Today marks 9 months since I purchased from you, your JANETTE LAMSON, the prettiest Beals Island, skeg-built lobster boat on earth. Of course a good majority of that time she stayed with you & the crew back at Artisan Boatworks in Rockport. Every morning though, I’d awake on the Pacific (left) coast, go online & tune into your “Live Shop Cam” to behold…the wooden wonders of her progress. Considering FLYING EAGLE (as named when launched in 1963), had lobstered for as long as she had, ARTISAN BOATWORKS was the absolute best place to prepare her for her next 50 + years. During the hard 2014/15 Maine winter, there couldn’t have been a better time or more productive place to be, than within the confines of your cozy shops. With forthright communications & the bountiful skillset found at ARTISAN BOATWORKS, I thoroughly enjoyed my journey, guiding from afar, the resurgence of FLYING EAGLE. Following a successful 3,500 mile transport by overland truck to the Pacific Northwest, FLYING EAGLE has since operated flawlessly this summer, strutting her stuff in her new home waters of the San Juan Islands. It’s not just the fact she oozes character of a by-gone era or the ever constant compliments regarding her graceful lines…“it’s the wood”. She’s got a warmth about her in our cold local waters of Washington State, she has a solid feel of substance while cruising around the rocky evergreen covered shores & she has a quiet ride among the orcas, eagles & sea otters, unlike that of fiberglass. I’m in love & even my wife Diane, who was first against a wooden boat, now gets it & totally understands their beauty.

Thank-you Alec & your amazing team, for caring so much & delivering more than promised!

I’ll be returning someday build that cold-molded replica we’ve talked about!

Rick Strollo, Deer Harbor, Orcas Is. WA.



I have been a customer of Alec Brainerd and his talented team at Artisan Boatworks for nearly ten years. My interaction with them over this time has been extensive. Artisan has restored our 1910 Crowninshield knockabout, re-fastened and substantially improved an earlier restoration of our 1930s Herreshoff 12 ½, and impeccably maintained them and our J.O. Brown launch.

Alec is a remarkably attentive listener. He is vigilant in making sure that he understands precisely what you have in mind each year for your boat. He also has a lovely manner should it be necessary to explain to you in advance that your plans will likely take longer or cost more than you had hoped. That is a rare skill indeed. You make informed decisions with Alec’s advice and, therefore, are happy with them.

The best of being a customer of Artisan is that they do exactly what they say that they will do, and to an extraordinary level of quality. They also communicate well with you throughout the process. When the inevitable mishaps arise over the course of a busy summer such as a scrape at the yacht club or a bump at the fuel dock the Artisan team is at the ready with paint and varnish, as necessary, to pay a “house call” and put the boats back to their beginning of summer state of perfection.

I would encourage you to visit Artisan’s premises. One genuinely appreciates there the art of building, restoring and maintaining beautiful wooden boats, and the commitment and skill of the Artisan team.

Alec treats his customers with the greatest consideration. In 45 years of boat ownership, I’ve not experienced better.
– *Owners name and names of boats have been omitted for privacy


After sailing our Haven 12 ½ for a few years in the vicinity of Georgetown, Maine we knew we wanted to commission a new wooden daysailer. We wished for a larger boat that would increase our range both via speed and seaworthiness. We also needed a reliable auxiliary power system to counter the strong currents in this area and get us back to the mooring when the late afternoon breeze drops off. Lastly we wanted a boat that emulated the classic form, function and beauty of our gaff rigged Haven 12 ½. In Artisan Boatworks and Alec Brainerd we found the perfect boat builder to create our “dream boat”.

Early on in the process, Alec showed us various wooden daysailers that he had restored, built or maintained for others. He listened as we listed our criteria and he thoroughly described the sailing characteristics of each of the alternative designs. Together we settled on the Herreshoff Fish Class with a gaff rig and a ten horsepower diesel engine.

We visited the shop on numerous occasions during the construction of our boat. We were always welcomed warmly by Alec and the crew (Ben, Chad and Justin) who were working on our boat. They took the time to describe the work at hand, show us other components underway or complete in other parts of the shop and to explain the upcoming work. Alec gave us timely notice of decisions needed on our part and after a few consultations with him we grew to trust his “aesthetic sense” when is came to color choices, materials of construction and proportion. Alec proved to be a true perfectionist. The fit and finish of our Fish Class was excellent.

We’ve completed our first sailing season with “Tulip”. She was everything we wanted in a sailboat. We sailed with confidence in a variety of conditions from light morning breezes to stiff winds – calm coves to choppy offshore conditions. All systems functioned as designed with only two minor adjustments or repairs needed (the gaff jaw needed to be repaired and a washer replaced on the engine fuel filter). In both cases, Alec effected the repair so quickly that we didn’t miss a day of scheduled sailing. Any questions that we had were promptly responded to – usually within the same day. Without hesitation, we recommend Artisan Boatworks.
– Peter & Kathy Wagner, Cape Neddick, Maine


“What a team, what a boat!”
– Bernie Gustin, owner of Murmur


I continue to return to Artisan Boatworks because they concentrate on a particular segment of the market, and are the best I have seen at that segment.  I don’t have to worry that the jobs will not be properly done, or that the estimates were unrealistic. Great folks to work with, good instincts on upgrades in keeping with classic boats, excellent carpentry skills, great paint and varnish work…for me it is an experience with no anxiety to it. It makes having boats a pleasure.
– Haywood May



“If I’d known how much fun this (building a boat) would be, I’d have done it along time ago.”
– Bill Saltonstall, owner of Phoenix



We would be grateful if our current customers would e-mail us their testimonials for inclusion in this section.