In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Historic Hallowell

Ship Parts

Shipbuilding spike, Hallowell, ca. 1853
Shipbuilding spike, Hallowell, ca. 1853Courtesy of Sumner A. Webber, Sr., an individual partner

Ship hulls were built from trees in the forests of the Hallowell area in Maine. The trees themselves could take up to half a year until being made into boards. The ship]s hull could take up to five years to make depending on how big it was.

Masts were made of really tall and perfectly straight trees. Masts took quite a bit of time, almost two years, until they were ready to be put on a boat.

Sails were made by long, thin strips of cloth that were woven together by hand (until the invention of the sewing machine.) Anchors were commonly made of stone or iron and took up to a year to craft. Each boat had about three or four anchors on board in case one got stuck and had to be cut. For a whole ship to be built with the “technology” they had back then, it would have taken between seven to eleven years to be “water ready,” able to float and move in rough waters.