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August 3, 2018

Vintage MDI boatyard cutting back

Mount Desert Yacht Yard has announced cutbacks in its operations.

The Mount Desert Islander reported that most current boat storage and service customers received a letter in early July announcing they wouldn't be able to store their boats there in the future. Some have used the yard for generations.

John Robbins, the yard manager whose job will be eliminated, cited difficulty finding enough workers.

Well-known in the yachting world, the yard's founder, E. Farnham Butler, purchased the yard in 1934 and went on to build a number of boats for the U.S. Navy during World War II. With associates Ted Earl and Cyrus Hamlin in the late 1940s and 1950s, developed a line of boats called the Controversy, so named for its radical reverse sheer.

Butler later developed a trailerable boat that was also new for the time, called the Amphibi-Con.

His son, John Butler, took over the yard in 1971.

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