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Folks Prepare for Last Boat to Launch from Legendary Boat Building Shop 

Folks in Southwest Harbor are preparing for the last launch from a legendary boat building shop.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the move will be a bittersweet one for the owners.”Well my father always wanted to have a boat, and back in the early fifties, he built a boat for himself and thought he would never want to build another boat.”But Ralph Stanley did decide to build another boat, and established Ralph W. Stanley Incorporated in 1973.He also passed his love of boats onto his son, Richard, who has fond memories of the boat building shop.”I was out here scrubbing boat bows when I was three years old, so I have a lot of my life invested in this piece of property.”But after Monday, there will be no more boats launched from Clark Point Road in Southwest Harbor, the location of their home and company for so many years.”It’s really hard to let go of, but it’s the right thing to do I think.”Stanley says because of the economy and changes in equipment, it’s time to move from their oceanfront property.He knew just the boat to launch on their departing day, a 1902 40 foot Friendship Sloop.The boat was bought by a couple from Massachusetts, who wanted to rebuild it themselves.”Then they decided that it was a little more than they wanted to do and then they found me.”It has taken Stanley eight months to rebuild the boat, which is all new, except for the steering wheel.The company will now operate from their Manset location, which Stanley says will be a vast improvement for the crew.He says boom trucks and forklifts will do the work at the new site that the crew used to have to do themselves at the old location.Stanley says while he’s sad to be moving the business, Monday will also be a joyous occasion.”The romance for the owners of the boat is the day they get their boat, and that’s where the romance is and that’s where it is for me too.”