BUCKSPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Front Street Shipyard is a company that makes almost any kind of boat, from small sail boats to eighty foot custom built super yachts. With all the orders the company is getting, it can't afford to miss a deadline because of lack of space. So the Belfast based company expanded inland to Bucksport where it is getting comfortable working in their new second facility.
"It feels like we're on the ground level of something big. That's kind of how it feels," said foreman, Scott Greaves.
Four weeks after Front Street Shipyard moved into it's newly acquired second facility, the scent of resin and fiber glass already fills the air.
Front Street opened for business in 2011 and quickly gained popularity. Now only three years later, they needed more space for building their boats and ships. Front Street Shipyard President J.B. Turner said the building was a perfect fit.
"We seized the opportunity because we knew the people that built the place before it, we know that it was set up as a boat building shop originally. So it had everything in it that we needed to build production boats; it had over head cranes, heated floors, it has a good open working area," Turner said.
Depending on the size, timing, and requests of the boat order, a boat can take anywhere from two months to two years to complete. The planned production average for the year is 24 boats, creating a need for more work space and a larger workforce. The Belfast facility currently has 110 workers while the Bucksport facility just took on six, a number expected to grow rapidly.
"As the boats come online, we'll need to add system people to that, we'll have to add boat builders, as we call them, or people that install all the hardware and test all the equipment and the engines, build all the tanks, that kind of thing up here. So this workforce will continue to grow as we continue to expand down in Belfast as well," said Turner.
Here in the new Heritage Park facility, a building crew puts the finishing touches on a mold for the hull of a catamaran boat- which will be used to make boats for military personal around the world.
"It's all wet laminate. You get a lot of resin on you because you're right into it. This is the absolute stickiest part of the job," said Greaves.
So, what's next for the quickly growing company?
"Who knows? I mean three years ago we never thought we'd be where we are now. Three years from now, who knows, the skies the limit," Turner said.
Turner said within the next few weeks the company plans to fill that warehouse space with more boat builders and more molds. As for that catamaran mold, next week they will take the dried finished product and start making patrol boats that will be used by the military and law enforcement to keep our oceans safe.