Appledore rises from the sea in Thomaston

By Louis Bettcher | Oct 12, 2016
Photo by: Louis Bettcher The Appledore is pressure-washed at the Lyman Morse boatyard in Thomaston.

Thomaston — On Oct. 12, the Appledore schooner was raised from the ocean at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston. The schooner, which spends its summers in Camden Harbor, will be undergoing bottom work and minor repairs onshore before sailing down to Key West, Fla. later this month.

Capt. Chris Stirling and crew sailed the schooner from Camden to Thomaston on Tuesday by way of Mussel Creek. The sail brought them past the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, and lasted six hours. The boat was raised from the sea at 8:30 a.m. at Lyman-Morse using a marine travel lift, a process which took roughly an hour.

Once on land, the first order of business was pressure-washing the bottom of the boat. Resting on the boat lift, the Appledore is now in an ideal position for the crew to conduct routine maintenance on portions of the boat that are ordinarily under water. First Mate Jan Tullos said the schooner will also be undergoing a Coast Guard inspection and a fastener inspection, which ensures all the nails and screws on the boat are in place.

Stirling described this period of transition as one of the most exciting times for the crew, as they prepare to head down the Atlantic seaboard: "This is a time of great anticipation for us. There are always so many things to do, we never stagnate, and the change of location keeps the experience fresh for myself and the crew."

At the end of October, Capt. Stirling and a crew of 10 will sail the Appledore from Camden south to Key West, where it will stay throughout the winter and spring. The boat will return to Camden next June. Built in South Bristol in 1978, the two-masted schooner measures 86-feet long; for the maiden voyage, it sailed around the world.

Purchased by John McKean in 1988, the Appledore has since divided its time between Camden Harbor and Key West, offering day sails, sunset cruises and private charters. In 2003, John and Jane McKean partnered with Sebago Watersports for the Key West operation, and earlier this extended the partnership to allow Sebago to handle the Camden operations as well.

The schooner will be sailing to Key West later in the month. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
The boat will be repainted beneath the water line. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
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