WINTERPORT, ME (AP).- Boat enthusiast Jon Johansen has set out on an ambitious and exhaustive task: documenting every ship built in the United States.
For years, the 56-year-old publisher of the monthly Maine Coastal News has catalogued more than 50,000 vessels from 20-foot lobster boats to seven-masted schooners to modern-day warships.
Eventually, the Winterport, Maine man plans to create a Web site with his gobs of information and call it the International Maritime Library. He says it's his way of helping preserve a part of America's rich maritime past.
He's collected facts about every vessel their names, when and where they were built, their tonnage and dimensions, and the captains who sailed them. He has scoured libraries, museums, ship registries and old yellowed newspapers and has made audio recordings of some of the old boat builders.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.