Eastern Boats began in 1981 building one model – an 18’ Classic designed by the Dean of Downeast designers, Royal Lowell. Our first facility had two small bays for assembly and glass shop space for two small hulls at a time. Now forty years later, we’re still building the downeast boats that have launched the careers of many and provided years of memories.
A few years later, we added the 22’ model and offered it as a center console or Lobster cabin. Bob Bourdeau went to work for Eastern in 1989 and purchased the company in 1993. In 1992, we bought the molds to a sweet 27’ Royal Lowell hull and began offering it in both center console and Lobster cabin configuration.
The early days of Eastern Boats
After a devastating fire in the fall of 1993, Eastern moved its entire operation to a new shop in Milton, NH. In 1994 we acquired the well-regarded JC 31 and JC 35 hulls, which have built a long track record as charter fishing boats and cruising motorboats. Since then Eastern has acquired other molds and redesigned models, parts, and manufacturing systems to develop our current offerings.
In the fall of 1994, we built a 50’ X 100’ addition to our facility in Milton which became our new glass shop.
The growing popularity of Eastern boats caused us to build a new office and assembly shop in the Milton Industrial Park in 1999. We followed that up with two more buildings in 2002 and 2003. Eastern Boats currently operates out of over 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space, with separate buildings for fiberglass, assembly, and rigging operations.
In 2012, we introduced our wide-beam 27 Tournament and Islander for hard-core anglers and cruisers, and last year, we bought the molds for the 22 Sisu, bringing that legendary hull back to its New Hampshire birthplace. Now, Eastern Boats continues to move forward, building high-quality, rugged, and fuel-efficient Downeast-style boats.
A legend returns home
In 2011 we bought the molds for the 22 Sisu, bringing that legendary hull back to its New Hampshire birthplace, as we continued to move forward, building high-quality, rugged, and fuel-efficient Downeast-style boats.
Rosborough Comes To Milton, NH
Rosborough Boats, Inc. began in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the mid-1950s by James “Doug” Rosborough, a well-known boat designer and builder. He designed and built countless numbers of traditional schooners, brigantines , sloops and ketches all from wood. He would get a commission for a boat which he would design, then contract with a Nova Scotia builder to execute. He would then move into the yard and take over the crew to supervise the entire construction.
In the early 1980s his son James “Bob” Rosborough came into the business and developed the first fiberglass designs. After experimenting with an 18’, 28’ and 35’ design he finally hit upon a 25’ boat that became the Rosborough RF-246. The first boat was delivered in 1987.
After 25 years and almost 500 boats, Bob Rosborough sold the molds to Eastern Boats, Inc. in Milton, NH where we continue to honor the design and standards that have proven to be a winner.
Soft riding in a head sea, stable in a beam sea, and predictable in a following sea. Although technically the hull design is not a trawler, the function is such that became known as the first “trailerable trawler”.
A True Downeast Classic
Seaway Boats History
In the 1970’s Harry Farmer founded Seaway Boats. Seaway built a name and substantial dealer network with their downeast-style boats that were distributed up and down the East Coast. The company took a break thru most of the 90’s and reemerged in 2001 working out of a new facility in Oxford, Maine.
Seaway's comeback got underway with a newly redesigned 21’ hard chine hull which quickly escalated to their current lineup of 18’ 21’ and 24’ models. With their downeast flare, wide beam and extensive woodwork, Seaway was back to what they were known for, offering a center console version with the 18’ model and both center console as well as bass boat “Seafarer” style with their 21’ and 24’ models.
The economic downturn in 2008 proved to be the final chapter of Seaway boats. In 2009, Eastern Boats recognized Seaway as a close competitor and was fortunate enough to be in a position to purchase Seaway Boats and relocated the companies molds from Maine to their Milton, NH facility. Eastern Boat Works continues to build the Seaway line as well as build up the line with new models and features.