Maine Racing Season Ramps Up

The annual lobster boat races that have taken place in Maine since who knows when are about to start June 16 in Boothbay.

The modern races began back in the 1920’s in Jonesport where the earliest engine powered lobster boats were launched.

Prior to that lobster boat racing was among sail powered lobster sloops. Sail powered racing probably goes back to when someone first stood up in a canoe to take their shirt off and noticed the canoe moving along without paddles.

These days big boats with bigger engines run the courses at high speeds. But the kind of guys who way back when would have tied their shirt to a stick, strapped the stick to the canoe seat and ducked low in the bilge are still out there today.

All winter the engines of invention among racers are cranking out new ways to squeeze out another unit of horse power, a mile per hour, one less square inch of wetted surface or a pound of weight.

Legendary designer Earnest Libby Jr. passed away over the winter . Whether his Underdog will run at Moosebec is still up in the air, no pun intended. Galen Alley will no doubt have his Foolish Pleasure cranked up on something to try for another record. And of course Stevie “Wonder What’s Next” Johnson could be up to most anything after bolting big outboards onto a little car. That bocar broke at least the record for its class while thrilling children and terrifying tourists.

The trimaran hulled lobster boat being designed by a Maine Maritime Academy naval architect is expected to be very fuel efficient because it moves through the water so easily. Well, its just a matter of time before someone loads one of these trimarans with a HP/fuel /whatever combination and introduces a breakwater jumping event to the racing season.

It al begins June 16 in Boothbay and ends September 19 in Eastport.