15′ Maine Lobster Boat
A true workhorse, the Maine Lobster Boat is designed to get you out to the fishing grounds quickly, and gives you all the space and stability you need while you’re out there.
During the 1930’s a regulation was passed in Maine stating that lobster pots in certain bays could only be harvested from rowing or sailing boats, but that outboard motors could be used to cross rough water to get to the bays. This regulation led to the development of a boat that would attain planing speed under outboard power, but still retain its abilities as a rowing and sailing work boat. The aggressive dory bow slices through chop and the flat bottom lifts the boat onto a plane when powered by an outboard motor. When the weight of the motor is removed from the transom, the rounded shape slips easily through the water. The modern boater will find this to be a versatile, roomy craft to row single or double, as a family day-sailer, or fast workboat.
The Lobster Boat is a midsized family sailboat. With its wide side seats, it is more comfortable for sailing than the Whitehall 14′, and has a bit more rumpus room than the 16′ Melonseed. The Lobster Boat is a forgiving, powerful sail boat. The flat dory-style bottom allows it to be pulled up on the beach to step ashore with dry feet, and she can be launched with knee boots. The covered bow has room for a picnic basket to sit out of the weather. You can also tuck the oars up out of the way while sailing or motoring.
The Lobster Boat is an excellent fishing boat, as a small motor will get you out to that hot spot fast, yet she rows easily for a slow troll. The wide, flat bottom makes casting a fly or netting that trophy fish easy. There is plenty of room for you, your buddy, the cooler for the fish, a cooler for lunch, your fishing gear, and a couple of crab or lobster pots.
You will be hard pressed to find a more versatile and fun boat that planes with a small motor yet rows and sails so nicely.
Video: The Water Workhorse
Our founder Dave Robertson tells us the story of the Lobster Boat’s uniquely versatile design, and demonstrates its capabilities out on the water.
Lobster Boat Full Specifications
|Lobster Boat Specifications|
|DISPLACEMENT:||375 lbs||325 lbs|
|SAIL AREA:||Main, 63 sq. ft.; Jib, 26 sq. ft.|
“Remarkably versatile, Gig Harbor Boat Works’ 15-foot Lobster Boat can be used for a lot more than just pulling pots.”
“One of the most surprising things about the Lobster Boat is how natural she looks both under sail and as a powerboat. Her appearance doesn’t immediately reveal her hybrid nature.”
TRAILERING AND LAUNCHING: “Her light weight and extremely shallow draft (9″) make trailering and launching a snap. Rigging the sloop requires the usual effort, but the mast and other components are light and easily managed.”
QUALITY: “Construction and component quality on the Lobster Boat we reviewed was excellent.”
COMPROMISES: “There are some subtle performance tradeoffs as a result of the boat’s ambitious goals, but other than having to rig and derig when switching between motorboat to sailboat modes, there are few obvious compromises.”
VALUE: “The Lobster Boat represents a comparatively good value. And if you’re the type of sailor who’s likely to use her in all three modes [row, sail, and motor], it might feel as if you’re getting triple value.”
“She would be a fun summer vacation boat. We imagine waking up early at the cottage, pushing the bow from the sandy shore and rowing on the morning glass. On the days with any kind of a breeze, we’ll rig her for sailing and do our best to run down the bigger boats. Invariably the kids will clamor for a voyage to the opposite shore or out to a favorite fishing spot, so we’ll mount the outboard and buzz over at 15 mph. And you can bet, whatever else we do, we’ll find time to pull some pots before dinner.”
Find the full review with more owner insights in Small Craft Advisor Magazine, Issue #48, Nov/Dec 2007
“Greetings from Southern California. I have owned my L15 for more than a year now and the time to share some stories and pictures has arrived. First, I wonder if the folks up in the North West receive as many compliments on the boat as I do. I simply cannot go anywhere, either while I am in the lot rigging the boat or on the water, without someone asking me “what is that?” or commenting on the “handsome craft”.
Looks aside, the L15 performs marvelously. While I truly enjoy ocean fly fishing as I glide over the kelp in San Clemente with the center-board and motor up, not to mention the speed my 9.8 Nissan outboard produces in moving me there, I sail the boat most often. My sailing ground, up until last week, was Dana Point Harbor and up to 3 miles of the surrounding sea. I have enjoyed everything from broad reaches in 20 knots of wind outside the harbor to the utility of taking down the main, easily raising the boom, and rowing back to the launch ramp when the breeze stops. Indeed the long stroke of the L15 is nice but the novelty of rowing, for me, is short.
Recently, I towed the boat down to Mission Bay in San Diego. It took only an hour to set me in another completely different arena. The water was flat and the wind strong and the boat moved along rapidly. Note the picture, wing and wing in the L15. With the centerboard up, I was able to beach the L15 near the Catamaran Hotel and have some lunch in Sail Bay. You know I really enjoy my boat. Thank you for being as responsive, knowledgeable and friendly in the months after the sale as in the months before.”
“Recently we went out with my friend who is a very experienced sailor. He was really impressed with the versatility and performance. He was particularly impressed with how well it sailed to windward, especially with 4 people aboard! Thanks!”
– M. Timlinson, Lake Quinault, WA
“We have had a lot of fun with the Lobster Boat. Earlier this year we used it for Shrimping and now it is Crab Season. We used the motor for shrimp but as the crab are close to shore just use the oars. Also we are working on our sailing skills.”
– B. Porter, Hood Canal, WA
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