This boat is semi-custom design. The molded parts such as the hull and deck are as they come out of the mold. However the interior layout, outfitting and level of finish is custom. Following is one example of a 43 Cape Islander.

This 43 is built by the original Cape Island boatbuilder that started the famous style of "Cape Island Boats" back in 1905. Taken from the lines of a commercial fishing trawler, this design has all the seaworthy qualities built into one fine "Lobster Yacht"

With a full keel, flat aft and rounded sides, this yacht will give you a safe and comfortable ride in rough weather conditions that would send most boats back into the harbour.

With wide side decks and properly positioned handrails, walking around and going forward to tend the anchor, manage a line or just to look around is easy and safe to accomplish.

Nice clean truck cabin with lots of deck hatches for light and ventilation into the cabins below.

Good example of a well designed and built ladder. All stainless steel, wide threads and short rise provides amply footing and easy stepping up to the fly bridge. When the boat is rolling and you have to go up, and more importantly when you’re coming back down, it is assuring to have a solid and safe hand and foot hold.

The fly bridge is a special place on the boat. The elevated view provides a platform where you can experience a special moment that can only be felt when sitting in the fly bridge. You can drive the boat, look for fins and spouts or just lounge around with a cold drink in your hand.

The fly bridge provides an un-obstructed view around the boat. You can be more confident when moving in close to a dock or looking for coral heads and shoals. Also be more relaxed when entering a harbour where small craft and swimmers can be hard to see.

One solution to manage all the topside electronics and equipment is the use of an Arch. As well as being elevated, it provides a platform to secure everything. The Arch also provides a conduit for all the wires and cables. Makes for a proper and neat installation.

The steering station is on the starboard side and has a double seat. Instruments, electronics and electrical panels are close on hand.

Port side wheelhouse galley is a U shaped arrangement and fully equipped. Wood panels and trim are solid teak and the floor is finished in ceramic tile. This galley location is pivotal to all functions and keeps the cook/crew close on hand.

The dining area has a large table and bench seating. With comfortable cushioned seats and lots of leg room provides the makings for a fine dining experience with your friends.

Opposite the dining area is the lounge. With a long cushioned seat complimented with a hutch, bookcase and ottoman makes for great place to relax or read after a day of activities. When on a long passage, the crew can bunk out and stay close on hand, in case a quick hand is required.

Centerline stair with large steps and handrail, takes you forward to the sleeping compartments. On the left is the head, on the right the spare cabin and forward the master stateroom.

Master cabin forward with centerline Queen bed, ample cupboards, hanging closet and easy step up around the foot of the bed. Finished in solid teak boards.

Spare cabin with L shape overlap double/single bunks with storage drawers under. Inside the door and on the right a small writing table suitable for a lap top/small office arrangement.

Comfortable washroom with glass shower stall, ample storage and cupboards. Finished in ceramic tile, high density counter and solid wood teak trim.

The engine room is under the salon floor with steps down through the interior floor hatch. Lots of space around the engine, easy to get at all the mechancial and electrical equipment, room for the gen set, tools and all supplies required for routine maintenance.


L.O.A. 48'7"
L.O.D. 43'0"
L.W.L. 40'5"
Beam 15'4"
Draft 4'4"
Fuel 500 gallons
Water 150 gallons
Displacement 32,000 pounds
Freeboard bow 7'6"
Freeboard stern 3'10"
Headroom 6'6"
Sleeping Accomodations 7
Height waterline to anchor light 18'5"
Height waterline to top of arch 16'11"
Height waterline to top of windscreen 13'10"


Before the Downeast lobster boat, there was the Cape Island Boat.


In a memorable visit to Sable Island, Nova Scotia, in the summer of 1965, Dr. Melville Bell Grosvenor, president emeritus of the National Geographic Society, was struck by the beautiful and remote desolation of the place. He and his party had arrived by boat, 46-foot Nevins-built “White Mist.” and had rowed ashore to the deserted beach in their 8-foot dink. His visit followed by some 65 years, an earlier visit by his grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell, who also came by sea and was similarly struck by the Island’s compelling beauty. Dr. Grosvenor described the Island thusly “The only permanent thing about Sable Island is its loneliness.” Well, from his particular perspective on that deserted, wild-horse-inhabited beach, having navigated through chilling fogs, treacherous currents and the notorious surfpounding West Bar that surrounded Sable, Dr. Grosvenor’s quote is quite understandable.

