The Muscongus Bay sloop was a very popular inshore fishing (hand lining) and lobstering boat type in mid-coast Maine in the mid 19th century. Locally called sloop boats, small ones like this evolved into larger sloop boats, thirty feet or so long, commonly called Friendship sloops as many were built in Friendship. This boat has Bristol on her trailboard which may indicate her town.
This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887. This book can be found online at NOAA
This photo shows the great volume of lobstering activity in a small harbor like Friendship. A relatively modern lobster boat (for the 1950s) lies at the wharf. There are the usual piles of lobster traps and hanging buoys. A double-ender or peapod probably used as a tender lies at the ramp. In the anchorage are a number of open lobster boats, one with a canvas cover for the engine and what appears to be a Friendship sloop converted to power with a standing shelter where the cuddy once was forward.
Vinalhaven's Carver's Harbor is frozen solid. Six sloop boats ( Friendship sloops) are locked in the ice along with a couple of the new power lobsterboats. The sloop boat in the foreground has a lobster trap hauler so it has an auxiliary engine. In the background is the lighthouse tender Zizania which brought a small amount of supplies to the island which had been icebound for a week or more.
In 1895, Defender was built at the Herreshoff Company in Bristol, Rhode Island and successfully defended the America's Cup, with a crew from Deer Isle, Maine. Defender was radical, having a bronze bottom and aluminum topsides, creating a floating battery, which dissolved aluminum. She was dismantled in 1901, but was functional long enough to challenge the new Columbia in 1899 to become the Cup defender.
Painted in 1996 by marine historian, boatbuilder and artist Paul Stubing, this well-researched watercolor shows a Friendship sloop, commonly called a sloop-boat by most fishermen, off the shore of Eagle Island in the Penobscot Bay about 1898. A lobsterman is hauling a trap from a peapod just behind the sloop-boat. There is a mackerel schooner riding to the wind with her mainsail up in the background, loading herring from a dory that took it from a herring weir. Paul Stubing described the painting:
Model of an Eastport pinky sloop, used both for fishing and as a carry-away boat to bring herring from weirs to sardine plants in the Eastport area. Also called a Quoddy Boat.
A pinky is a double-ender, taking its name from the "pinked" or pinched in stern. Schooners traditionally had bulwarks ( the sides above the deck) carried up past the rudder to form a tombstone where the main boom could be stored.