Portland Yacht Services has completed the purchase of Gowen Marine as part of PYS's long-term vision.
The plan is described as an important measure that will allow for the repair and service of larger marine vessels in Portland. The second Portland Yacht Services location with a 150 ton travel lift, formerly known as Gowen Marine, compliments the new boat yard being built on the Western end of the Portland waterfront.
PORTLAND --- A well-known fixture on the city's waterfront has been acquired by New Yard LLC and Portland Yacht Services, Inc. Phineas Sprague Jr., President of Portland Yacht Services is in the process of developing a state-of-the-art boat yard facility on Commercial Street near the Casco Bay Bridge.
Sprague said customers of both Portland Yacht Services and the former Gowen Marine should experience a significant increase in efficiencies and capacity, Portland Yacht Services has been anticipating the acquisition and is fortunate to be able to retain the experienced crew from Gowen and our goal is to be a major asset for the boating community in Southern Maine .
"This is something we have been considering for a very long time," Sprague said. "The facility will give us the flexibility to move forward with our long-term plan and allow us to immediately begin servicing larger vessels that could not be serviced at our former location.
Gowen Marine has been an important part of Portland's working waterfront for more than 50 years. The company was founded in 1955 by Harold Gowen and was purchased in 1968 by Joseph Schmader, who grew the business into a two-acre complex at 400 Commercial Street that supports both commercial and recreational marine vessels.
Schmader will continue to own and operate Gowen Power Systems, Inc., a separate company also located at 400 Commercial Street.
Schmader, 67, is a long-time supporter of the city's waterfront and has witnessed many changes over the last 45 years. He said he is excited about the vision that has been outlined by Sprague, the city and the state of Maine to grow and revitalize the city's port.
"I've been at this a long time," Schmader said. "I feel very connected to this city, but I'm also ready to move on and enjoy retirement. I have a few items to cross off my bucket list."
Sprague and Schmader met in 1972, when Sprague refitted his schooner for a circumnavigation at Schmader's wharf and became fast friends. The two men say they are excited about the city's future and share the same vision for reinvigorating a port that was once bustling but was later hit hard by challenges connected to the commercial fishing industry.
"I know what Phin and his team want to do, and I know they are capable of getting it done," Schmader said. "I am pleased to be a part of this process."
In August, after receiving his last permit for the new boatyard facility at 40 W. Commercial St., Sprague finalized the sale of the Portland Marine Company Complex at 58 Fore Street.
Sprague said the space limitations of his former location on Fore Street, combined with the complexities of opening the New Yard facility required an interim opportunity to keep moving forward with a long-term plan. Maintenance, storage building and launching ramp will be completed in the New Yard in Mid-November. Docks and other facilities will follow shortly. Portland Yacht Services will be operating out of three properties in Portland and expects to grow significantly in the future.
"We are standing on the shoulders of those who came before us," he said. "PYS is fortunate to have a great team and our effort has benefited from a dedicated group of stakeholders who work so hard and share the same vision for the revitalization of the city's working waterfront. We would not be expanding if it were not for the encouragement of our friends and customers. It is appropriate to thank them. I am so grateful to be able to make a contribution to Portland's future."
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