If you think that Downeast boats descended from lobster boats, you don’t need to look much further than the new Rockport Marine 44 Express Motor Yacht for confirmation. This custom cold-molded hull with its plumb bow, large cockpit, protected helm deck, low profile, long shear, and Herreshoff-style interior all trace back to its lobster boat roots.
Rockport Marine in the northwest corner of Rockport Harbor, Maine, is the real Downeast. It is now making the new 44 with wood composite construction, including four layers of wood and epoxy glue with an outer sheathing of fiberglass cloth for a total thickness of 1 ½ inches. Each layer uses West System vacuum bagging epoxy resin so the hull is a consistent solid laminate for reduced weight, stiffness, durability, and sound deadening. The cockpit has bench seating aft—there’s more seating in the functional wheelhouse—and the forward stateroom has an island berth, a head with separate shower, a galley, and a settee that converts to a queen-size berth. The power is totally up to date. Two 470-hp Cummins diesels are paired with Hamilton waterjets, giving the 44 a draft of only 2′ 4″. Maneuvering is a breeze with Hamilton’s Blue Arrow fingertip-control joystick. The Rockport Marine 44 is projected to cruise at 26 knots and top out at 30 knots. rockportmarine.com