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Resurrecting the Joiner Shop 19

By Clarke Canfield

Cabot Trott is on a mission to keep old Maine vessel designs in play, such as the Joiner Shop 19 that he’s building for a customer. He is so enamored by the design that he hopes to also build one for himself. Photo by Clarke Canfield

In addition to building his own line of boats, Cabot Trott enjoys bringing back to life old models of vessels that have been put out to pasture. His latest resurrection is a 19-foot powerboat that was designed and first built on Mt. Desert Island.

Known as the Joiner Shop 19, the skiff was designed by Stephen “Peach” Frederick. Frederick, or simply Peach as everyone knows him, designed and built the boats in his Joiner Shop in Tremont back in the 1990s. But after building and selling 15 or so of the fiberglass boats, he closed up his business and moved to Warren so he could devote his time to caring for a grandson who has special needs. 

Fast-forward a quarter of a century or so and the Joiner Shop 19 is being raised from the dead in Trott’s 36-by-90-foot aluminum-sided boatbuilding facility in Eliot, not far from the Piscataqua River where Trott cut his teeth boating as a youngster.

Trott, who owns Salty Boats of Maine, admires the Joiner Shop 19 as a solid versatile boat that can be used for work or for recreation. He bought the original mold a couple of years ago and is now working on boat No. 1.

The vessel is part of Salty Boats’s heritage line of boats that were made in years and decades past, but were eventually discontinued. Trott said his passion is reviving boats that have strong connections to Maine.

In the case of the Joiner Shop 19, he first met Frederick at a Maine Boat & Home Show in Rockland a few years ago where they struck up a conversation about boats and Frederick’s former boatbuilding business. Trott was particularly moved when he heard how Frederick had shuttered his boatshop and moved so he could help raise his grandson, Myles, who has Down syndrome and is now 25. And he’s seen first-hand how devoted Peach is to Myles when they visit the show—“they’re the best pals,” he said.

When Trott looked into the boat further, he was impressed enough to add it to his heritage line. The boat—he recommends a 90-hp engine for it—has a center console, a U-shaped seating bench in the bow and storage compartments aft. It would be equally suitable for fishing for stripers or for carrying gear out to an oyster aquaculture farm.

“I hated to see all of Peach’s effort go by the wayside because of the things he sacrificed,” Trott said while showing off the hull in his shop. “So I thought I’d take it on and see if I could bring it back to what he was doing with it and keep it going. It’s that simple. Stories like that, it’s all about the State of Maine and the people in our industry.”

Trott has been building boats since the early 1990s, when he and his late father, Bruce Trott, bought Salty Boats of Maine. At that time, they built a single 8-foot dinghy. But they expanded their boat line through the years and also repaired and refurbished boats. 

Seven or eight years ago, Trott also began buying molds for discontinued boats and building them himself. He has built 17' and 19' first generation Seaway boats and hopes to build 20' and 25' models on down the road. He also plans soon to start work on a 30' Southport Island lobsterboat.

Frederick built the Joiner Shop 19 at his business in Tremont while also working for Hinckley Boats in Southwest Harbor. His life took an abrupt turn around 2000 when he agreed to move to Warren to help with Myles, and in the process help his son pursue an education and make a life for himself after becoming the father of a special-needs child at too young an age. Frederick gave up his shop on Mt. Desert Island, and took a job with a boatbuilder in Rockland, all so he and his wife could properly raise Myles, whose loving personality and nonstop smile have brought them great joy. 

Having Trott resurrect his Joiner Shop 19 is important to Frederick. When he had his shop in Tremont, he was proud of the boat, building and selling them to buyers from Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

“It means a lot that somebody’s doing it, because I put a lot of effort into it and I hated the thought that it was just going to go away,” Frederick said. “It means a lot to me to see this back on the road—like maybe I did something right along the way.”

Trott, too, is impressed with the design. So much so that he can picture himself behind the wheel fishing on the Piscataqua River, just as he did when he was young.

“My goal is to build one for myself,” he said. “I think it says something when the builder himself wants it for his own.” 

Clarke Canfield is a longtime journalist and author who has written and edited for newspapers, magazines, and The Associated Press. He lives in South Portland with his wife.

Joiner Shop 19 Specifications

LOA:  19'3"
Beam:  7'10"
Draft:  1'3"
Transom:  2'1"

Stephen “Peach” Frederick

Salty Boats of Maine
441 Harold Dow Highway
Eliot, ME

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