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Matinicus Double Ender

Also known as "peapods", the original "double enders" dating from the 1860s, were used for open water lobstering. It is said that they were inspired by the fishing canoes of the Passamaquoddy Indians, and the name for this model comes from Matinicus Island where they were built, fished, and refined by the Young family.

Hull Dimensions:
LOA=16'-0" Beam=4'-8" Depth Amidships=1'-7"
Wt=225 lbs (mahogany planked/sailing)
(deduct 45 lbs for rowing version)
Glued Lap with 9mm planking is about the same weight.

At Rest by Christine Coombs

This is the original 16' Matinicus Double Ender Freedom, and this is a photo of an original watercolor painted by Christine Coombs whose family now owns our first double ender.

The painting is called At Rest, and here she's laying to her mooring on Islesboro at day's end, looking out past Grindle Point, westward toward Duck Trap and the Camden Hills beyond.

As you can see here, she has two rowing positions, and can be sailed. This is a vertical keeled boat, but the building plans feature a two-part plank keel, so that a centerboard can be solidly mounted on the centerline. Plans include details of her centerboard case, of course, and her 85 square foot sprit rig.

Built in 1976, after 20 years of use and abuse she came back to our shop for refurbishing. This is how she looked the day we finished. She was still sound overall when she arrived, but her cosmetics had been a mess. That's why her original mahogany brightwork is now painted.

The nice thing about wooden boats is that they can be repaired successfully, unlike their petrochemical counterparts. Necessary repairs included replacing a section of planking that had been splintered on a half-tide ledge, replacing two broken ribs, oarlock pads, and installing new guard rails. Her brightwork was badly stained, so cosmetic work included painting the thwarts and sheer strake that had been bright originally, and repainting her inboard and out. That white paint that looks so good, by the way, isn't marine enamel–it's Pratt & Lambert brand Alkyd House Paint. It's less expensive than the enamel, and better yet, it lasts longer under the continual flexing that is the lot of a lapstrake hull.

Boats, Oars, and Rowing

So, what did she look like when she was new? Here's a look back. She was strictly a pulling boat in those days. This photo was taken by a National Geographic photographer at Duck Trap shortly after her launching.

She looks as good now as she did then. Of course, that's no surprise to us. Good wooden boats, properly built, will last a lifetime and more. That's one of the many things that makes them worth building.

Double enders are often bypassed in favor of the fancier wherries. Wherries are showy, no doubt about it. The funny thing about that is that the very feature that makes the wherries so seaworthy comes from the double enders–waterlines that are nearly symmetrical fore and aft. What was a fine boat then still is–the sea hasn't changed. They have a very easy motion in a seaway, handling a chop or large swells with aplomb.

If I had to pick one boat to use in all conditions,
the Matinicus Double Ender would be my first choice.

Construction is straightforward and well documented in the plans. An additional page shows a small transom for the modified version. Unusual in a peapod? You bet. The first one was designed by Merrill Young for use on a double ender ordered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The reason? So that an outboard can be used without having to add some sort of aftermarket motor mount.

Professional building time is about 170 hours, but varies widely owing to matertials selected and degree of finish, and of course whether she's to be a pulling boat or suited to sail.

Check out the Matinicus Double Ender CD

Don't have a computer close to where you plan to build your double ender? In that case, you should be interested to know that we have a full color printed version and even a black and white version with all of the same information and photos that are on the CD.

16'-0" Matinicus Double Ender Plans.............................................US$55.00
Matinicus Double EnderLofting (plank keel model)..........................90.00
Matinicus Double EnderLofting (15' vertical keel model).................90.00
(This is the boat pictured just below)
Note: The scale plans serve for both versions, HOWEVER, the details of the vertical keel
only show on the vertical keel (Freedom) lofting.
Optional Deck Plan...................................................................................12.00

Matinicus Double EnderCD (covers both models)..............................25.00
Full color Matinicus Double Ender Book..............................................85.00
The Matinicus Double Ender (b&w edition).........................................50.00

Click here for info on the CD and books

Lofting price includes delivery in the lower 48 states.

How to Order

The name, by the way, is pronounced ma-TIN-i-cuss.

This is Freedom II, one of the double enders we built and documented in the book and on the CD. She's cedar planked over steamed frames and bronze and copper fastened. You'll note that she's outfitted with two rowing stations with thole pins rather than oarlocks. She is our own personal boat, or was until a visitor made us a good offer for her. That's the way it is supposed to work when you build boats for a living. Weight is approximately 140 pounds.

Contact us by email or by phone at 207-789-5363

If you prefer mail, our address is:
Duck Trap Woodworking P.O.Box 88 Lincolnville Beach, ME 04849

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© 2015 W.J. Simmons