By Carol McCracken (Post # 418)
One of the highlights of this year’s annual Maine Boatbuilders Show is the rare opportunity for attendees to go aboard an off-shore cruising yacht. Lion’s Whelp, the 72 ft. stunning schooner, built in part at Portland Yacht Services, has been a popular attraction at the three day boat show at 58 Fore Street. Today, Sunday, is the last day of the show which runs from 10 am until 4 pm this afternoon.
The one-of-a-kind Lion’s Whelp is a familiar sight to sailors in Portland Harbor as well as on the coast of Maine. Since she was launched at Portland Yacht Services in 2003, she has made several trips to the Caribbean with Phin Sprague, Jr., a co-owner at the helm.
“The yacht is a casualty of the bad economy,” said Sprague recently. “It was a family project that didn’t work out,” he said. Lion’s Whelp was put up for sale just over a year ago. Because of that she was not launched last summer and it remains to be seen whether or not she will be launched this year. The yacht’s name is the same as the ship in which the Sprague ancestors crossed the ocean from England in the 1600s.
Steve Ballentine, owner of Ballentine’s Boat Shop, Cape Cod, said: “This is an opportunity to see Lions Whelp out of the water because it gives you a different perspective of the whole concept of the boat.” Roger Barnes, of Guilford, Connecticut, said: “This boat is a bargain at the price being asked. It’s a distinctive, one of a kind yacht. There is no mold for it,” he said. Others agreed with his comments. This is a yacht priced to sell.
As guests to Lion’s Whelp left the yacht, some were asked (in jest) if they were ready to “make an offer yet or preferred to think it over for a while.” The laughter could be heard ’round the boatshow.
editor’s note: Lions Whelp is back on the market. For more, please contact Phin Sprague, Jr., Portland Yacht Services, Portland, ME. 04101