Boats were a source of transportation and income long before they were a source of pleasure. So it’s not surprising to find a workboat’s DNA in the bones of many recreational boats. This is especially true of the trawlers and long-range cruisers we love so much. It only takes a brief glance at today’s popular Downeast-style cruisers to see the similarities with their lobster-fishing ancestors. It is interesting, however, to note that while this handsome design so ubiquitous in New England waters is closely associated with Maine, the style was actually derived from a seafaring land even farther “down east” in Nova Scotia.

The Heritage of Cape Island

For centuries the residents of coastal New England and Nova Scotia made their living from the sea; fishermen plied the rich waters of Georges Bank and Cape Sable Island in ketch- or sloop-rigged boats built of oak and pine. By the early 1900s the town of Clark’s Harbour on Nova Scotia’s Cape Sable Island was home to carpenters and shipwrights turning out what would become

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