66' x 20' - Benjamine Stinson (Owner or Builder) Joseph Gott ( Master)
1867 - "REBECCA M. ATWOOD" -   Foundered of Carolina coast 1877

The first known boat, with a motor, to be built on Swan's Island was the steamer "SADIE & EMMA" 1893.

LOBSTER SMACKS BUILT ON SWAN'S ISLAND

1910 - "CRUSTACEAN" - Maine Motor Boat Co. (Builder)
1913 - "PRINCEPS" - Fred N. Johnson (Builder)
1914 - HARRY JOHNSON" - Fred N. Johnson (Builder)