My Buzzards Bay

Cruising New England on Relentless

MBY Fire Recovery Update


The above photo is from about 1972, 10 years after Art McLean purchased the yard from Burr Brothers Boats in 1962. Yes! It has been 60 years of MBY! What is striking is that, other than the building extension from the main shed that was added a few years later, the rest of the yard remained the same. Of course the A-frame crane off the building was removed, the railway was removed, and a bulkhead and docks were constructed to accommodate the new travel lift. I have to assume the photographer was dangling off the end of the derrick crane at the end of the gas dock pier. Times have changed as have the boats and their owners. What has remained the same is this great location in this amazing town full of incredible people!

We wanted to give a quick update about current operations:

Launch Service is now on a reduced schedule. Monday – Thursday hours of operation are from 8:00 am to 4:30. Friday through Sunday 8:00 to sunsetWe continue to pick up passengers at Barstow on a “call” basisLaunch service ends at 4:30 on Columbus DayThe fuel dock is open for gas and diesel 8:00 to 4:30 dailyParking at MBY is available for MBY customers.

Our waterfront is back in full swing. We are planning to haul and store boats for the season as we have always done. Of course we will not have any inside, covered storage this season. We are looking at some temporary buildings so that we can continue to perform our off-season repairs as we have always done in the past.  

We have relocated our core services to our Inland Yard on rt. 6 (52 Marion Rd). Our offices are on the second floor and we have created shop space and a stockroom on the first floor. We will continue to perform all maintenance and repairs, including winterizing and shrinkwrap, at all of our three locations. 

We are definitely making real progress as we find a sense of normalcy in our day to day operations. We have received very preliminary, conceptual design plans from a local builder.  We look forward to the review process as we hone in on what we want, what we need and what we can afford.  More to follow in the coming weeks!

Thank you again for your continued support as we look ahead to what is sure to be a bright future!
Dave and Ned
Three Weeks Later – More Progress

I walked into the Inn on Shipyard Park a few days ago and right there in front of me, where it’s been for at least a year, was the most beautiful photo I have seen.  Kent McCormack, a local professional photographer,  took this of the Strawberry Supermoon in 2021. I’ve always loved the photo because it shows our big, beautiful harbor under the most awesome conditions. Who doesn’t love a huge full moon? 

What I saw the other day was something that will never be there again. Those big, white, somewhat awkward buildings that made up a large part of the Mattapoisett landscape are now no longer. I loved those buildings even though we often struggled getting in and out, trying to make the most of every square foot.  Kent, of course, had no idea his photo would become an iconic image of MBY and of our harbor that generations will speak about, hopefully with fond memories! 

As we continue to make progress with the restoration of services and with the start of the fall hauling season, all of us at MBY want to take a moment to say “THANK YOU!” Among so many who have helped, we would like to acknowledge Pete Costa and Triad Boatworks, Tim Moll with Safe Harbor, Maureen McQuillan, Tom Guard, Bob Mitchell and R.A. Mitchell, Nate Tynan with Windward Power, Ben Philbrick and Chase Canopy, Don Devaney, Susan Dunn and Ellen Scholter, Scott Kreutzberg with S.K. Electronics and Oliver Dow (with his Go Fund Me site).

Every one of these community members have been instrumental in getting us the tools and capital that we needed to get back to work. Had we been left on our own, this would be a very different message… There have been a number of other fund-raising efforts that we are incredibly grateful for.  Mary Tripp and MAD Signs made stickers and tee shirts and donated over $2,000 to our cause.  Michelle Huggins and Prairie Supply donated a handmade gold and diamond necklace and raised over $1,800.  Blossoms Florist, Prism Salon, On The Go, Crescent Beach Association, Isabelle’s, Magpies, Kool Cone, Gotta Have It, Nick’s Pizza, 143 Market, Mass Marine Trades Association and so many others (a more complete list will be forthcoming) have combined efforts and brought so much help and hope for our future. How do we thank you enough? 

