Penobscot Bay YMCA Annual Boat Auction event comes to an end

Tue, 08/08/2023 - 8:30am

    The Penobscot Bay YMCA said Aug. 7 that it will no longer hold its annual Boat Auction at the Y in Rockport.

    For 24 years, this major fundraising event helped keep the cost of summer camp affordable to all participants, including scholarships for those families who need it the most., the YMCA said, in a news release. Scholarships have provided over 10,000 camper weeks, as well as financial assistance to families in the community.

    A number of evolving challenges led the Y Board and the all-volunteer Boat Auction Committee to determine that the event must come to a finale.

    The challenges include that there are fewer valuable and desirable boats donated each year, larger sailboats have become increasingly hard to sell, and disposing of boats that remain unsold after auction is becoming costly. In addition, the event requires a substantial amount of volunteer and paid staff time.

    “The Y’s Boat Auction has had a wonderful 24 year history,” the YMCA said. “Over 850 boats of all types have been donated to the Y by individuals including sail, power, dinghies, kayaks, canoes, skiffs, rowing shells, and surf boards. Over 180 boatyards throughout Midcoast Maine supported the Y by marketing the event as well as boat donations.”

    In addition to Y staff, the Boat Auction has been supported by hard-working volunteers for 24 years, providing a total of almost 3,900 volunteer hours.

    “These dedicated volunteers spent countless hours driving all around the midcoast evaluating potential boat donations to ensure they were suitable for auction and arranging transportation at no expense to the donor,” the YMCA said. “Larger boats were transported by Ed Hurlburt and Mike Devine of Chater’s Boatyard at no cost to the Y, which was a substantial savings over the years. Smaller boats were transported by Y volunteers and staff.”

    Although the Boat Auction will conclude this year, the Y remains committed to supporting local youth and families in need by increasing fundraising through its Summer Camp Campaign. In addition, it plans to continue to run the popular Summer Silent Auction, featuring generously donated items and experiences from many local businesses.

    Boat buyers seeking a great deal can check out the remaining boats at If interested in buying a boat, email To donate to the  Y’s Summer Camp Campaign, go to a check can be dropped off at 116 Union Street in Rockport.