Thomas Townsend Custom Marine Woodworking
Tom Townsend builds boats with instinct and experience. His unconventional method of design may start as simple sketch on a napkin and progress into a true work of art.
"I'm an artist as well as a boat builder," explains Townsend. "I do a lot of pen-and-ink and pencil illustrations – it runs in the family."
Townsend graduated from the Landing School in Arundel, Maine. He was put through a rigorous year of construction and design training. After his schooling in Maine, he was headed back to his hometown in Long Island and he stopped in Mystic – and never left.
Many of the classic wooden boats in the Mystic area can be attributed to Townsend – either as his own design or boats in his care. In addition to running his own boat building shop, he works with the Mystic Seaport and maintains yachts for a number of regular customers.
He uses top-of-the-line materials and his attention to detail with unusual fittings; and unique paint finishes are part of his signature style. Townsend puts his touch of style into each bat – including some items one would not think of as typically marine related. On his project, Janet Dear, he installed a John Deere tractor seat at the helm that he found in an antique shop. A comfortable captain's seat to handle the responsive and stable run about.
In 2016, Townsend revamped and added to his shop in Mystic. "I love paint and color," Townsend says. His new shop is painted his own green and many boats call his shop home for the winter.
*Partially excerpted from Wooden Boat (Issue 189, April 2006)