Boothbay Harbor, ME

Bristol Marine, Boothbay Yard
43°50’58.7″N 69°37’52.7″W
120 Commercial Street
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538


The Boothbay Harbor Yard

 Originally Sample’s Shipyard, our Boothbay Harbor establishment stands as a beacon of the region’s illustrious maritime history. Now proudly under the banner of Bristol Marine, we remain dedicated to upholding the traditions of our past while continuing to set the standard for excellence in service and craftsmanship, in New England’s marine industry.

Perched at the head of Boothbay Harbor in Mid-Coast Maine, our Shipyard stands where tall ships have been built since 1869. Samples Shipyard is built on a long and successful history of Maine boatbuilding, a tradition that remains strong today.  Our skilled and experienced team carry on the methods and techniques of traditional wooden boatbuilding and restoration, all while utilizing modern materials and equipment to keep us at the forefront of this storied industry. Just recently, in Fall 2022, our team completed an 8-year restoration of the schooner Ernestina Morrissey, a National Historic Landmark and the Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The entire community joined with Bristol Marine to celebrate this incredible accomplishment. Less than six months later, our team welcomed a new marine travel lift to our facility, marking a new chapter in our history as we improve our efficiency as a full service boatyard for our fleet of storage and refit customers. Whether storing a small powerboat for the winter, applying a fresh coat of paint on a small sailboat, or building new masts for a 130’ schooner, our team is prepared to deliver quality service to our customers.

Contact the Boothbay Team


Learn for yourself what makes our Boothbay Harbor yard special in this virtual tour of our facilities:

Tour Sample Shipyard's Facilities
Launch Video
full service boat restoration
  • Quality service: A full service and refit yard specializing in wooden boat restoration. A team of master craftsmen and multi-faceted technicians can tackle projects of all sizes.
  • Waterfront facility: A traditional Maine shipyard in an historic harbor, with traditional and modern tools and great project space right on the pier.
  • Slips & Moorings: Available for both seasonal and transient guests; our newly renovated 550′ pier gives ample options to tie up boats of all sizes. Our Shipyard boasts an in-house shipyard historical museum and a short walk to town.
  • Inland Southport Island facility: A short drive from our Boothbay facility, offering core services and storage for trailerable boats. Specializing in Yamaha outboards and Yanmar inboards.
  • Hauling capacity: A 700-ton and 150-ton railway for larger project vessels up to 150′ is now complimented by a 25-ton travel lift for quicker hauls on smaller boats.
  • Events: The refurbished pier provides an incredible setting for a regatta or yacht club rendez-vous or just a family gathering.
Dennis Gunderson, General Manager in Bristol Marine, Boothbay Harbor

Dennis Gunderson

Boothbay Harbor General Manager

Dennis joined the Bristol team in 2020 and has continued to facilitate the transformation of our Shipyard into a comprehensive full-service marine facility. Dennis’ background as a private yacht captain and former service yard manager provides him with the practical experience necessary to help the Shipyard succeed. His team’s expertise in wooden boatbuilding and repair has provided a passionate foundation to build from, as they continue to expand services and welcome boats of all sizes, shapes, and materials.

Currently the yard’s General Manager, Dennis’s passion for local history led him to create an on-site historical museum, showcasing the rich heritage of the Boothbay Harbor site. He enjoys a continued proximity to the water in his current role, which allows him to fulfill his duties and still spend time with his family at home.

“I love coming to work every day with the amazing team that we have. Their passion gets me up and keeps me going.”

Email Dennis


By cultivating talent through year-round opportunities we have built a dedicated team of skilled employees committed to providing the best possible experience for boat owners uniquely connected to their vessels.

Eric Graves, Service Manager at Bristol Marine in Boothbay Harbor Eric Graves Service Manager Since 2008
Jennifer Field Office Manager Since 2020
Mike Schuster, Facilities and Operations Foreman, at Bristol Marine in Boothbay Harbor Mike Schuster Facilities and Operations Manager Since 2013
Ross Branch, Yard Manager at Bristol Marine in Boothbay Harbor Ross Branch Project Manager Since 2015
David Thorpe, Shipwright and Carpentry Lead at Bristol Marine in Boothbay Harbor David Thorpe Lead Shipwright Since 2015
Jon Brassard, Lead Painter at Bristol Marine Jon Brassard Lead Painter Since 2020
Mike Beauregard, Carpenter at Bristol Marine Mike Beauregard Carpenter Since 2018
Tom Gerhardt, Carpenter at Bristol Marine Tom Gerhardt Carpenter Since 2017
Sam Perkins, Carpenter at Bristol Marine Sam Perkins Carpenter Since 2020
Rick Prose, Carpenter at Bristol Marine Rick Prose Carpenter Since 2020
Tony Latella, Fabricator at Bristol Marine Tony Latella Fabricator Since 2021
Cody Field, Facilities/Systems at Bristol Marine Cody Field Facilities/Systems Since 2022
Dalton Tibbets, Mechanic at Bristol Marine Dalton Tibbets Mechanic Since 2021
Chris Alderman, Facilities, Paint at Bristol Marine Chris Alderman Facilities/Paint Since 2016
From the first meeting about restoring our wooden sailboat to launch day and beyond, the shipwrights at Bristol Marine were the best. There is no doubt that they are passionate about their work and practice their craft with respect for history, authenticity, and a great deal of knowledge. Dennis and his team were excellent communicators during the restoration…patiently and thoughtfully explaining their process, encouraging us to be part of it, always respecting our love for our boat. The workmanship is extraordinary and the attention to detail exemplary….we couldn’t be happier….and yes, she sails like a dream! Steve Malcom, Owner of Fräulein


Boatbuilding, both commercial and recreational, has remained a major industry in Boothbay, Maine for nearly 300 years. In the early 19th century, an influx of skilled sparmakers, blockmakers, sailmakers, blacksmiths and boat-builders populated the town and created a shipbuilding hub. Our Boothbay facility has served as a shipyard and marine railway since its founding in 1869 and began building four-masted schooners in the early 1900s. In the 1940s, while known as Sample’s Shipyard, the nation relied on its team’s local expertise to build ships for the war effort. Throughout World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, Boothbay shipbuilders were in high demand at seaports all over New England.

Bristol Marine helped to preserve this traditional working waterfront by purchasing the “Boothbay Shipyard” in 2017, which was at that point about half way through a 10-year restoration of the historic schooner “Ernestina-Morissey.” With patience and persistence, Andy Tyska invested in the facility and its incredible team to reinvigorate this incredible project and also set the Shipyard up for long term viability. Shipwrights and craftsmen of all marine trades combined with naval architects, engineers and project managers with the common goal to see the Ernestina-Morrissey through to completion. With tremendous commitment from this group, she was successfully launched in September, 2022.

Even after Bristol Marine’s acquisition in 2017, the Boothbay Sample’s Shipyard continues to evolve. While we value traditional approaches to boatbuilding, service and restoration, we also need to keep up with the times, work efficiently and innovate. While our two railways are vital to our waterfront operation and give us capacity to perform service on large vessels of all types, we’ve also added a 25-ton marine travel lift so that we can more efficiently haul and service smaller boats. Remaining true to our roots while embracing progress, Boothbay Sample’s Shipyard exemplifies the fusion of tradition and modernity in the ever-evolving marine service landscape.

Contact our Boothbay Harbor Yard

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