Famed Maine sardine plant to become a boatyard

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A group of Maine maritime professionals intend to convert the former Stinson Seafood property in Belfast, Maine, into a major regional shipyard.

With the sale expected to close today, the new owners plan to turn it into Front Street Shipyard, which will be used to repair and restore commercial and private boats and eventually could be used to build new ones, the Bangor Daily News reports.

The group is purchasing the 4-acre parcel from the development company Belfast Bridge LLC. The city of Belfast filed two lawsuits against the company in June after the developers failed in their plan to convert the property into a $12 million luxury condominium project.

Investor Taylor Allen said Front Street Shipyard's clientele likely will come from along the East Coast of the United States and into the Caribbean,

"We'll be marketing internationally," he told the newspaper. "Commercial boats, private yachts, large, small, anything in between."

The new yard will be equipped with a large marine Travelift that will be able to hoist ships weighing as much as 150 tons, which is more than can be lifted at either the Brooklin Boat Yard or Rockport Marine, Allen said.

There will be docking facilities for transient boats and future seasonal slip use is possible. Perhaps 60 boat slips could be located there within three to five years.

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