Belfast

44°26'N 69°0'W

For many years, Belfast was known not for its cruising grounds, but rather for its chickens. This town near the head of Penobscot Bay was the "broiler capital of the world" during the middle of the twentieth century, its factories running around the clock to keep Frank Purdue and other poultry giants supplied with enough product for America's TV dinners. The chicken industry was followed in the early 1990s by the financial industry as credit card giant MBNA opened a call center in town, but with the dawning of the new millenium has come a renewed focus on Belfast's greatest natural attribute — its waterfront.

The first custom boatbuilders to put Belfast on the yachting map were French & Webb, whose new builds and exquisite reconstructions have made them legendary among Herreshoff afficionados and others seeking the finest wooden-boat craftsmanship. Their success was later followed by Front Street Shipyard, which within just a few years has put Belfast on the map of skippers steering everything from megayachts to pocket cruisers. The facilities now available on the Belfast waterfront, coupled with a revitalized downtown that offers some of the finest and most unique dining options on the Maine coast, has made this harbor at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River a new destination for an increasing number of boaters and other coastal travelers.