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From PT Boats to Leisure Craft

In the 1930s, this popular boating and dining destination experienced humble beginnings that had worldwide impact.

Photo courtesy of Kingman Yacht Center

Today, Cataumet and Pocasset are quiet villages in the town of Bourne which run along the knobby coastline of Buzzards Bay. The deep water coves, fresh southwest breeze and plenty of islands, harbors and anchorages make the area a boaters’ paradise. During the pre-war era of the 1930s, the region was obviously much quieter and even less populated, however, the rich maritime history of the area, which spooled out over several hundred years, has always made a mark on the ingenuity and resourcefulness that is still evident today. As Kenneth Graeme wrote in The Wind in the Willows, “There is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

One person who understood that concept completely was T. Barry Kingman, the founder of the current day Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet. As a young man in 1932, Kingman got his start at Captain Butts’ Boat Shop on Patuisset Island in Pocasset. Not really an island at all, but rather a peninsula connected by a small isthmus along Hen’s Cove, the site was ideally situated for boat building and sea-trialing with its quiet cove, and faster currents in the water leading out to Redbrook Harbor and Buzzards Bay beyond. With the threat of World War a real possibility, and the eastern coast of the United States a potential front, Kingman’s crew four 36-foot aircraft rescue boats, built at Butts’ yard in the early 1940s.

When a hurricane destroyed the shed at Butts’, Kingman migrated all operations to a second site he had already established on Redbrook Harbor Road where Parker’s Boatyard currently exists. In 1947, H. Ransome “Raz” Parker took over the lease of the yard and Kingman moved across…

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