Nothing but positive vibes were in the air Friday morning at the Ned's Point Road location of the Mattapoisett Boatyard. Family, friends and staff watched with delight as preparation for the foundation began. It was one month and five days from the one-year anniversary of the devastating fire which severely injured one boatyard employee and leveled the 60-year-old business.

"We just started scraping stone away an hour ago," said Ned Kaiser, whose family owns the boatyard.  Workers are prepping the lot for the foundation of what will be one of the largest buildings ever built in Mattapoisett.

Instead of five separate buildings, a few of which were sheds, the new boatyard will consist of one massive 80-foot by 130-foot structure.

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"The ceilings will be tall," Kaiser said. "We'll be able to drive our lift inside and work on the larger vessels."

Courtesy of Ned Kaiser
Courtesy of Ned Kaiser

The steel for the building will be delivered to the site in the last week of August. The foundation will need to be ready for construction within the next few weeks.

"We're trying to move fast," Kaiser said.

Kaiser estimates it will take six to eight weeks to get the steel building erected, then the inside will need to be finished. The goal is to be weatherproof by the time the chilly season starts.

Kaiser said the business was resilient over the past year.

"We really didn't have to change our operations too much," he said. "A lot of logistical things changed, obviously, but the staff powered through it.  We were 100% business as usual over the past year."

How Much Will the Rebuild Cost?

Kaiser estimates the cost of the upgrade to land somewhere around $2.5 million. What is surprising, however, is how little Kaiser says his insurance company is helping with the cost.

"We are looking at a budget of $2.5 million," he said. "Unfortunately, insurance is only going to cover about 30% of that."

Still, Kaiser remains positive. He predicts the new building will be state-of-the-art with everything his staff needs to do a world-class job on the boats they service. Kaiser thinks housing the entire operation under one roof may even double productivity.

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