We are a Maine company that specializes in the manfacturing of Maine themed giftware. Products include printed stained glass, lobster buoys and other nautical themed gifts.
All Mainely Buoy Products are handcrafted by Maine crafts people using time honored tools and techniques. Our products are created using locally sourced, sustainably harvested natural resources. Buoys and Pilings are crafted using Eastern White Cedar, a naturally buoyant and rot resistant wood that is the traditional material of choice for these items.
Although buoys have been long used by lobster fisherman in lobster fishing areas along the entire East Coast, the wooden buoys used by the Maine coast lobsterman have a unique and storied past.
The buoys of yesteryear were simple pieces of wood, usually cedar, but anything would do. Northern Maine cedar was primarily used because of its durability in the salt water and the fact that it was easy to obtain. As time passed, fisherman became more fanciful and began to shape their buoys so they would torpedo into the tide. These pieces of wood were most often carved and shaped to the whims of the individual lobsterman. Names and initials were later carved into the buoys when some started to look alike.
Today, wood lobster buoys are used sparingly due to the damage they cause to boat props and the use of modern materials, such as plastic. The wooden buoy is truly a rarity, but they are still carved by Mainely Buoys using an old jig built around 1920. Just as in days gone by, our buoys are hand painted and branded with our license numbers as required.
Buoys that have checked (cracked) are a common concern of storeowners and the retail consumer alike. Please let me assure you that this is not a problem, and the checking does not get any worse with the passing of time. Finding a buoy that has not checked is virtually impossible and I would estimate the 98% of our buoys have this condition.
Checking is a result of the drying process of wood and occurs as the heartwood (center of the tree) expands and contracts as the tree dries after having been cut and debarked.
Our buoys are made from the tree length round Northern White Cedar. In other words, the buoy is just slightly small than the diameter of the tree from which it was cut. The buoy is made from the round tree stock, which means that each piece contains the heartwood, as opposed to other products that are made from larger trees and cut down to size. Once the heartwood has completely dried and the checking process stops, no further cracking occurs. Each piece of buoy wood is left with at least one unique check as a result of this process.