top of page

2024 Maine Lobster Boat Races Take Shape

First published in Maine Coast News.


With the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in the rear-view mirror, there are now less than three months before the first lobster boat race. I usually have everything in order and ready to go within a couple of weeks of the last race. This year I still have the results to put into the computer. Not a big deal, takes a couple of days to put together, and I should see if I could add the results of the races before 1999.

At the Annual Banquet there were no changes to the rules. There was a class change. Class N was divided into two races. It now reads: Class N (A), 40 feet and over, 751 to 1000 hp. Class N (B), 40 feet and over, 1001 hp and over.

It's not about the prizes, it's the bragging rights. MLBRA photo.

Last year we endured a lot of inclement weather, mostly rain and fog. Hopefully, this year we will be rain and fog free, but I am not holding my breath.


What are the big rumours? Well, we do know Shawn Alley’s Little Girl [Calvin Beal 28; 466 Ford] is planning to be out this year. Shawn has not raced since 2021 due to engine issues. He had sent an engine out to be worked on several years ago and last summer he heard it had a crack and would not be worth repairing. Shawn is a diehard Ford man, but he has switched over to a Chevy engine, which should be in and ready for the start of the season. However, this year he should have some very tough competition in the Gasoline Class.


Bruce and Bruce Engert, owners of Thunderbolt [South Shore 30; 621 Chevrolet], has been worked on at Jeremy Beal’s shop in Jonesport. They did some minor repairs and then painted the hull. She also should be ready for the first race of the season and should be a top contender for the Gasoline title.


Randy Durkee is going to repower Black Diamond [Holland 32]. The rumour is that this will have a big engine with lots of power. I heard it is a blower motor with 2,000-hp. If all this is true, this could be the boat to beat in both the gas and diesel classes. I am sure that those that follow lobster boat racing hope that all three of these boats come to the line as it should be some of the best competition we have seen in years.


Do you remember Cry Baby, the 25-footer with a 292 Chevy, which would embarrass the V8s when they beat them? After they sold this boat, D. & L. Boatworks had already started on another boat for racing, but age got in the way. She was put up for sale and was purchased by Steve White of Brooklin Boat Yard as a yard boat. She is nearly ready for the water with cabin on and engine, a 383 Chevy, installed. Hopefully, they will take her to Stonington for the races.


Tom Clemons purchased a Morgan Bay 43 a couple of years ago. He also purchased a 1,700-hp Man running take-out in Florida. This winter the boat was put in Chip Johnson’s shop and they are starting to put her together. She probably will not be ready this year, as they are waiting on a gear, which is months away from arriving. Tom thinks she will do 55 mph right out of the box.


Glenn and Cameron Crawford, owners of Wild Wild West [West 28, 1000-hp Isotta] says they are not planning to come out this year, but that could change. Glenn said that he really wants her looking cosmetically better and does not think he has the time to make that happen. Wild Wild West is the former diesel class record holder, losing that title to Jeremy Beal’s Maria's Nightmare II [Wayne Beal 32; 1,300-hp Isotta] at Moosabec Reach in 2022. The rumour is that Wild Wild West has been clocked in the mid to upper 60s and if true that could make for a real close battle between the two boats.


A number of the races are done as fundraisers. The Portland race will raise money for student scholarships for fishermen’s kids going to college again this year. This year at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum they gave $7,562 to the scholarship fund. Hopefully, this year we can do even better.

Comments


bottom of page