A pair of Rockland schooner owners are hoping a $300,000 matching federal grant bestowed on their boat restoration project will help keep their historic vessel afloat and in business

Co-owners of the J. & E. Riggin, Capt. Jon Finger and Anne Mahle, announced before Christmas that they would be the beneficiaries, through the nonprofit Association for Maritime Preservation, of a matching $300,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program.

While the co-owners of the J. & E. Riggin operate a for-profit venture, the grant application was filed by a nonprofit, the Missouri-based Association for Maritime Preservation, which was founded by Finger, Mahle and Norman Lampton, with a declared mission to preserve and restore historic wooden sailing vessels. Finger and Mahle resigned their positions on AMP’s board of directors shortly after the grant was announced. Lampton is AMP’s secretary and general counsel.

Contacted for this story, Mahle and Finger responded Feb. 13 with the following: “Yesterday afternoon we received a letter from the Maine Attorney General’s Office. We are advised not to speak publicly about this matter until it is resolved.”

Mahle said she and Finger would be happy to answer questions at a later date.

Just what matter is in the process of being resolved remains unclear.

Read the full story in SoupSelect and learn why other schooner captains are skeptical.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.