“Stanley Paris wants to be the oldest man to circumnavigate the world by himself,” said Steve Crane, composite department, for Lyman-Morse Boatbuilders, Thomaston, this afternoon at the 25th Annual Maine Boatbuilders Show. Paris, who lives in Florida comes to Lyman-Morse about 3 or 4 times a year to check on the progress of his racing boat and to consult with Crane and others working on his – KIWI Spirit. He expects to circumnavigate the world in 2014 and he will be 76 years old.
The 63 ft. long and 17 ft. beam, KIWI Spirit is expected to be launched this fall. Paris will sale her for about 1 to 2 years to get to know her well enough to sail her around the world. She was designed by Bruce Farr, a well-known designer of performance boats – ocean racers. Farr as well as Paris are originally from New Zealand – therefore KIWIs. Crane said the hull is made of epoxy, e-glass, kevlar and carbon fiber. A composite known for its high strength and low weight. KIWI Spirit was demolded several days ago. The electrical and other systems which have been simultaenously built on site will be installed next. Paris visited the Thomaston boatyard several times before deciding on it to build his yacht because he liked the quality of the boats built there and he wanted an east coast boatyard for traveling convenience. Lyman-Morse employees almost 100 people.
“He’s an extreme guy. Very entergetic,” said Crane as we sat in an oasis in the middle of huge yachts selling for numerous thousands of dollars. Paris has an extremely competitive nature. He decided he wanted to be the oldest man to swim the English Channel; something he has done twice already. However, he withddrew from the qualifying test required to swim the Channel.
This year Lyman-Morse decided not to display one of their famous yachts. Rather they brought in several couches to fill their usual space. “This show is such a good opportunity to catch up with customers that we don’t see all winter. We can show customers videos about projects we are working on,” said Mackenzie Lyman, marketing director for the boatyard.
Sunday, March 18th is the last day of the Maine Boatbuilders Show, located at the Portland Complex, Fore Street, Portland.