ROCKLAND — Come join us as we mark our 50th anniversary and celebrate the launch of the Cliffy lobster boat Friday, June 24, at 9 a.m. The event will take place down at the north end boat ramp on The Apprenticeshop’s waterfront at 655 Main Street.

The lines for the Cliffy were taken off the Luella B — a lobster boat commissioned in 1930 from boatbuilder Clifford Winchenbach of Waldoboro. H.H. “Dynamite” Payson had the plans drawn up by Bob Lane in 2002. The Luella B was originally commissioned by Woodbury Snow, who named the boat after his daughter. It was used in the Snow’s lobstering business on Metinic Island throughout the early 20th century. Luella Snow married Ralph Post in 1938, and they and their sons lived and worked on Metinic, continuing to use the Luella B until the boys were of school age.

The Cliffy lobster boat was commissioned by Lisa and John Dingle of Southport, Maine. The Dingles were introduced to the Apprenticeship by Pam Burke and Allan Miller, who had previously commissioned a 24-foot lobster boat — the Henry and Theo — designed by lead instructor and master builder Kevin Carney. Apprentices Rick Kraft and Joshua Wiles began lofting in the fall of 2019 and, after a roughly 5 month hiatus in 2020 due to COVID, construction resumed. Since then, a small crew of apprentices, including Tabitha Gish, Joanie Park, Colin Cornwall, and Taylor Pierce, have been working on this quintessentially Maine boat under the direction of now fellow Rick Kraft.

Recently, the Post brothers visited the shop to see their grandfather’s lobster boat brought back to life. Lisa Dingle and the apprentices working on the Cliffy were thrilled to hear the stories of life living and lobstering off Metinic Island during the war years and beyond.

“I felt honored to have the Post brothers visit the project,” Rick Craft said.

Lisa Dingle added, “The stories they told of life on Metinic really brought the Cliffy to life. I felt a deep connection having the Post brothers, the builders, and Lisa all together around the boat, representing her past, present and future. The entire process, every step along the way, has brought together this mix of incredible people, knowledge, talent, and creativity. To have the chance to meet the three brothers, and be there as they shared their stories and memories involving this boat… very special.”

Check out apprenticeshop.org for more information on summer sailing classes for youth and adults, boatbuilding apprenticeships, and our 50th Anniversary Celebration July 17-23.

The Cliffy launch is free and open to the public.

Apprentice Colin Cornwall (below) and Kraft install systems. Photo by Erin Tokarz

Kraft (below) and instructor, Daniel Creisher, assemble the stem. Photo by Erin Tokarz

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