MP&G (formerly known as Mcclave, Philbrick, and Giblin) is a small boatbuilding and restoration shop in Mystic, Connecticut. Our company was started in 1981 and the commercial boatbuilding experience of our partners dates back to 1974. We practice traditional plank-on-frame wood construction, specializing in extensive restorations of sailboats.

Amorita ready to leave the shop. Photo: Sally Anne Santos

Our projects have included restorations or major structural upgrades of 31 boats built by the Herreshoff Mfg. Co. Ranging from an 11′ frostbite dinghy to a 72′ “New York Fifty” sloop; six boats built by the Henry B. Nevins Co.; and many others, including boats built or designed by Fife, Concordia, Hodgdon, Persson, Dauntless, and Fay & Bowen.

We have focused on applying the efficiencies of new construction to extensive restorations that are intended to give aging boats an entirely new and long life. We emphasize restoring structural integrity, longevity, and maintainability. The boats we work on have lasted a long time already and we have great respect for their designers and builders. We go to great lengths to duplicate the original construction where it has proved to work well. But we also view each old boat as a collection of destructive test data about what did and did not work, and we don’t hesitate to make changes (which are often the application of other traditional methods) in the relatively few cases where improvements are warranted.

We practice old-time boatbuilding but we also espouse modern technology. We don’t use the technology in place of the old-time methods, but in support of those methods. We have in-house CAD capability using Autocad, Rhino, and other software, and in-house large-format plotting. We produce detailed plans and, often, full-sized patterns to support the work going on in the shop. We have developed mathematical techniques for predicting the elastic springback of steam-bent timbers and the software to implement those techniques, all in-house.

Not only does our spectrum range from venerable practices to the latest modern technology, but that spectrum is often spanned by the same people during the same day. A typical day at MP&G might find Andy truing up the edge of a mahogany board with an antique jointer plane, while the chips curl off and bury the iPad that he uses extensively to help manage the shop and to stay connected with clients. Ed might spend a morning driving #20 bronze screws, dripping with paint, using a big 14″ bit brace; and then later that same day develop a 3D CAD solid model for rapid prototyping or direct CNC milling of a piece of bronze hardware.