CAMDEN — With its new boardwalk, full-service yacht maintenance facilities and two new restaurants nearly complete, Lyman-Morse plans to make Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay even more of a destination.

Looking at the project as it nears completion, Lyman-Morse Special Projects Director Joshua Moore said, “The big thing to realize is this is a very active boat yard.”

Cranes are fitting masts into place on vessels. Massive machines can pull yachts out of the water and move them to the great white bulk of “Building 1” for maintenance. While some will be stepping off the dock and into the new eateries for drinks and lobster, others will be trundling booms, masts and carts of rigging to waiting vessels.

The yard can handle vessels from the smallest dinghy up to 150 feet.

Lyman-Morse is nearly done with a major construction project on Camden Harbor. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

As part of the project, two new restaurants will open right next to each other on the eastern side of the harbor, separated only by a brick courtyard. One is Barren’s Restaurant (formerly Blue Barren Distillery and Bar, and it will still have the distillery).

The other is the new two-story Salt Wharf.

This will be the Salt Wharf restaurant in Camden. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

Moore said the these are amenities the boat yard has to offer now to stay competitive. These are services those who pay to tie up or have their vessel repaired and serviced require and expect. The offerings in Camden make the difference in deciding to head north of Boston or Portland.

Barren’s Restaurant is expected to open this summer on Camden Harbor. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

The project was not simply a desire on the part of Lyman-Morse, which also builds yachts in Thomaston and employs more than 100 between its various locations.

A fire in June of 2020 caused major smoke damage to the former interconnected buildings at the facility, forcing the company’s hand. Building 1 was the only one along the water that did not need to be demolished and replaced, and it has been renovated.

The new construction project looks like several buildings, but Moore said it is really all one interconnected facility.

In addition to the restaurants it includes carpentry, mechanic, rigging and electronics shops to provide everything needed for sailing, engine repair, communications, radar, GPS and woodwork. There are facilities for sailors to do laundry and shower. There will be spaces available to rent out to new businesses along the waterfront.

The business has stayed open and continued offering a full range of services despite the fire, the construction and the pandemic.

“We’re pretty proud of what we’re doing,” Moore said. “We think Camden will be proud of it when we’re done.”

The project is expected to be completed in late May or early June.

The boardwalk is under construction in Camden. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

From here on the Camden waterfront, boaters will be able to access all manner of services for their vessels. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

Lyman-Morse in developing its facility on Camden Harbor has worked to maintain the character of the community in its style choices. Photo by Daniel Dunkle