Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: August 15, 2022

Standish boatbuilder buys Newcastle marine business to accommodate expanding services

aerial of buildings and water Courtesy / Tyler Plummer, Maine Aerial Photo Solutions Newcastle Marine, at 15 Hall St. in Newcastle, was established about 30 years ago and sold to a like-minded businessman.

A Standish boatbuilder specializing in wooden boats saw a good opportunity to expand his facility and services with the purchase of a service and storage business further east along the coast in Newcastle.

Robert Blood bought 15 Hall St., home to commercial marine business Newcastle Marine, from John Traina for the list price of $559,000.

John McCarthy and Laura Blake of Legacy Properties Sotheby's International Realty and Amy Barnard of Century 21 Brunswick brokered the deal.

“This one is unique as it’s been a one-man show for 25-plus years,” said McCarthy, who represented the seller. “It’s not on the water, but right in the center of Damariscotta and Newcastle.”

The facility consists of 2.7 acres with a 1,300-square-foot main workshop that has a small apartment with kitchen and bath above. There are two 30-foot by 100-foot storage buildings that can accommodate about 30 boats.

building and lawn
Courtesy / Legacy Properties Sotheby's International Realty
The facility consists of 2.7 acres with various storage buildings and workshops with capacity to expand.

The main shop has a 1-ton overhead hoist, 8,000-pound auto lift, 20-ton press, compressor, airlines, spray booth, welding station, drill press, and specialty benches and tools. Work bays include a shrink-wrap rack, cutting equipment and a pressure washer. The purchase included a variety of heavy trucks, winches, hitches, a forklift, trailers, jack stands, movable stairs and a hydraulic hoist.

There’s a freestanding containment building for paint and solvent applications.

The location has high visibility along U.S. Route 1. It’s about a quarter-mile from the public boat ramp on the Damariscotta River.

The property was on the market for 38 days and drew a lot of queries from people who had ideas for alternative uses, such as cannabis distribution, retail, residential condo conversion and restaurant, said McCarthy.

“The thing that’s unique is it’s flexible space,” he said.

But a like-minded user clinched the deal.

Blood owns R.E. Blood Boatworks Inc., which he started in 2013 and has been operating from his home at 90 Oak Hill Road in Standish, along with rented space in South Portland at 90 Lincoln St. 

Courtesy / R.E. Blood Boatworks Inc.
Robert Blood.

The Standish facility consists of a wood shop set up in his barn with some boat sheds out back. The South Portland space consists of a decommissioned oil storage tank along with a bow-roof shed and outdoor space.

He’s primarily focused on building and restoring wooden boats. He’s been in the business over 20 years, starting with an apprenticeship with Martha’s Vineyard traditional boatbuilder Myles Thurlow. Over the years, he’s traveled for projects that have included work on a traditional sailing ship called the Spirit of South Carolina, in Charleston.

Now he’s expanding the business to include storage and maintenance of any type of boat, with wooden boats still to remain a personal focus.

About a year ago, he started to look for land or a boatyard he could afford to buy. An offer for a different yard in Newcastle fell through. Then Newcastle Marine came up for sale. The deal was attractive for a couple of reasons. The region is something of a “wooden boat mecca,” he said, and he and his wife had long considered moving further east along the coast.

And the yard has an established customer base.

“The storage side of the business will pretty easily take care of the mortgage,” he said.

The buildings provide cold storage and heated workshops.

“We’re hoping in the next couple of years to expand and put up another building for large boats,” Blood said. 

boat repair
Courtesy / R.E. Blood Boatworks Inc.
R.E. Blood Boatworks has specialized in wooden builds and now plans to expand to other types of boats.

In the meantime, the plan is to erect another bow-roof shed. Blood said his existing customers are following him to the new location, including owners of a 50-foot wooden boat and one that’s 60 feet. 

“Everyone seems happy with the location,” he added.

Blood employs about half a dozen people. He said he plans to keep the Newcastle Marine signage and add the R.E. Blood Boatworks name to it. Blood and his crew transferred their shop tools to the new location and reconfigured the heated space to accommodate their wood shop. Investment for fit-up this season is expected to be in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. Blood said he’s looking into putting up a 60-foot by 100-foot building next year, likely a $250,000 project that needs town approval. 

Working capital from the business and a loan through First National Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 program – which provides loans advantageous to borrowers for certain commercial purposes in combination with a regular bank loan – helped make the purchase possible.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF