The Piers Project

The Buying Station

at Carter's Wharf

Preliminary Designs MORE

The Plan

Preliminary Designs ENLARGE

Carter's Wharf &

the Catholic Church/Old Co-op Pier

Preserving Working Waterfront and Our Maritime Heritage

Plans for the Carter's Wharf property at 87 Atlantic Avenue, Boothbay Harbor include creating a safe working wharf that will serve the fishermen of the region and provide a "living history" of the fishing industry. The seawall will be rebuilt, the wharf replaced and raised to FEMA flood zone levels, and a new buying station will be built.

Plans for the Old Co-op include replacing the deteriorated wharf and bringing it up to new FEMA flood zone elevations, replacing and reinforcing the line of floats that run perpendicular to the wharf and restoring the old co-op building. New pilings will be placed and 7 new floats will be built.

Visitors to the wharves will be able to see a working waterfront in action and view lobstermen as they land their catch and work on gear. Informational displays will be installed and additional information will be available online. Renovations are scheduled to start early in 2022.

The Old Co-op Pier

The little building on the right is the original Boothbay Region Fishermen's Co-op, one of the first co-ops in Maine. This wharf, ground out, parking area, and line of floats is leased by BRMF. It is currently closed to the public because it is not structurally sound.

Photo Courtesy of Havana Lyman

Carter's Wharf, formerly the Sea Pier

The original structure was built in 1960 but a portion of it was damaged during a storm and replaced in 2010. Due to unsafe conditions on the wharf, it is currently closed to the public.

Photo Courtesy of Havana Lyman

Critical Need

In order to provide provide fishermen with safe access to their boats and viewing areas for the public, we need to make major renovations to Carter's Wharf and the Old Co-op.

An engineering study completed in April of 2019 included the following information:

Based on our observations, the Sea Pier and building are severely deficient compared to the structural design loads associated with the proposed uses. Accessory elements such as the gangways are also deficient. We do not believe the structures can practically be repaired or upgraded in place. Since the building floor appears to be integral with the pier platform, it is similarly impractical to attempt to keep the building, which would also likely need substantial upgrade separate from, and in addition to, the first floor deficiencies. At a minimum the south and west sea walls require repair or reconstruction as well.

Based on our observations, the Catholic Church Pier (Old Co-op) is severely deficient compared to the structural design loads associated with the proposed uses. The building is in need of maintenance and repair but may be acceptable for certain light-weight uses (e.g. office space). Given the relatively small size of the building, it may be feasible to temporarily move the building off the pier to allow pier reconstruction and foundation improvements to occur. Building repairs could be performed as well, then the building could be moved back.

Given the apparent incompatibility between the existing structural capacity of the Sea Pier and building and the Catholic Church Pier, as compared to the design loads for the intended uses, we recommend complete replacement of both piers and the Sea Pier building. The smaller building on the Catholic Church Pier is in marginal condition, but could potentially be rehabilitated if desired and deemed practical for the proposed occupancy.


"Sea Pier – South façade; floats have bottomed out at low tide; floats are in varying states of disrepair."

North Platform

"North platform; platform slopes down toward the building and is separating from the building near the northwest corner."

Sea Wall 1

"South sea wall is stacked stones with concrete curb at the parking area; some medium to large stones have dislodged and fallen."

Sea Wall 2

"South sea wall steps down near southwest corner and becomes more of a mound of stones under the building along the west side"

Sea Wall 3

"West “sea wall” has disintegrated into a mound of stones in some areas; wood framing above is difficult to access"

Sea Wall 4

"Sea wall condition near northwest corner; concrete from slab placed above leaked to below; some old formwork remains"

Sea Wall 5

"Some stones have fallen out of the various sea walls"

Wharf 1

"Close-up of failed beams and joists"

Wharf 2

"Failed piles are visible in the water where they have rotten off and fallen over, now forming debris below the pier"

Ramps 1

"Gangways are severely undersized and materially degraded"

Ramps 2

"Gangway connections are inadequate"


"Structural support below hoist may be compromised or inadequate"

Wharf 3

"Typical framing consists of 6x8 beams with 2x6 to 3x8 joists and wood piles; many beams and piles are severely deteriorated"

Wharf 4

"The multitude of piles indicates years of bandaid repairs; steel pipe columns and I-beams added previously have also corroded"

Wharf 5

"Some beams have entirely failed; water from interior building operations is not contained and is soaking framing here"

Wharf 6

"Numerous piles have settled or rotten off with only the vertical drift pins preventing them from falling over"

Wharf 7

"Beams have been through bolted to fender piles where structural piles have failed; this condition is inadequate"

Church Pier/Sea Pier

View of (almost) parallel piers (Sea Pier to right; Catholic Church Pier to left)