DAMERON, MD – Easter signifies the new beginning. On Easter Saturday, a new boat builder in Maryland celebrated the rollover of the down-home St. Mary’s County Greenwell Boatworks’ first hull.

With owners Joey Greenwell and Mike Harris presiding, directing and assisting a squad of friends and family, including the boat’s purchaser, Gary Reed, they all gathered in the boat shed where the boat is being built near St. Jerome’s Creek in Dameron and rolled over the hull.

Reed, an electrical engineer who has lived in St. Mary’s County since 1987, knew from growing up with his family’s adventures with fishing boats precisely what he wanted with a new boat. Reed wanted one that could be versatile enough to fish the shallows of the Chesapeake and yet go offshore as well, back and forth from this area to Florida and the Bahamas. As part of the crew, Reed got to put to use some long unused strength he may have last put to the test working construction decades ago to contribute his part to the heave-ho of Hull #1.

Greenwell and Harris learned boating and marine engine repair and fiberglass fabrication from the time of high school and working their marine repair jobs, and now have begun the first boat-building enterprise in St. Mary’s County that has existed in years. 

A few custom boat builders are flourishing on the Eastern Shore, and the amazing Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury builds cruise ships up to 450 feet in length. This newest local custom boat builder hopes to grow their business to serve the boater who is looking for detailed work instead of factory-made mass-produced mold fitters.

One custom touch to Reed’s boat is to adapt a unique construction of a boarding ladder at the transom to aid in water skiing – a passion of Reed, who lives on St. Inigoes Creek. The ladder will offer a lower depth to assist larger and older skiing enthusiasts in boarding the vessel.

Greenwell Boatworks is looking to take orders now and expects to finish the as-yet-unnamed dreamboat of Reed in about six weeks.

The rollover of the hull was accomplished by brute strength to achieve the planning that took place for the construction of the 22’ vessel from the first day the plank was laid. Directed by Joey Greenwell, the effort was performed flawlessly in about fifteen minutes, thanks to gathering friends and family that ranged in age from twelve to nearly seventy-five.

After the rollover, Melissa and Joey Greenwell stood in front of Hull #1 with their children, Jack, little Joey, Clare, and Reed, to mark the occasion in a photo they will all long remember. Contact Greenwell Boatworks at 240-538-5794.

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