No matter how large or small your job is, you have our undivided attention.
We love being on the water as much as you do. We know about the pleasure that comes from a beautiful craft that’s durable, safe, sea-kindly, and suited to your individual requirements.
Our work is grounded in these principles:
- We are situated in the middle of one of the world’s most pristine cruising grounds.
- We’re rooted in an industry that has taken place along Maine’s shores for centuries.
- We were founded as a forward-thinking company that understands the potential for innovation.
We are a relationship company honoring the role our locale and industry have in attracting boaters like you. When you come to our door, you’ll find us prepared to take on any project, from service and storage to new design and construction. Anyone who has met our founder, Jock Williams, knows we’re eager to accommodate your requirements, host visits to our yard, and provide regular updates about your project’s progress.
With just over 20 employees, our crew takes a personal interest in your project. You’ll be talking with the same people who are working on your boat. Friendly, highly trained people ready to listen and provide the highest level of customer care.
This is our promise. No corporate culture. No dealer incentives. No focus groups. Just boats.
Founder and President
Jock has been around boats all his life, probably a lot like you. As a teenager growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, he spent his summers working in a marine store, running a fuel dock, operating a launch service, and learning to be a rigger.
At 15, he bought his first sailboat and was soon an avid participant in local day races, then ocean racing. He has skippered a contender in the Bermuda Race and crewed in six additional Bermuda Races. Jock also competed in two transatlantic races, the TransPac, and almost every major ocean race in the Northeast.
A 1962 graduate of Colby College, Jock went on to Naval Officer Candidate School. He was subsequently assigned to a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey ship, charting the South China Sea for vessels in the Vietnam War. Later, he was stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Office in Annapolis and served as varsity sailing coach.
Discharged from duty in 1967, Jock moved to Denmark to serve a year’s apprenticeship in wooden boatbuilding at Paul Molich’s shipyard in Hundested. Upon his return to the States, he joined the notable Hinckley Company as fiberglass production manager. A few years later, he felt it was time to strike out on his own, and The John Williams Boat Company was born.
With a background in traditional wooden boatbuilding and a full understanding of fiberglass hull construction’s advantages, Jock’s boats naturally incorporate the best of both. His wide experience as a sailor and racer also gives him a special appreciation for beauty, grace, and responsiveness. That’s exemplified in every boat that goes down our ways.
Being president of the company means Jock is often in the office tending to business. But his first love remains “Messing about in boats.”
The Stanley Behind Our Stanley Models
No mention of Jock goes without a mention of Lyford Stanley, Jock’s long-time friend and inspiration. Lyford was part of the company from the beginning. An accomplished wooden boatbuilder, Lyford found himself intrigued, in the 1970s, by the possibilities of that newfangled material, fiberglass, which seemed poised to take over the fishing boat industry. He wanted to be part of this new medium.
Lyford and Jock started talking in 1971 about making a fiberglass mold from Lyford’s 36-foot wooden lobster boat design. By 1973, the two began building the Stanley 36 fiberglass production lobster boat. That model proved wildly popular among fishers and yachters alike. Over a hundred have been launched since that time, and the 36 is the company’s flagship design.
Lyford continued to design most of our boats, including the Stanley 28, Stanley 36, Stanley 38, Stanley 39, Stanley 42, and Stanley 44. He traditionally made his designs by carving half-models. Jock admired his innate sense for shape, proportion, and performance and continued to produce what turned out to be the successful Stanley lines for yachting, commercial fishing, and sportfishing.
In 1998, Lyford was inducted into the Maine Boat Builders Association. He was working on a Stanley 42 when he passed away in 2007.
Jaime began his career as a youth working the docks in Camden. Eventually, he served as a boat captain for a summer family on Penobscot Bay and later in various capacities at Wayfarer Marine.
After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Small Vessels Operations, he worked his way up to Chief Mate on a tug and barge unit that sailed between Canada and the Caribbean. While shipping out and starting a family in Vermont, he began his own marine surveying business. He became captain of a 150-foot, 464-passenger vessel on Lake Champlain.
