Goudy and Stevens

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 8:15am

Welcome aboard everyone. For this week's adventure we will do a little travel back to a time of Goudy and Stevens Shipyard, eventually a Hodgdon Yachts facility, now owned by Washburn and Doughty. I think before Goudy and Stevens it may have been a Hodgdon Brothers yard--- not sure about that. At any rate, even though the property has seen many changes, it remains sacred ground in the history of boatbuilding on the banks of the Damariscotta River.

Why am I dredging up past adventures you might ask. Well, its a bit of a long story but I will try to be brief.

For many years I had the privilege of doing progress photography for projects at Goudy and Stevens. Throughout the 1980s I made regular visits to local yards, but commercial projects a Goudy and Stevens occupied much of my time. During that period I met, worked with and photographed many fascinating people. Today's photo is a recollection of “the crew” at the yard during one of its busiest, for me, episodes.

I don't recall whether this was Defender or Enterprise, but I'd bet a lot of money that there are still some folks around who can. I believe these were vessels destined to fish for Frank O'Hara of Rockland, both here on the east coat and off Alaska. Captain Sewall Maddocks would know!

I got to digging around in my well organized files for this image as a result of a conversation with a couple local folks. The name Walter “Ridgerunner” Boyce floated to the surface during a lighthearted reflection with an old friend.

Actually, Susan, my wife, and I recalled some interactions with Ol' Ridge and his wife Melvina  who I met while I was working at the Lakeview Motel for the Bernaths. Then, within 24 hours an old friend mentioned Ridgerunner again. It was an omen. This was no coincidence. So I set about on my search.

Ridge is included in this photo for which I must apologize. The clarity is not great due to the swinging of what I think was a bosun chair and my most near death grip on anything attached to the crane cable. Also, the image is a large crop out of a 35mm slide that was a verticle composition. Sorry.

But, for many, you will know the delightful subjects, partially because of their telltale pose. Folded arms, twist of the head, far apart stance. These are highly identifiable characteristics that I came to know over the many years I spent in the company of some pretty terrific folks. And Ridgerunner can be seen on the upper level stern deck, along with other local notables.

I can honestly say that there was never a dull visit to the yard. Great memories.