Seacoast Mission Chooses Front Street Shipyard for ‘Sunbeam V’ Refit

Seacoast Mission Chooses Front Street Shipyard for ‘Sunbeam V’ Refit

Capt. Michael Johnson in the Sunbeam V wheelhouse. Click the image to see Capt. Johnson’s video.

BAR HARBOR, ME — The Maine Seacoast Mission has decided on Front Street Shipyard of Belfast, ME to complete the midlife refurbishment of the Mission’s 74-foot boat, Sunbeam V. Captain Michael Johnson expects the boat will be at Front Street Shipyard next month for the extensive refit.

Capt. Mike Johnson said, “The Sunbeam’s last trip ends April 25th. Then there’s a week to ten day decommissioning period for the boat in Northeast Harbor. In early May the boat will go down to Front Street Shipyard and have an additional decommissioning. Some of Front Street Shipyard’s work can be done while the boat’s in the water. It’s probably going to be hauled, taken out of the water in mid-May,” Capt. Johnson said.

Capt. Johnson said in his YouTube video explaining the Sunbeam refit, “The thesis of the refit work is basically to gain access to the below deck areas. Steel boats rust from the inside out. A lot of those areas are difficult to access.

“There’s no major hull degradation. But we need to address it now before there is,” Johnson said. “We have to rip out the entire accommodations section of the boat, sand blast the steel, and paint two coats of marine epoxy on the internal sections. Every nook and cranny. Unless you rip out the entire downstairs area you’re going to miss something, and that’s going to haunt you for years.”

When the Sunbeam’s insides are removed, Johnson explained, “it’s also a great opportunity to cosmetically upgrade the boat.” He said it “is a perfect chance to update” all of the Sunbeam “dated equipment and dated cosmetics.” That work includes the Sunbeam wheelhouse, bunk houses, galley, and salon, all of which are shown in detail in the Sunbeam Captain’s YouTube video.

“The boat’s fundamentally sound and serves us well,” said Johnson. The refitting “is the best choice going forward to get another 15, 20 to 25 years out of the Sunbeam,” he said. “We’re hoping to have the boat back in service by Christmas.”

Front Street Shipyard President and General Manager JB Turner said, “Our entire team at Front Street Shipyard is eager to begin working with Maine Seacoast Mission on the comprehensive refit of Sunbeam V. The vessel has had a critical role in the health and well-being of Maine island communities for almost a quarter century, and we’re honored to contribute to that ongoing mission through this refit. Having the opportunity to update and upgrade the capabilities of Sunbeam V will have a direct benefit to our fellow Mainers, which makes us all proud,” Turner said.

Capt. Mike Johnson will oversee the Sunbeam V refit. Meanwhile, Sunbeam Engineer Storey King will captain the Mission’s interim boat, Moonbeam, so Sunbeam crew members Sharon Daley, Douglas Cornman, and Jillian can continue their work as Island Health Director, Island Outreach Director, and Steward in the Sunbeam V’s absence.

Captain Michael Johnson’s “Sunbeam Refit Explained” video is available on the Mission’s YouTube channel here.

Maine Islands Have Figured Out How to Do Elder Care

Maine Islands Have Figured Out How to Do Elder Care

BAR HARBOR, ME — Thank you, Down East magazine, and contributing editor Jesse Ellison for your excellent May 2019 piece, “No Elder an Island.” The Mission’s Island Health Director, Sharon Daley, RN, is a pioneer in Maine unbridged island adult family care homes. Among Director Daley’s work with island communities aboard the ‘Sunbeam,’ she also hosts the Mission’s annual Elder Care Conference made up of many people mentioned in Ms. Ellison’s story. // Learn more about Sharon Daley’s work here.


[Maine Seacoast Mission Island Health Director Sharon] Daley argues, there’s something to be said for the islands’ scaled-down, community-driven approach. “I feel like the islands have figured out how to do eldercare, and the rest of the country needs to follow,” she says.

“Almost all of the eldercare homes on the mainland are really large, and I think even though they try hard, it becomes more institutionalized. Everyone is lined up in wheelchairs. Staff is usually overworked, and it’s heavy work.

“People don’t like to visit. My father was in a place like that, and I had to brace myself every time I walked in. These places are not like that.”

Excerpt: No Elder an Island, by Jesse Ellison, Down East, May 2019

Easter ‘Sunbeam’ at Isle au Haut: Feeding Body, Mind and Soul

Easter ‘Sunbeam’ at Isle au Haut: Feeding Body, Mind and Soul

ABOARD THE SUNBEAM — “Despite the high southerly winds, sea height and fog, the Sunbeam and crew made it to Isle au Haut on Saturday, April 20th to celebrate Easter.

We had a lively and festive church service on the boat, with Hunt and Allison Smith of Steuben providing music on fiddle and accordion.

Douglas’ Easter message focused on how we can better love one another as God commands us to love through the Gospel, even though doing so is one of our greatest challenges.

Sunbeam Steward Jillian served a delicious dinner of chicken and dumplings and blueberry pie.

It was a delightful evening where all were lovingly fed – body, mind & soul.”

Douglas Cornman, Maine Seacoast Mission Island Outreach Director