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Topic: Profiles

Dick Pulsifer, Boat Builder, Brunswick, Maine

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Dick Pulsifer

All photos/art by Bridget Besaw

To say Dick Pulsifer makes boats is to say Stradivari made fiddles. Every year for the past three decades, he has painstakingly crafted an average of three finely made small boats, plank by plank, at his modest workshop outside Brunswick. And these beguilingly simple boats — he’ll be completing #104 in 2008 — are treasured by his admirers, who plunk down the $46,500 it takes to own one.

Like Henry Ford and his Model T, Dick Pulsifer offers any kind of boat you’d like — as long as it’s a 22-foot open-cockpit boat with a 29-horsepower inboard diesel engine. The Pulsifer Hampton is based on the Casco Bay Hampton lobster boat, a sturdy work boat built by Charlie Gomes starting in 1902. You can visit Dick this summer at the WoodenBoat Show (June 27–29) at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland (August 8–10).

“My customers joke that the boats are never theirs — that they may have them, but that they’re still mine,” Dick quips. “But, of course, that’s what you’d say about your own children.”

Richard S. Pulsifer, 642 Mere Point Road. 207-725-5457.

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