In 2006, Jaime returned to Maine and began his career at John Williams Boat Company. He started as a Service Manager and is currently General Manager and Broker. He serves on the Maine Marine Trades Association board of directors and the Harbor Committee for Bar Harbor. He still actively holds a 200-ton USCG Master license.
When not working, Jaime is a passionate tennis and platform tennis player. He also serves as a youth soccer coach for a local club and area schools. He resides in Bar Harbor with his wife, Kate, and their children, Lelia and Jameson.
Lyndsy graduated from Plymouth State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She started working at John Williams Boat Company in the fall of 2005, initially as Office Manager. She is now serving as Operations Manager. She serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors of Maine Built Boats, an industry association that markets boats built in Maine to the rest of the world.
In her spare time, Lyndsy serves as Secretary and Communications Officer for the Board of Directors of Ellsworth Little League. She’s a youth softball and basketball coach. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband, Mike, and their children, Camryn and Michael.
Will Ratcliff has been pursuing his passion for boats and being on the water since early childhood. After graduating from Hobart College, then completing the Landing Boat School Yacht Design Program, Will began his career in the marine industry. Will’s first stop was Camden, Maine, working with the noted yacht designer Chuck Paine on a specific project with the Paine Yacht Design team.
After completion, Chuck encouraged Will to follow the project and gain hands-on boatbuilding experience with Morris Yachts in Southwest Harbor. Will spent 23 years working at Morris Yachts, under the guidance of the late Tom Morris, when the Yard was self-contained in its Southwest Harbor shore-side location, and then through its expansion to Bass Harbor Trenton. While at Morris, Will worked hands-on in all departments from the glass shop to carpentry, systems, and rigging.
During his tenure at Morris Will held the positions of Systems Manager, Service Manager, and Project Manager and eventually helped successfully lead the company’s management team, as General Manager, all with a focus on learning and building, through experience, all aspects of fine boat building, repair, and customer service.
After leaving Morris, Will took on the Service Manager position at the Hinckley Company in Southwest Harbor, where he was able to work with customers and yachts that he was long familiar with from his years in the industry, living and working in Southwest Harbor as an avid boater. Will’s proven strengths are his commitment to the trust he develops with his customers and the relationship he builds with each of them to ensure their boats are well taken care of under his watch.
When Will is not working, he can be found enjoying time with his wife and two children, sailing in local races, visiting local islands in his own boat with family and friends, hiking, cycling, skating, skiing, and even ice boating when the water is too hard to float in.
Doug grew up on Mount Desert Island and spent many impressionable moments watching the goings-on in the earlier days of John Williams Boat Company. This helped to form a very early love of boatbuilding that led to working part time for Ralph Stanley, perhaps Maine’s most famous wooden boat builder, through his high school years and then onto college for hydrodynamics, boat design and construction.
After college, Doug worked for the John Williams Boat Company as a finish carpenter before moving to Brightside Boat in Northeast Harbor until 1998. At that time, Doug decided to open his own boat building business. Operating for over 13 years as Desert Boat Company, his small crew offered full service, restorations and custom built Downeast style powerboats. Doug is ABYC certified in marine systems, electrical and engines, and attended trainings for Yanmar diesels, Espar heaters, and Sea Frost refrigeration/air conditioning systems.
Following a long winter in New Zealand restoring a lovely wooden sailboat, Doug returned home and accepted a supervisor position for Morris Yachts, working with many great people and building relationships with customers. When Morris decided to close their service yard, Doug moved to Classic Boat Shop and managed the service department there for several years before deciding to come home to John Williams where, in a way, it all started.
As is true of many of the John Williams crew, Doug has been dreaming about or building boats his entire life. Given this lifelong passion for boats, his wealth of hands-on experience, and his expansive knowledge of the industry, Doug is well suited to assist with all of your yachting needs as our service manager.
When not hanging around the boatyard, Doug is likely to be found restoring an old Land Rover or something equally obscure. Otherwise, he’s in Acadia hiking with his wife and two dogs, out on the waters, or just traveling the world any way he can.