For those who know and appreciate them, Downeast boats are perhaps the best kept secret on the water. Originating on the coast of Maine, these boats are known not only for their distinctive look—but for seaworthiness, comfort and ample cockpit.
While lobstermen and commercial fishermen have been using Downeast boats in Maine for going on a century, it has only been within the past decade that the outside world is taking notice of this New England treasure. From tuna fishing in the canyons to island hopping in the Bahamas, the dependability and comfort of a Downeast boat provides an incredible platform for a variety of boating applications.
Kusler Yachts, Wicked Tuna & The Boundless: A New 2020 Mussel Ridge 42
Kusler Yachts is listing a classic example of a Downeast boat: The Boundless– a beautiful new, 2020 Mussel Ridge 42. Located in Massachusetts, this vessel has an interesting story.
Michael Kusler, president of Kusler Yachts, went to high school in Massachusetts. His brother John lives and fishes there today.
John, in fact, works on the charter boat Fat Tuna that fishes out of Beverly, Mass. If it weren’t enough that John Kusler and Captain Bob Cook catch lots of big bluefin on the Fat Tuna, they also star in Wicked Tuna on the Discovery Channel.
The Fat Tuna’s second season on the show begins airing this spring. Captain Bob and John are great resources when it comes to describing the many benefits that come with a Downeast boat.
Cook and Kusler not only fish on a 40’ Downeaster, but Captain Bob likes Mussel Ridge boats so much that he is building one. It was Kusler and Cook who delivered the Boundless from Maine to Massachusetts, where the boat is listed.
What Makes a Mussel Ridge So Special?
“It’s a wider, beamier boat that is incredibly seaworthy for its size,” John Kusler begins. “It is a much more stable and seaworthy platform than your typical fly bridge.”
“My friend recently purchased a Downeast boat. Before buying it, he said, ‘I want my next boat to be a boat.’ He was tired of everything rattling every time he ran in a head sea,” John Kusler says. “I think that is a pretty good way to describe them.”
“They are not as fast as your typical fly bridge, but you can run through a 3’ chop and not feel a thing. That’s what made them perfect for New England– where the weather can change constantly.”
“The Mussel Ridge is a great boat. I have loved them for years,” Kusler says. “This one is a single screw diesel. It is dependable and economical to operate.”
“These days Downeasters are transitioning into cruising yachts from their traditional roles in commercial fishing and as trawlers. They are great for older couples and for families,” Kusler explains.
Part of the charm of a Downeast boat lies in its versatility. Their design stems from utility and practicality.
What Owning the Boundless Can Mean for You
The original Downeasters were built for men who worked the sea for a living. They needed open cockpits to work nets and lobster pots. They needed sea worthiness for safety and to be able to work on the ocean even when it was rough.
This pedigree translates incredibly well to the modern boating experience. The benefits of ownership exist in a variety of contexts:
The expansive cockpit on the Boundless provides plenty of room for multiple anglers. Whether you are fighting a quad of striped marlin in Mexico or tangling with a 900-pound bluefin in Massachusetts, there are a number fishing benefits.
The large deck also has quite a bit of fish box capacity and can enough ice for extended trips. These are just a couple of the many reasons that more and more Downeast boats are now fishing in New York, the Carolinas, in Florida and on the Gulf and West Coasts.
Long Range Cruising:
Built to handle chop and withstand rough weather, the Downeast hull is ideal for long range cruising. Looking into the salon of the Boundless- with its three captain’s chairs forward- it’s not hard to envision the open sea (be that sea the Caribbean or that of Cortez).
The ample deck space not only provides comfort and stability while traveling, but room to bring everything you need with you. As a travel platform, the Boundless is built for comfort and self-sufficiency.
Dependability and Ease of Ownership
This Downeaster will never be a 40-knot vessel. That said, it doesn’t burn 120 gallons of diesel per hour either.
The dependability and economical operation of single engine diesel propulsion is a staple of charter and commercial fishermen around the world. From Oregon Inlet in North Carolina to Maine, there are times when fewer, more reliable systems are preferable to more numerous, overly complicated components.
A Boat with Character
The charm of a Downeast boat is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. The boat can do many things well; its ownership experience opens many wonderful avenues.
Despite the many great things about the Boundless, describing it only in terms of what it can do fails to do the boat justice. John Kusler provides context.
“What makes a Downeast boat so great? They are great boats for people who prefer stability, dependability and character over a run of the mill boat that has all of the bells and whistles that you see every day.”
The Boundless is currently located in Beverly, Massachusetts but will relocate to Kusler Yachts’ new office location on the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts in Spring 2021.
To see the Boundless for yourself, contact Michael Kusler: