According to the Web site wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle — to cut a hole in — and butt — a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

News from Artisan Boatworks

ROCKPORT — Artisan Boatworks has put the finishing touches on a new 5,600-square-foot storage building, which now houses the Rockport company’s entire fleet under one roof.

Current projects at Artisan include repairs to a 30-foot Olin Stephens-designed Dark Harbor 20 from Islesboro and a rebuild of one of Clinton Crane’s 32-foot Idem scows from Upper St. Regis Lake in the Adirondacks. The shop is also building its third Herreshoff 15 and signed a contract to build a 21-foot Herreshoff Fish class for a family in Southern Maine, for delivery in October.

Artisan Boatworks will sponsor the100th anniversary regatta for Manchester 17s, North Haven Knockabouts, Dark Harbor 17s, and Northeast Harbor “B” boats on Aug. 22, with a beach picnic in Southern Harbor on North Haven. For more information about the regatta and other Artisan Boatworks activities, visit artisanboatworks.com.

Lobster advocates seek written support

KENNEBUNK — The Maine Lobstermen’s Association is seeking letters to the editor and guests for the March issue of its newsletter. The next deadline is Feb. 15.

MLA is also looking for regional correspondents to conduct interviews, describe the history of local harbors, and inform people along the coast of news events in their fishing communities. Write to hanna@mainelobstermen.org for more information.

Hurricane Island lease signed

PORTLAND — The future of one of Maine’s most historic islands was secured Jan. 21 with the establishment of a 40-year lease agreement between the owner of Hurricane Island and the Hurricane Island Foundation. HIF was established in 2008 to revitalize the educational resources of Hurricane Island, once the home of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, which moved its headquarters to the mainland in 2005.

According to a press release from the Hurricane Island Foundation, Hurricane Island’s history dates back more than a century. Until 1914, the island was the site of a major granite quarry run by the Hurricane Island Granite Company with a community of over 600 residents. In 1964 Peter Willauer founded the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, which over the course of 40 years used the island as a base of operations for experiential education programs, hosting more than 35,000 Outward Bound students of all ages and from all corners of the world.

“Our goal is to preserve the island and make it accessible for a variety of educational purposes,” said Ben Willauer, chairman of the board for the foundation. “We are specifically interested in offering programs for Maine youth. Initially, the foundation will focus on carefully restoring the island’s living environment and program facilities.”

The mission of the Hurricane Island Foundation is to create and preserve an open and sustainable island community that supports and enhances the educational opportunities of Maine youth. Incorporated as a nonprofit in October 2008, the foundation is currently working to re-open the existing facilities on the island as well as develop educational partnerships throughout the state of Maine.

For more information, visit hurricaneisland.net.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.