Most of the work done has dealt with the State of Maine, and this is reflected in the following examples. However, in the next several months this will be expanded to encompass builders and vessels from around the globe, but will take avast amount of time to complete.

 Government Documents

List of Merchant Sailing Vessels 1867 to 1885: The “List of Merchant Vessels of the United States,” published by the U. S. Government from 1867 to present is a valuable source of basic information on vessels of the United States. Johansen computerized this data into a database, but released the book as a PDF document on a CD because it  comprised 10,742 pages. The PDF version is included in this research section and at a later date a searchable database will be developed for use on this site. What becomes obvious is the mistakes made in the original documents. Currently the section on ‘Steam’ is being compiled from 1867 to 1903. When completed, all the vessels listed in the MVUS will be computerized.

Custom House Records: During the 1930s and early 1940s the government put people to work documenting various subjects, one of which was the Custom House records for vessels. This is one of the best sources for information, but unfortunately only a handful were published. All those that were published will be computerized and available on this web-site. Those that were not published, if available, will also be computerized and made available. The following example is the records for Passamaquoddy (Eastport, Maine), which was not published, but has been computerized. These records will provide a vast amount of information to the ship researcher.

Book Indexes: There is avast amount of vessel information buried in books. Book indexes will be computerized, which will allow a researcher to find the references much quicker.


Ship and Boatbuilders: List of ship and boatbuilders will be developed such as the one in the example, which is for the State of Maine. This list will be used in conjunction with the vessel database so you can match up builder and vessel when possible. Be careful when discerning between builder, yard built and master carpenter. It is also known that at times the master carpenter was the man who went down and documented the vessel at the Custom House.

Alphabetical Listings of Vessels: This is an alphabetical listing of the vessels built in the State of Maine. It was developed so that  it was easy to discern which vessel was which. Most times you are only given the vessel’s name and the last name of the captain and these lists expanded to include all states and foreign countries.

Chronological Listing of Vessels: This is an chronological listing of the vessels built at the port of Bath in the State of Maine. In its final version all vessels will be listed.

Summary Listings of Vessels: This is an alphabetical listing of all the vessels built at the port of Bath 

Detailed Listings of Vessels: The detailed listing compiles all the known information on a vessel. The following example is from vessesls built at the port of Belfast. You will note that Custom House records and newspaper articles have been used. There are other sources, which in the future, will be added.

Voyages: Coastal newspapers carried a column on vessel arrivals, departures and other news. These columns are combined into a searchable table so researchers can track vessels or traffic through certain ports.

Shipwrecks: This is a list of ship disasters from various sources, mostly from newspaper accounts.