Newport Shipyard Personality: Spruce III / Pip Cutler

About twenty years ago Roque Island, a family retreat located just 'downeast' from Bar Harbor, replaced its wooden lobster boats, ROQUE (1967, right) and SPRUCE III (1974), with the present day fiberglass, JOSEPH PEABODY. As confirmed boat nuts, our family got sentimental about these two aging ladies and bought them. After adding to each a galley, a head, bunks and some needed TLC, we tried to figure out what their future might hold. At the time, we definitely lacked a plan other than to save them.

ROQUE we had for about five years when we sold her to knowledgeable marine surveyor, Tony Knowles. He owned her a few years, enjoyed her immensely and kept her in great shape. Happy to report she remains strong as NANCY M in Boothbay Harbor, ME at 42 years old.

SPRUCE III (left) is also going strong. In fact, this is the third time (by extension) that our family would buy the same boat! Roque Island commissioned her in 1974 from Willis Beal and she served the island well. We took her to the Bahamas in 1991 where our kids remember her tropical life fondly. Her next 'home' was Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, Maine, where she was re-Christened PIP CUTLER, after my father-in-law Pip, who had once headed the camp's board. They were happy days aboard carrying kids for 14 years.

Now, she is about to enter her fourth life with Nick Dana, who will employ his boats skills acquired as part of PUMA's shore team, to put her right as they say. Must confess it gave me goose bumps when she recently arrived in Newport. She is now 35 years old and we will all see her around next summer after some R&R at Newport Shipyard, which will definitely turn her into even more of a 'personality!'