We would also like to extend a special thank you to David and Susan Horne who have been instrumental in their fundraising efforts to help us get tools and funds to our employees.  Although insurance will help defray the cost of rebuilding, it will surely not be enough. Knowing this, the Hornes generously took the lead and started a Go Fund Me site that stands at over $80k. They are also organizing what will be an incredible evening at The Bay Club in October ( And for that, we cannot thank them enough! 

Fall is upon us, there is much work to be done. There is also a ton of great weather ahead this season! Enjoy! And please know that we are still here for you, your friends, our town, and beyond!
Friday, September 2nd. Almost exactly two weeks since everything changed at MBY. Of course we have only scratched the surface, quite literally, and know there is sooooo much more to be done.

But some very good news to report:

The gas dock is finally back on line! Mike Muldoon (electrician) somehow was able to drop everything and spend 4 full days setting up a new power drop, mounting boxes, circuit boards, running heavy cables and figuring out where in the world everything was coming from and where it is supposed to go. He set up a new board near the gas tank for the relays, sensors, detectors and emergency circuitry. The petroleum electricians showed up like angels and made it all work. So a HUGE thank you to Mike Muldoon and to Dependable Petroleum and their crew getting us hooked up. Now you all can get fuel when you need it!

The Yard is now back open again! Andrew Langlois and crew has not stopped clearing, grading and spreading new stone to clear the yard. He trenched a new perimeter water line (900′) around the property, this after digging down to locate all of the broken water lines and restoring the water supply to the docks. Huge shout out to Josh Pell (plumber) for making it all work. We also have power to the docks. Sorry, the ice machine is still not working.

We will have parking laid out. Let’s still continue with the permit parking system although we no longer have the yellow violation notices. Dinghies can go back on the sea wall. We will slowly start to get a sense of normalcy.

It goes without saying that all of your support has made all of the difference in keeping us moving forward. Emails, texts, phone calls and letters (yes, some still send mail) have been inspiring. We are getting contributions everyday. People coming together to help people, what an amazing thing! If anyone had any doubt about this community and all who live here, I can tell you that all is good in our little part if the world!!

Thank you from every part of us.
Ned and Dave
Wow, what a week this has been! Many tears, hugs, stories, phone calls, texts and emails from friends near and far. Everyone coming together like this has been an incredible experience to say the least. It has truly been both humbling and uplifting seeing so many come together for our benefit. We are simply grateful for the love.

Phil is out of ICU and getting better each day. His fund was shut down at his request, “It’s too much” he said. Not sure how many people would say no to more money? We raised over $150k for his recovery and for that we, along with Phil and his family, send out a huge THANK YOU to all who contributed!

The Kaiser and McLean family also say THANK YOU to the huge outpouring of support from so many people. We will put together a summary soon, but for now, we have to shout out to Andrew Langlois and Langlois Landscapes, along with Adam Murphy and Muphy’s Salvage, who came to our rescue when we needed it most. Cars, boats, rubble and debris were begun to be handled and removed less than 24 hours after the fire. Rob Pusateri and Middleboro Recycling brought their equipment and containers for scrap removal and sorting. James Arne and Arne Excavating showed up with his equipment to help with the debris removal. The coordinated efforts of these contractors effectively removed and cleared the entire 2.5 acre lot in 3 days (we were held up by the State for 2 days).

Dana Collyer, along with his father Mike Collyer, as the field surveyors for our insurance, coordinated the vessel and car removal, all of the various claims by owners, and nearly all of the customer correspondence. They dropped everything this week to get us cleaned up and nearly ready to resume our waterfront operations.

