Ready to go for the Maine coast summer boating season, local on-water boat towing and assistance service TowBoatUS Castine has a new owner. Capt. Darren Shute, a Stockton Springs native and 25-year lobsterman, purchased the business from the estate of the former owner and well-loved Capt. Bill Stevenson, who died tragically in a car accident in October 2022.
“I want to thank Bill’s daughters, Hanna and Olivia, and their mother Jody, for their graciousness and confidence in me to provide the same trusted service for boaters that Bill did,” said Shute. “I’m humbled to follow in his footsteps.” Bill’s daughters are continuing to run Pen Bay Marine with the hopes of finding a suitable buyer in the near future.
Shute, an Eastern Tech graduate who had a 35-year career as an electrician / supervisor at the paper mill in Bucksport, is joined in the new business venture with his wife, Penni, who oversees business operations. Capt. Dick Horan, a familiar face on Penobscot Bay patrolling in TowBoatUS Castine’s 26-foot red TowBoatUS response vessel, remains with the company as port captain.
Most recently, Shute had partnered with his son, Justin, at Stockton Springs Marine, a full-service boatyard offering storage, maintenance, repair and outboard sales business. Justin is now the sole owner of Stockton Springs Marine. As a lobsterman, Shute held an offshore license for a few years, venturing far on his 36-foot boat, sometimes under severe conditions. Today Shute’s TowBoatUS response vessel is stationed at Stockton Springs Harbor and provides towing, ungrounding, prop disentanglement, battery jumps and fuel drop-off services up to 25 miles offshore. The towing port is one of 21 on the New England coast and part of nationwide network of 300 TowBoatUS locations.