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The Boatbuilding History at Kingman Yacht Center

The Boatbuilding History at Kingman Yacht Center

We’ve talked with the old-timers and pored through history books and periodicals to learn the real story of boatbuilding on Red Brook Harbor, much of it dating back into the 1800’s. But when it comes to Kingman it’s somewhat confusing. Here’s what we’ve got:

Our boatyard’s founder, T. Barry Kingman, got his start at Captain Butts’ Boat Shop in the Patuisset neighborhood of Pocasset. It’s unclear exactly when he started building boats in the shed but, as this photo indicates, it was likely sometime in the 1920’s. The dating on the photo seems suspect, but it’s a great depiction of the time.

It is known that Mr. Kingman’s crew constructed and delivered four, 36-foot aircraft rescue boats in Captain Butts’ shed in the early 1940’s. The shed was destroyed by a hurricane in 1944, but Mr. Kingman was already operating at a second site where Parker’s Boatyard stands today. T. Barry leased the yard from George Robinson in 1936 and operated there until 1947 when it was taken over by H. Ransome “Raz” Parker.

At some time during the mid-1940’s, Kingman moved his operation across the mouth of Red Brook and established Cataumet Marina on land where William Handy had built ships during the War of 1812. Here, Kingman worked with Philip Rhodes’ design to build 42 beautiful, 21-foot Arrowhead sloops.

In 1952, T. Barry Kingman Construction Company won the contract to build 33, 37-foot wooden “J” patrol boats for the U.S. Army Transportations Corps. At the height of construction, Kingman employed 65 yard personnel, and 10 office personnel and draftsmen. A boat was built and launched every 3.5 days, sea trialed in the harbor, then loaded onto trucks for transport to the Pocasset train station and off to the Army. The Bureau of Ships supplied the materials ($8,100 per boat), and paid Kingman $12,000 each to build, test and transport them to the train. It was a $400,000 ($3,800,000 in today’s dollars) that provided money to build marina infrastructure for Kingman Marine.

For a photo history of Bourne, Red Brook Harbor and Kingman Yacht Center, please enjoy our web site Gallery.

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