A Fond Farewell

Mystic Seaport and the maritime community bid farewell to Robert “Bob” Lane.
Robert Lane
Robert Lane aboard Congar in 2013 / Photo courtesy Christopher Finn

Mystic Seaport and the maritime community bid farewell to Robert “Bob” Lane. Mr. Lane, 89, passed away peacefully January 15, 2015 in Lewiston, Maine, with his family by his side.

A former Sea Scout, Lane was aboard the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan when she came up the Mystic River and arrived at Mystic Seaport on November 8, 1941. He shared some of his memories from that historic moment when he attended the Morgan‘s 70th Anniversary Celebration in 2011.


During World War II, at 19 years old, Lane captained a sea-going tug which helped build the artificial harbors that allowed tanks and heavy equipment to get ashore during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In 1951 he started the Penobscot Boat Works, “Penbo,” in Rockport, Maine, with his father, Carl D. Lane. The boat shop turned out a diverse stable of high-quality wooden vessels ranging from runabouts to their unique trawler-hulled, ocean-going luxury cruisers. Their innovative designs changed the world of cruising houseboats and are still celebrated. After retirement, Lane and his wife, Esther, made 10 voyages to the Bahamas on the Penbo-built Star of Maine. Beginning in 1966, summers were spent on Cranberry Island in Muscongus Bay. In later years, Lane spent his time building ship models and some of his works are on display at the Bath Maritime Museum.

“He was quite a man who lived quite a life,” said Charles W. Morgan Historian Matthew Stackpole.

Lane is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, his sister, four children, five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.