BAR HARBOR – The Maine Seacoast Mission uses a boat to connect to a number of islands Downeast. That boat is about to get a complete renovation.
Based out of Bar Harbor, the mission has been serving the people of the Downeast islands for more than 100 hundred years.
But for the last 24 years, the mission has been using a boat named the Sunbeam V to get to people who live on some of the remote islands in the bay.
“The boat was a ministry, it was to take a pastor around to the outer islands. It has slowly morphed beyond that. We now do medical services on the boat and we also have a social component,” Capt. Mike Johnson said.
The Sunbeam V is a 75-foot long vessel used to provide those services.
The boat goes to many loosely populated islands, including Great Cranberry, Islesford, Monhegan, North Haven and even Eagle Island, to connect with islanders who are very isolated.
“It can be kind of lonely in the wintertime,” Johnson said. “We go out and we try to break that up. We’re not essential to the life on the islands but I think we add an element of comfort in the wintertime.”
But members of the Maine Seacoast Mission feel the Sunbeam V is due for some repairs to make sure she continues to meet their needs.
“All steel boats, they rust from the inside out,” Johnson said. “So if you take good very good care of the exterior of the boat, there’s still insidious little corrosion that’s starting so we’re getting little surface corrosion on the inside. So what that means is that we need to gut the entire interior of the boat.”
Those repairs will take about seven months to complete.