And behind everyone was Jay Kay with Stafford Insurance. From the first call, he pulled all of the various underwriters together, laid out the different policies and coverage, appointed a third party claims adjuster and somehow assured us that it will be OK. His guidance and expertise got us through this first week and I know will get us to the final days of construction and rebuilding.
So many people and businesses have stepped up with tool and equipment donations. We now have an old storage space at our Inland Yard (52 Marion Rd) converted to a workshop full of roll away tool boxes, a huge assortment of hand and power tools, new and used. Our techs can now get back to doing what we do best – work! On Monday I got a call from a customer whose boat and trailer was destroyed. Miraculously the license plate was still there. He asked if I could remove it for him. I told him he had to come for it because I didn’t even have a screwdriver…! Now we all have the foundation of what we need to get going again. We understand more tools are on the way. Trust me, we can use them!!

The yard remains closed to vehicles until the investigation is completed. We hope that will be this coming week. We are working with Eversource to restore temporary power to our docks and fueling systems. Unfortunately we are still unable to pump gas but expect to be up and running this week. The launches continue to run in and out of Barstow Wharf (town beach). Parking permits have been waived for MBY customers until we are able to park in the Ned’s Point location.

With your support, we will get through the next week, next month, next year. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!!
Yes, that is the headline. And yes, everything is gone. It is a sureal experience, one that we could have only imagined in our wildest thoughts.

Our number one concern is for our long time employee, Phil Macomber. He was badly injured as a result of the initial explosion. He has major burns to his face and neck and a shattered femur. He is at RI Hospital in their burn unit, intubated and sedated. He is expected to recover from these injuries but clearly has a long road ahead. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers. There is a Go Fund Me page set up for Phil:

Knowing that everyone is safe, we now must tackle this new reality. In all, 20 boats were lost. They are simply gone with only traces of evidence left behind. Nearly 40 vehicles were either totally burned out or significantly damaged. The cleanup has already begun. To be sure there is no misunderstanding, we plan to come back from this better and stronger! I heard myself saying that day “It’s not a question of if we will rebuild, it’s a question of how tall and how wide!” The Boatyard will be here for you!

As you can imagine, the idea of starting over from the ground up is becoming more daunting with each passing day. Our employees are our first priority. All of their personal tools and other belongings are lost. There are no more shop tools or equipment. Our entire inventory is gone. Any paperwork, physical records, archives are also gone. We will be setting up a temporary shop and office at our rt. 6 location.

Our waterfront, docks and launches were completely unaffected and those operations are running now. We expect the yard to be cleaned up so that parking will be available by the weekend. We have no power or water but will be setting up a generator to be able to resume fueling. If we stay on it, perhaps a sense of normalcy will return soon.

The business side will resume in a few days. All of our bookkeeping and documents are backed up off site daily. Unfortunately our hauling and launching schedules were always handled the old fashioned way, on a paper calendar. Our mooring service records were also tracked on paper. To reconstruct these records will not be easy. We would ask any of you who have not received a launching bill, mooring or other service invoice to let us know. Something of the Honor System. Your help in this will be very much appreciated!

Finally, the outreach and support from customers, friends, our town and the broader community has been nothing short of overwhelming. We have been in touch with the lieutenant Governor and Bill Straus who are arranging a coordinated effort to oversee the various government agencies involved in the cleanup and rebuilding. There are a number of fundraising efforts underway. We cannot express our most heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has stepped up to help.

We especially want to thank Andy Murray and the Mattapoisett fire department and EMS for the rapid response to our emergency. Knowing that it would have been impossible to save any of our structures, they, along with 15 other towns, were able to contain the fire and prevent further spread to neighboring houses. That was a miracle! Jason King and the Mattapoisett police kept order and calm throughout it all. The coordinated efforts between departments and all who responded was Herculean.

As much as we would never wish this tragedy on anyone, the way that so many have rallied around us has been incredible. We have always loved our town and our wonderful community. We never realized the profound effect this horrible event would have on so many others. It’s impossible not be feel emotional and deeply moved by other’s efforts to help out.
We will get through this, that we are sure of.

MBY Strong!
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