Just wanted to let you know that we arrived back safely in Marblehead after a pleasant weekend of sailing! The interior table looks great along with the other wood refinishing - and the new cowls of course. A big thank you to you and your staff for doing a great job and making us feel welcome.
I want to let you know how pleased I have been with the quality of all the work that your yard has done.
I have been extremely pleased with the new Harken roller furling system and the other rigging work that John has completed. In late June we were gone for 10 days in weather that included winds of 25 knots with much higher gusts for several days of sailing. Liberty's rig performed flawlessly even under just a reefed main sail and the Harken system was easily furled and reefed by hand.
Rick's installation of the electric windlass was first class. He took care to install it correctly and to keep all the wires and connections hidden from sight and away from the bilge. In short it looks very nice and functions reliably. The same is true of the change over to provide me two house batteries and a separate start battery.
It is a pleasure to deal with a yard that provides high quality of services and has such qualified employees.
(Letter to the Editor, published in Maine Boats Homes & Harbors)
The Rowes sent us a link to your article about the Great Island Boat Yard fire and rebuild. My wife and I own the Little Harbor 52 mentioned in the article which had just commenced a major refit at the time of the fire. We also had a June deadline! It may amaze anyone familiar with boatyards to know that we are on our way to Great Island tomorrow to pick up the boat, on schedule despite all that Steve and Stephanie and their dedicated crew of Maine craftsmen have had to deal with this winter.
Before dealing with Great Island Boat Yard, the idea of a boat yard being on schedule at all on a 9 month project of this type would have been a source of amusement to me, and the idea of being so under these circumstances unthinkable.
Your article captured the exceptional culture of Great Island Boat Yard according to our experience.
Dear Steve and Company,
I am writing to thank you all for the outstanding work and care of Ariadne this year. It was a pleasure to find her totally ready for use when we boarded her in July.
Bob Sharp, Mickey, and all involved should be commended for their meticulous work on plumbing and refrigeration. Also the finish work by Michael was excellent. What a pleasure it has been to work with you all.
Congratulations also on the condition of GIBY. You've brought vision and professionalism to the organization.
If any CCA member should run into boat trouble in your area, I can't speak more highly for Steve Rowe, the new owner at Great Island Boatyard, and his people. We left the Chesapeake in early May and have had nothing but a series of problems. The last being a cracked high pressure fuel line which at least was contained within the engine room. Steve has gotten the boat cleaned, fixed the problem AND found two other show stoppers which no other yard along the way did. Best of all perhaps, he has been a good communicator. Hopefully we will make it to Camden by this coming weekend.
Just to let you know we are THRILLED with the boat. You and your crew did a terriffic job. We really appreciate your uncovering items needing attention, on top of the list we already had. That means a lot to a customer to have everything done before the Bon Voyage. The season's too short to spend the summer working on a punch list so, again, we really appreciate having the boat completely ready to go.
"Late last week, we were at Great Island Boat Yard in Harpswell (Casco Bay) and want to pass along a strong recommendation of the new owner and his crew. Steve Rowe is a former GE Power Systems executive and he has turned this old yard into a first class operation. He's an engineer/MBA and really has his act together when it comes to all kinds of boat maintenance -- mechanical and electrical systems to fine finish work. We left the boat there on short notice, had Enterprise Car Rental pick us up at the dock and then drove back to York for a couple of days (a little over an hour away). When we got back, the rather complicated electrical work was completed flawlessly, including meticulous clean up. The bill was very fair.
Over the last year, we have had five yards look at this job with no satisfaction, whatsoever. Some gave us bogus fixes and others spun stories of very high costs and weeks or even months waiting time for parts, etc. This is common in the summer, of course, but very annoying just the same. Finding Great Island Boat Yard and Steve Rowe was a real breath of fresh air."
"Everywhere I turn, seemingly everything I touch, I see the amazing craftsmanship and care, done with friendliness and many great senses of humor, that turned a pretty, but somewhat tired, sailboat into not only a boat that looks great but sails beautifully and safely. Many of what I see are ideas you all came up with.
Ramble is fully equipped with new parts, more than a few of which were sourced on short notice and from out-of-the-way places.
I look at the beautiful paint and varnish - and wonder how I'll ever be able to sail back into Orr's Cove in three years with a boat that looks anywhere near as beautiful.
Thanks for whipping the boat in and out of the water last week on short notice for a final underbody paint and check. You all are the best.
From "Encore, Once Again" by Bret Gilliam, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, May, 2007
"I discussed bringing Encore back to its old glory with seven yards between New York and Maine, finally settling on Great Island Boat Yard (GIBY) in Harpswell, Maine. The yard had recently been purchased by Steve Rowe, whose background was as an engineer for big electrical power plants all over the world, so he brought a great amount of technical expertise to the table. I was immediately impressed by Rowe's enthusiasm in assessing the project, particularly with regard to handling the massive job of applying Awlgrip to the entire boat. I had a gut instinct that Steve Rowe and his crew at GIBY were the right people to restore Encore."