Monday, November 5, 2012

A First Look At Beaton Boat Works

My long time friend and Master Boat builder, Paul Smith, sent me these photos of his workplace, Beaton Boat Works. Paul has lived in the area for 60 plus years and has been employed by Beaton's since the sixties. He has been through all of the worst storms that affected the Jersey Shore, including the one in 1962 and by far he states that he has never seen any storm that compare to Sandy.

Paul's description of the carnage done to Beaton's is unbelievable, boats sunk in the harbor, at dock, and strewn all over the yard like so many toys. They have found boats that floated down Beaton Road over to Mantoloking Road and as far as a mile away. A houseboat docked there was sunk, another on dry land was completely blown over on to its side,boats that were in sheds came off their stands and floated around freely.

The front dock pilings were lifted by the buoyancy of the boats that were tied to them, boats sunk in their slips, masts were broken and wreckage from all over continues to float in each day.

The wood shop received water that came up eighteen inches above the work bench, machine motors were submerged and the effort to salvage them is compounded by the fact there is no fresh water or electricity to operate compressors to blow the motors out.

I have been going to Beaton's for 52 years, it has been a place where I have made friends for life, it has provided me with a place that I find peace and comfort. Watching the amazing work that is turned out in the Yard has given me inspiration to learn many of the wood working processes and  to put them to use on my own boats.

I know that the process of cleaning up and eventually rebuilding will be a long and arduous task, however, I am sure that the Beaton family and all the workers are up to the task. I wish everyone the best and I look forward to my return in May so that I might be able to lend a hand in rebuilding a tradition.

I have included several pictures that show only a small portion of the total damage that was sustained. I will have more pictures as they are sent to me and if you ever have a chance, after the dust settles, drop by Beaton's and offer encouraging support for their efforts.

The one surreal picture included, is of a Marshall Sanderling that was seen sailing about in the Bay off Beaton's only days after Sandy. The pictures point of view is from under the raised front dock. The sail # was SA4, appears to be out of Shore Acres.

You can see the high water mark above the work bench in the wood shop

A Marshall Sanderling in Beaton's Harbor after Sandy devastated the NJ Coast

Any boat owner's nightmare

The rigging ladder, still intact

The cleanup begins

A Sanderling floated off it's Jack Stands


  1. I feel better after finally seeing some photos. I'm convinced they will carry on. They have to.

    1. Baydog, glad to hear your Boat came out unscathed. I'll have more pics tomorrow.