Chummy 34 Staying in the Family

Author: Liz Graves [Mount Desert Islander]

TREMONT, Maine — After selling the boatyard his father founded to Richard Helmke last year, Robert “Chummy” Rich has a little time to build a boat for himself.

“I just decided I wanted to build something on my own,” he said of the 34-foot wooden lobster yacht he designed and is building. “When I started, I had no spare time. Like everything else, spare time don’t last long, so it had to get put aside for awhile.” 

Rich still can often be found in the Bass Harbor Boat shop. But now that he’s no longer the boss, he can hop in his white Lincoln Town Car and head to his brother Walter’s shop in Bernard to work on the Chummy 34. Walter and his son have done some of the work on the boat, too.

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