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October 6, 2017

Maine boatyards could see surge in hurricane-related repairs

Boats damaged by hurricanes in Florida and the Caribbean are expected to arrive in New England in the coming months for repairs, with some Maine boatyards anticipating a potential windfall in additional work.

"It is really going to be a boon for the entire marine industry," Nicole Jacques, marketing director for Maine Built Boats, told the Portland Press Herald. Jacques said extra revenue could come from storage, decommissioning, and routine maintenance.

Some boatyards are preparing for extra work this winter from yacht owners who usually sail south for the winter but have chosen instead to stay in Maine.

"I believe most of the yards will be busy this winter because (boats) are not going south," JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, told the newspaper.

But Susan Swanton, executive director at the Maine Marine Trades Association, was skeptical that this season's spate of hurricanes would result in extra business for Maine boatyards — citing similar expectations following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that hadn't materialized.

"I think we are too far off the beaten path," she said.

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