The story of East Boothbay shipyard Washburn & Doughty

Posted:  Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 3:00pm

Today Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. of East Boothbay specializes in the construction of steel and aluminum commercial vessels, but it began with discussions around a kitchen table over a design for a small dragger. Naval architect Bruce Washburn will discuss the history of the company which he, Carl Pianka, and Bruce Doughty founded, in his talk, “The Evolution of Washburn & Doughty Associates”on Thursday, July 26, 4:30 p.m. at Boothbay Region Historical Society, 72 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor. Admission is free.

Those first kitchen table discussions in 1977 resulted in a 70-foot dragger being built two miles away from the water. Washburn & Doughty Associates went on to design and build over 120 vessels ranging in size from 30 feet to over 180 feet, and they evolved from designing boats with paper and pencil to designing boats with computer aided design, and from constructing boats one frame at a time to constructing units that tax the 40-ton crane capacity of their building.

Bruce Washburn graduated from University of Michigan with a bachelor of science in engineering in naval architecture and marine engineering. He has raced in the Gulf of Maine for over 20 years, mostly with Abbot Fletcher on Majek. Washburn has spent about 25 years serving on professional advisory boards for the Yacht Design School in Castine and the Landing School in Kennebunk.

For more information check the Boothbay Region Historical Society website at