At the start of the 20th century catboat builders Crosby, Bigelow, and Phinney were immersed in a fierce rivalry for their unique, yet popular catboat designs. In 1911, in an attempt to separate himself from his rivals, Captain W.W. Phinney moved his boatbuilding operations from Cataumet to Falmouth Harbor, which had recently been created by the dredging of a tidal estuary, formerly known as Deacon’s Pond, by the U.S. Army Corps. By 1938, an aging Captain Phinney, beset with bad knees, sold the boatyard to William MacDougall and his two partners for a sum of $18,000 and the assumption of a $25,000 mortgage.
On September 21st, 1938 a hurricane struck Cape Cod, providing Cape Cod Marina with an opportunity to expand
its business. Another growth spurt occurred at the onset of
World War II when the boatyard was enlisted to convert some 25 sailing yachts, leased by the US government for the duration
of the war for $1.00, into coast watchers for the defense of local waters.
In the mid 1960’s, William MacDougall managed to buy out his original partners
and bring his children into the business. In 1972, after a decade of family
ownership, the MacDougalls’ of Falmouth sold Cape Cod Marina to ORE (Ocean
Research Equipment). In 1986, when ORE was contemplating closing the Cape
Cod Marina and replacing it with a condominium development, the McNeil,
Mooney and Berwind families joined together to purchase the yard and save
it from an untimely demise. In 2001 the Berwinds became sole owner of
MacDougalls’ Cape Cod Marina.
In 2006 the MacDougalls' facility was upgraded and expanded with a state
of the art paint booth that can accommodate vessels up to 80ft, a complete
engine repair shop, and designated electronics, sail loft, rigging, and winter
workshop areas. It is a fully 'green' facility with a best practice approach to
energy efficiency, air quality control, recycling, and waste management.