Ballentine's Boat Shop logo

What we do...

Ariel II restoration

We are a full service yard meticulously maintaining and caring for boats ranging from 16ft to 58ft.

~Storage: indoor, outdoor and heated
~Finish work: varnish and paint
~Yacht Carpentry: custom building and restorations
~Launching and rigging

We specialize in the restoration of classic wooden boats:

~Full rebuilds or gradual upgrades
~Bronze Hardware fabrication for classic Herreshoffs

We upgrade and refine both wooden and fiberglass yachts to mint condition and classic aesthetics.

We are also now the site for the finish and marketing of the Doughdish and the Stuart Knockabout.


The winter is the best time to come and see our fleet and experience the quality of our work. No one is ever disappointed! Feel free to call 508-563-2800 or email to arrange a convenient time for your visit and tour.

Our History:

Ballentine's Boat Shop (BBS), established in 1974, is tucked away in Cataumet, Massachusetts. We front not a harbor or bay, but a cranberry bog. BBS has grown, at this same location, from a one-man shop with one small building to a facility with 5 large efficient buildings and a 10 to 13 person staff skilled in woodworking, yacht finishing, rigging, and bronze fabrication.

Ballentine's Boat Shop shed
Ballentine's Boat Shop shed

Ballentine's now fully maintains boats ranging from Herreshoff 12 1/2 footers to a 58-foot ketch. Our emphasis has always been to provide quality service, maintenance and restoration of vintage wooden yachts. The Ballentine's crew is meticulous in their carpentry BBS Dinghies and finish work. They have restored and continue to maintain an impressive and varied fleet. Visit our Restorations pages (4 menu items) to see some of our recent restoration projects.

BBS is probably best known for restoring and maintaining the original Herreshoff 12 1/2 footers. Because we service so many of this design, we also fabricate their hardware. Our high quality Bronze Hardware is also available for purchase.

New daysailers we build:

• Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 25:

BBS built a 33-foot Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 25 (FLYING DREAM) of traditional plank on frame construction (oak and locust framework, cedar planking, copper rivets, and bronze fastenings) to exacting standards. We built the spars and fabricated the hardware, all to original specifications. Ballentine's has the hull and hardware molds to duplicate or modify this boat on request.

She was on the cover of WoodenBoat magazine May/June 2003.

For more information on her construction see our Buzzards Bay 25 page. She was also Miss December in the BBS Calendar Girls.

• The Doughdish

The Only Fiberglass Herreshoff 12 1/2 for H Class Racing!

Generations of discriminating yachting families on the New England coastline have owned these boats. Many have changed hands by inheritance. A Doughdish is ideal for beginners, for Class racing, or casual daysailing by all ages, and will be appreciated as a proper additional or replacement yacht by the old hand who finds a larger one burdensome.

For more information please visit our Doughdish Web site to see what goes into the construction of a New DOUGHDISH.

• Stuart Knockabout

This 28' fiberglass boat is a descendant in a long line of great Herreshoff creations. In this case, L. Francis succeeded admirably in utilizing all his earlier experience and familiarity with his father's great designs, advancing them with his own independent genius and artistry. What evolved is his own pure creation, and an exceptional daysailer.

In building each Stuart Knockabout, we have endeavored to preserve the essence of the original wooden boat and advance the comfort and sailing performance in a more forgiving and easier to maintain version. The foam cored fiberglass hull construction is also lighter and permits the addition of 400 pounds of keel ballast, bringing the completed boat to her designed displacement, thereby increasing her capability to carry sail into a good breeze.

For more information please visit our SK Web site to see what goes into the construction of a New STUART KNOCKABOUT or view our slideshow on the new construction of SKATE: SK No.80 on this Web site..

New Dinghies we build:

• CALABAN, Herreshoff Tender

CALABAN was built according to the original plans for ARIEL II obtained from MIT. This tender was built to exacting specifications and is a sailing, as well as rowing dinghy. Sidney Herreshoff's design, despite having never been built and tested (to our knowledge), is amazingly effectual and beautiful.

• 16' Garvey Skiff

The Garvey is our new work boat! She is the Ben Garvey Skiff made of Sapele plywood with bronze hardware and mahogany floor boards. She has a strong and well padded rail to easily move the boats we take care of while keeping all our hard work safe. She is sturdy, quite buoyant (especially compared to our water logged old whaler), and not to mention, she is a looker! If anyone wants to try her out, let us know, otherwise keep your eye out in the harbor for the prettiest yard skiff around.

• Nutshell Pram

The 9'6 Nutshell Pram, designed by Joel White, is related to the Shellback but it is shorter and without a pointed bow. Like the other two dinghies, it rows, sails and tows quite well, while offering stability in a more compact package.

• Pea Pod Dinghy

The 13' Beach Pea Pod, designed by Doug Hylan, is a lapstrake double ender specially designed for rowing, towing and sailing. It easily pulls up on the beach for landing parties, and with the additional length it can accommodate a little more crew or cargo.

• Shellback Dinghy

The 11'2 Shellback, a Joel White design, is a stable dinghy that can be effectively rowed, sailed or towed.

ARIEL II and CALABAN return to us every year for a through maintenance regimen. She relaxes all winter in our heated shed, that is fortuitously positioned on a natural spring, keeping her hydrated and fresh though out the winter. She looks as good as the day she was relaunched.

ARIEL II Underway
ARIEL II Restored