Graham McKay, Marine Archaeologist & Boatbuilder

Born and raised along the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Massachusetts, I’ve always been fascinated with boats and the water. After four years of studying economics and playing baseball at Harvard I found myself not wanting to head to Wall St. along with the rest of my class. Thus, my incurable interest in all things maritime led me to become both a commercial fisherman, and professional sailor. By 29, I was: A Sea Captain, A Commercial Diver, and a Fisheries Scientist. Ethically, the killing of marine life involved in commercial fishing became too much for me, and it was at this time I chose to further my education in Maritime History and Archaeology, and moved to the U.K. to attend the University of Bristol where I obtained my Master’s Degree in Maritime Archaeology. I am now the Executive Director and Master Boatbuilder at Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, MA. Historically speaking, Lowell’s is the oldest operating wooden boat building business in the United States, as well as a working museum, whose mission is dedicated to continuing both the education and preservation of the craft of wooden boat building. ( For the past 8 years I have continued to build boats, captain tall ships, and have launched several youth programs in boat-building and related maritime experiences. I have travelled throughout New England teaching and lecturing on the art and craft of wooden boat building, and have consulted on marine archaeological projects and findings.