However, from our current perspective, aided and abetted by a study of the origins of the modern-day lobsterboat, one can safely state another “permanent thing”-- the Cape Island boat-- about Sable Island. This durable vessel was created, designed and has been built on Cape Sable Island by the Atkinson family since 1905. It has been the precursor of Nova Scotian and Downeast Maine lobsterboats for generations.

The story of the Cape Island boat started back in 1905 in the town of Clark’s Harbor on Sable Island, now known as Cape Sable Island. The economy of Sable Island has, since its founding back in 1760 when two families emigrated over from Cape Cod, been based on the great abundance of fish to be found off its shores. The fisherman has historically been the mainstay of the Island’s economy. When he does well, the fish-processing plants operate at capacity, the boat-building yards are humming and the economy is generally buoyant. When the fishing prospects are poor, money becomes scarce and the entire Island suffers.

Does the name, Ephraim Atkinson ring a bell? Well, he’s the man who designed and built the original Cape Island boat back in 1905, and whose descendents have continuously refined and improved it over the past 84 years. But, I’m getting a bit ahead of my story.

Ephraim Atkinson had been a carpenter all his life, starting with his apprenticeship in 1874 at the age of 16. Following his marriage to Jessie Mackinnon, he moved to Cape Sable Island in 1883 and there set up shop as a house builder to support his growing family. In fact, several of Ephraim’s houses, nearly 100 years old are still standing and occupied.

Ephrairm Atkinson’s forward-thinking design was a complete departure from the existing fishing boat designs. While the other builders were still turning out boats propelled by ketch or sloop sailing rig, Ephraim was building stronger and beamier hulls with a deeper keel and designed to be powered by gasoline motor. His boats achieved far greater stability and carrying capacity then any of the others, enabling the fishermen to go out more days of the year, to stay out in worse weather and to carry heavier loads of traps and gear. These early boats, hand-built with oak for the keel and hackmatack and pine planks for the hull, decking and house, were tough and formidable sea boats. It was not uncommon for a fisherman to use his Atkinson Cape Islander for more than twenty years -- and then to sell it, often for more than he had originally paid, to get a current model Atkinson boat.

By the time Ephraim retired in 1938 at the age of 80, his three sons had taken over the business. During those early years he had seen his creation, the Cape Islander, become the standard for inshore fishing boats. One of his accomplishments was his sale, in the 1920’s, of a Cape Islander to William Frost of Maine, grandfather of famed marine designer Royal Lowell. This early Cape Islander was the forerunner of what we now know as the Downeast lobster boat.

Over the many years and through the two world wars, the Cape Islander has become highly valued for its reliability, beauty of line, seaworthiness and stability as a fishing platform. So successful has been the design, that some 80% of Nova Scotia’s commercial fishing fleet of under 65-feet are Cape Islanders, and the grandsons of Ephraim Atkinson, Bruce and Freebert, still build the Cape Islander on Clark’s Harbor, Cape Sable Island.

Keeping pace with modern technology, the Bruce Atkinson yard has departed from the traditional native woods of oak, spruce and white pine, now producing 37’, 41’ and 44’ Cape Islander in FRP and newer composite construction. This modern Cape Islander, of which Atkinson has produced over 400 boats in the past 10 years is constructed to pass the rigid requirements and inspection of the Canadian Department of Transport, the Provincial Fisheries Loan Board and the Federal Department of Fisheries of Canada.

Bruce Atkinson has built a number of finely finished pleasure boats. For several years, the exclusive builder of the Monk Tralwers and recently has also taken on the Blue Seas 33, a very popular yacht that was designed by a well know designer Royal Lowell of Maine.

In the early 1990's, Bruce constructed the molds for the 43 yacht version of his Cape Islander. This broad-beamed giant of a boat, roomy, stable and absolutely beautiful to behold is now the 43 Cape Islander Flybridge Sedan Trawler and is the only available Cape Island Trawler offered in a historically and original fashion.

contact us