About Cottrell Boatbuilding

Finishing a Catspaw

Our Skills & Expertise

Cottrell Boatbuilding is Maine’s largest builder of small wooden boats.  We build all manner of small boats for rowing and sailing. Wherries, Dinghies, Yacht Tenders, Dories and Daysailers.  We also build custom boats.

As a family business, we do what some have said cannot be done, we make a living building small wooden boats.  With more than forty five years experience, Maine boatbuilder Dale Cottrell works along side his sons Ben and Seth, each of whom have over twenty years of boat building experience (they started in the shop while still in their teens).  Each boat is handcrafted with the utmost attention to detail–  from choosing the cedar for planks at the local mill, selecting trees from the local woods for oak frames, to installing the finest bronze hardware available.  At every step, we strive for the very best, not only from ourselves, but also from our suppliers.  You can see and feel the quality of our workmanship.

Right here on the coast of Maine where legions of famous and not so famous boatbuilders have plied their trade, we are honored and humbled to be able to do this work.  It is a gift to be able to build these boats.


As much as we love building traditional plank on frame boats, we realize it is not for everyone.  These days a lot of our boats are a more modern composite construction, mainly glued lap wood epoxy.  The new modern wooden boat.  This modern construction method results in a very rugged, lightweight, strong hull that is also less expensive and very easy to maintain.

Regardless of which building method you choose, if your intention is to get on the water in a beautiful small wooden boat for rowing, sailing, exploring, or using as a yacht tender, come talk to us.

You will find that your boat will be built with the care and expertise that you expect from true genuine craftsmen.  You can trust us to build the boat of your dreams.  Many have.

It all starts with a call to Lynn, Wife, Mom and Chief bottle washer. She can answer your questions, help you decide what boat will fit your needs the best and help you get the process started.  Please call today 207.548.0094.  We would love to hear from you!

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives, the cumulative experience of many masters of craftsmanship. Quality also marks the search for an ideal after necessity has been satisfied and mere usefulness achieved.

- John Ruskin


We possess the talent to build your boat to your uncompromising standards.  Dale and sons, Ben and Seth, have a natural affinity that is evident in their work.


We stand behind our words. period.  We will build your dream boat and we will always stand behind our work.


Dale has built hundreds of boats over the last forty years.  He has passed the skills and knowledge gleaned from those years to his sons who are carrying on the family tradition.