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Our Boats

The mission of Friends of Casco Bay/Casco Baykeeper is to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. We can’t do that without our BOATS. And we couldn’t have bouts without supporters like YOU!

The Research Vessel Joseph E. Payne

Research Vessel Joseph E. Payne, named after our Casco Baykeeper, Emeritus (Photo by Kevin Morris)

Thanks to our donors to the Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign, we bought and retrofitted a Maine-built, lobster-style boat that we use to investigate pollution and to conduct research. Our Baykeeper Boat is an AJ28 made by Alan Johnson in Winter Harbor, Maine. Before being christened in honor our first Casco Baykeeper, on September 12, 2013, the boat was retrofitted by Yankee Marina & Boatyard and New England Fiberglass to include special attributes that will enhance our work.

Length: 28’ Beam: 10’4” Draft: 2’4”
Power: Inboard Yanmar 370 HP Diesel
Cruising speed: 24 knots (28 mph)
Construction materials: Fiberglass
Designer/Builder: Alan Johnson – AJ Enterprises, Winter Harbor, Maine
Special attributes that will enhance the work of Friends of Casco Bay:
Fast, seaworthy, fuel efficient, open work deck, wider beam, diesel inboard
Retrofit by: Yankee Marina & Boatyard, Yarmouth, and New England Fiberglass, Portland

New features:

  • Removable electric davit for deploying heavy equipment such as a sediment grab
  • Power inverter to run equipment such as computers, video recorder, and lighting
  • Reinforced bow and stern with extra layers of fiberglass to protect hull from winter ice
  • Recirculating pumps and extra filters for oil, fuel, and cooling fluid
  • Boarding ladder for divers
  • State-of-the-art chart plotter


Our Pumpout Boat with Pumpout Captain Jim Splude

Headmaster was built expressly for Friends of Casco Bay by Marine Boatbuilders of Warwick, R.I. With a 650-gallon sewage holding tank, the new boat has twice the capacity of the original pump-out boat, Wanda, which operated from 1995 through 2018. Wanda continues to be a champion for clean water at the Boston Sailing Center in Boston Harbor. The boat’s name was chosen from nearly 400 names submitted by the public: a play on the word for a marine toilet and gives a nod to the educational and ambassadorial role of the pumpout service.

Friends of Casco Bay’s Pumpout Program has kept over 245,000 gallons of raw sewage out of the Bay since 1995—and has helped us accomplish so much more. We encouraged local marinas to install their own pump-out stations while leading an advocacy effort to win a no discharge status for Casco Bay. In 2006, Casco Bay became Maine’s first federally designated no discharge area, which prohibits cruise ships from dumping treated and untreated sewage. In order to grant an area the designation as a no discharge area, the federal Environmental Protection Agency requires that there be adequate pump-out facilities throughout the region. Learn more at: https://www.cascobay.org/how-to-help/pumpout/.

Our mobile pump-out service is part of our effort to reduce nitrogen pollution from sewage, fertilizers, storm water runoff, and air pollution. An overdose of nitrogen in coastal waters can trigger nuisance and harmful algal blooms that may reduce water clarity, prevent juvenile clams from settling, and suffocate animals in the mud. When these plants die, decomposing bacteria can deplete oxygen needed by marine life and create acidic conditions that make it harder for shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and oysters, to build and maintain their shells.


  • Overall length: 26’
  • Beam: 9’11”
  • Draft: 19” lightship, 24” full load
  • Weight: 4,800 lbs. lightship, 9,800 lbs. full load
  • Engines: 2 Suzuki 250 hp outboards