Carlton Johnson, President of Redfern Boat and Up Harbor Marine, grew up the son of Wilder Johnson, a top rate mechanic in Seal Cove. At his father’s side his mechanical knowledge grew out of repairing and rebuilding engines, and even included stock car racing. He got his start in boatbuilding working on the docks for the Hinckley Company as a co-op student in High School.
In the early 80’s he went to work for Jock Williams Boat Yard, located in Hall Quarry, gaining vast experience in fiberglass technology and related systems building power boats. In the mid 80’s Carlton went to work for Bass Harbor Marine, the present day home of Redfern Boat and Up Harbor Marine, maintaining over 100 storage boats along with servicing the Hinckley Yacht Charter fleet, working his way up to yard foreman.Bass Harbor Marine was noted for their service, superior workmanship and especially for the unique relationship between the many dedicated employees and the boat owners fostering a signature product that is still held in high regard to this day. When Bass Harbor Marine was sold in the early 90’s, Carlton started his own boatbuilding, service and charter business. You will see many of the same faces from the old Bass Harbor Marine crew preforming rigging work, mechanical tasks or working on the docks. We have assembled a highly trained, experienced and motivated crew. Our dear friend Graham Berwind helped with this business model. His theory which we adopted was “If you surround your self with exceptional people and gently herd them , the results will be terrific.
Redfern Boat and Up Harbor Marine. Drawing on his lifelong experience in the field along with a strong work ethic, ingenuity and unique approach to customer service, he has established himself as a Maine Boat Builder . Today Redfern Boat embodies the same principles, we’ve now built over 40 Redferns, inspired by the classic Chris Craft/Lyman lines, maintain a full yard of service boats and a charter fleet that appeals to a diverse array of sailing and power boat enthusiasts.
To do the difficult immediately, the impossible by appointment.Up Harbor Marine is located at the former Rich Brothers Boat Yard in Bernard Maine. In the late 1930’s, Robert Rich built a large structure on the shore of Bass Harbor, building boats for fishing and for pleasure. Over the years he and his sons would develop the shore front into a thriving boat building institution. More than 150 wooden boats were built at this site, rolling out of the buildings on railways and launching into the harbor for over 7 decades. Generations of boat builders on the island can trace the first steps into their lifelong craft, to these very buildings. The yard was later purchased in the 1980’s by the Hinckley Company and became the dock space for Bass Harbor Marine until 1999 when Up Harbor Marine took the helm.
The Bass Harbor Yacht Club and Sailing Center share a section of the spar shed and Atlantic Salmon has their offices at our facility, as well. The docks are used by Robert Rich Boat Yard, Classic Boat, Bass Harbor Boat, Redfern Boat and the Morris Company for commissioning and decommissioning their fleets. We have spaces occupied by local boaters as well. We feel the marina is a vivid slice of traditional Maine maritime activity.
There’s plenty to do while you stay at Up Harbor Marine. Mount Desert Island is one of the most beautiful locations in Maine, and Up Harbor Marine is a great point to start exploring the Island. Here’s a list of some of the things to do:
- Bike the fire trails around long pond, or the park road to the seawall.
- Visit Ship Harbor Nature Trail and Bass Harbor Head Light.
- Bike around the harbor to Swan’s Island Ferry and spend the day exploring Swan’s Island by bike.
- Kayak the Bass Harbor Marsh, directly across the harbor from Up Harbor Marine. It is one of the most beautiful kayaking areas you will ever find.
- Hike the “Quiet Side” mountains, from Flying Mountain overlooking valley cove, to Western Mountain with it’s great views.
- Golf at any of the nearby clubs on Mt. Desert.