HARPSWELL — A new boat for the marine warden will enter the waters off Harpswell for the first time early next month.
The boat will be used by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office’s marine warden, who regulates marine resources in town. According to Harbormaster Jim Hays, the boat will also be used by the town’s Fire and Rescue departments.
Members of the Watercraft Task Force proposed the purchase of a new boat to the Board of Selectmen last November because the current, 15-year-old boat, has fallen into disrepair due to a manufacturing defect.
“The previous boat became unseaworthy due to saturation in the floatation in the hull of the boat,” Hays said. “It’s a good boat and it lasted the amount of time it needed to.”
Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said the defect led to water saturating the foam in the hull of the boat. The new boat will be made entirely of fiberglass and not contain any foam that could lead to a similar problem.
The boat, purchased through Bamforth Marine in Brunswick and built in Augusta, is a 20-foot Maritime boat with a 150-horsepower engine. Total cost of the boat, motor and trailer was just under $55,000, Eiane said.
While the boat’s primary use will be for warden patrols, Hays said the boat will be of great use to the Fire and Rescue departments in transporting equipment to the town’s outer islands.
Equipped with a stokes – a stretcher equipped with handles for use on rough terrain – the boat will hold other rescue equipment and, according to Hays, a water pump, if necessary.
The Watercraft Task Force is developing policies for the use of the boat, Eiane said, to govern boat operation and towing.
Hays and Eiane said that they are expecting the boat to be ready for use sometime in early August.
“I would like to see it ready as soon as possible,” Hays said.