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Of Lobsters and Lobster Boats

Lobster boat timeline

How to Buy a Lobster

Want to show off and treat family and friends to crustaceans? They’re always good to eat, but there are ways to make sure you get great lobster. Follow these simple tips:


Buy as close to the water as you can. If the place has a dock out back where lobster boats pull in to unload, you’re on the right track.

Look for active bugs. You want them to splay their legs and claws when picked up—that means they haven’t lost their will to live yet, and gotten into the sedentary life in the tank that causes their meat to shrink away from the shell.

How to Cook a Lobster

BEGINNER: Steam, don’t boil. Using a big pot with an inch or two of salted water in the bottom is the way to go. How long? 33 seconds of cook time per ounce of hard-shell weight. Soft shells, go with 25 seconds per ounce.

lobster in pot

ADVANCED: Not for the faint of heart. Split live lobsters right down the middle and cook meat side down on the grill to start, then flip and grill until meat is cooked through. Add butter and lemon in the shell.

EXPERT: Dig a pit in the sand (make sure you have permission), fill it with large rocks and burn a hardwood fire in it all afternoon. Carefully sweep embers away, cover rocks with seaweed known as rockweed and place lobsters, silked corn on the cob, foil-wrapped russet potatoes, and steamer clams atop the seaweed and cover with a heavy, wet, canvas tarp or burlap. Everything should be cooked in an hour, and will take on a salty, smoky flavor that’s worth the effort.

How to Eat Lobster

lobster roll

There’s only one way to eat lobster while driving a boat—the lobster roll. The New England-style hot-dog roll is key, buttered and grilled. Not too much mayo. No celery, thanks.

Down East design is a perfect marriage of form and function. We take a good, hard look at what it is about these boats’ designs that makes them so special. If you’ve ever appreciated the pretty lines of a Down East boat as she passed you by, read here. ➤

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.