Song or Story
Eric Dow talks about how he came to build the type of boat known as a “peapod.”
Eric Dow: …as far as anything like the peapod that I was mentioning is, is a Maine coast invention; to pin it to one particular place would be hard to do.
Pauleena MacDougall: Yes, there were people making peapods in different parts of the coast.
E.D.: Yes, there were.
P.M.: And they are all pretty much the same.
E.D.: No they vary. Jimmy Steele has a shop down the road from here and builds a thirteen and a half foot peapod, which is the length of mine, but they’re completely different.
P.M.: Really? How are they different?
E.D.: Just the shape of the hull. You wouldn’t think a double-ended boat of a given length could be as different, but mine has more, the ends come up more plum, just not as wide. The whole shape, all the lines are quite different.
P.M.: Where did you get your lines for your boat?
E.D.: I took the lines off of an old Deer Isle peapod that would be probably close to a 100 years old now. It belonged to a man down in Naskeag Point here in Brooklin and his neighbor wanted one built like that. He was really struck by the looks of that boat so I took the lines off it as best as I could. This was early on in my boat building and now I can take a very accurate set of lines, but at that point by the time I got done taking lines it was a slightly different boat and built that one for him and then decided I wanted to stay building peapods for a time. Every year I would set up to build, I would make some changes, refinements.
Eric Dow, Pauleena MacDougall, Brooklin, Maine, peapod, boat, boatbuilding, Deer Isle, Naskeag Point, North Haven, Jimmy Steele, lobster, fishing
Folklore | Oral History
Dow, Eric. 2004. “Building Peapods.” NA3288, CD2217.7. Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, Raymond H. Fogler Special Collections Department, University of Maine.