Who We Are
H.H. Payson & Company in Spruce Head, Maine, sells boat plans, patterns, sails and books about boat building to guide you through your project.
With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, we pride ourselves in offering proven and user-friendly plans for boat builders of all levels. In fact, if you can draw and saw a penciled line, apply glue, drive nails, and bring a modest measure of patience to the task, you can build and launch a smart and able craft in as few as 40 work hours.
Get to Know Our Company
Harold H. Payson, known to associates, friends, and his wife as Dynamite, thinks you can build a boat. Years ago, when Dynamite began supplementing his boatbuilding work by selling boat plans, he got feedback from a number of customers who found the boats too difficult to build. Many of these would-be boat builders had never heard of lofting, and were intimidated and discouraged by the necessity of building a jig before building the boat itself. In addition, many of them could not find local suppliers of the lumber and other materials called for by the plans.
Selling plans for boats that never got built went against Dynamite’s down east grain, and it was also, he figured, “a straight road to bankruptcy in the long run.” He outlined the problem to Philip Bolger, of Gloucester, Massachusetts, arguably the most innovative small craft designer around. Bolger agreed, on one condition, to design a series of boats that would require no lofting, no jig, and no lumber that could not be obtained at any local building supplies store. They would also design boats that would not require a great investment of time to cut out and button up.
In short, they would design boats for the inexperienced builder whose fundamental desire is to get out on the water. The one condition was that Dynamite would build and thoroughly test a prototype of each design to wring out every bug before offering the plans for sale. Dynamite readily agreed, and a felicitous partnership was born. The eventual result was the original fleet of six boats described in his first book, Instant Boats.