Front Street Shipyard will diversify its services beyond the marine industry.
BELFAST, ME – 21 April 2020 — Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine, is preparing to take delivery of a five-axis 3D waterjet cutting machine that will become the largest of its kind in the state of Maine. Front Street Shipyard will use the new machine to cut large parts for use in its own boat construction and refits, and will also provide cutting services to outside businesses. Purchased with the support of a Department of Transportation grant, the waterjet cutting machine will expand Front Street Shipyard’s capabilities beyond the marine market. The shipyard is now scheduling manufacturing work for this fall when the assembly and operational training for the machine is complete.
The waterjet cutting machine uses high-pressure water to cut, shape, and ream very large parts such as frames, molds, and panels used in manufacturing and construction. Capable of cutting nearly any material including textiles, stainless steel, and titanium, the machine will cut parts directly from engineer-drawn electronic data with a high degree of precision and accuracy. Front Street Shipyard will use the machine to manufacture parts for the construction and refitting of commercial and recreational vessels.
“This machine will streamline our work on custom and production boats, reducing costs and improving the quality of the end-products,” said JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard. “It also gives us the opportunity to diversify the services we offer beyond boat building and repair, which will ensure our company’s success through occasional downturns in the industry.”
Front Street Shipyard purchased a Suprema DX 1340 model from Illinois-based Waterjet USA LLC. Partial funding came from the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration grant awarded to Front Street Shipyard in 2018 through the Small Shipyard Grants program.
The waterjet cutting machine will be installed in Front Street Shipyard’s newest building, a 22,500-square foot shop where shipwrights perform large yacht refits and commercial vessel construction projects up to 200 feet long. The installation will be completed in late summer.