Maine boat designer Lyford Leverett Stanley, 82, died Nov. 30, 2007. Stanley was an accomplished wooden boatbuilder who recognized early on that fiberglass was destined to replace wood as a primary material for constructing fishing boats. In 1971 he collaborated with Jock Williams, president and founder of the John Williams Boat Company of Hall Quarry, Maine, to build a mold from Stanley’s 36-foot lobster boat design. The design was realized in fiberglass in 1973 and became a 36-foot production lobster boat. After that Stanley went on to design a majority of the pleasure craft hulls built by William’s company including the Stanley 28, Stanley 36, Stanley 39, and Stanley 42.
Lyford Stanley was born on Swan’s Island in 1926. He went to high school in Southwest Harbor where he was encouraged by one of his teachers to pursue a career in boatbuilding. He began by apprenticing at the Sam Davis Boatyard in Bass Harbor. Working with his wife Norma, Lyford Stanley built his first boat in 1950. In later years he worked at the Frenchman Bay Boating Company and the Henry R. Hinckley Company.
Jock Williams said that Lyford Stanley “had an innate sense for the shape, proportion and performance characteristics of a properly built boat.” His designs began as carved half models. “Each boat was unique itself and he was always trying to fulfill and improve performance,” Williams said.