Mike learned to sail on his family’s Sunfish on a small lake in Connecticut. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in history from Union College in New York, he returned to Connecticut to unite his passion for sailing with his love of history at the Mystic Seaport Museum. While at the Museum, Mike learned the fundamentals of sailmaking and sail repair from Captain Dan Moreland of Picton Castle, and proceeded to lead the maintenance of the Museum’s sails.
Mystic Seaport has an important role in our history. Not only did it introduce Mike to the art of sailmaking, but it also introduced him to his wife, Harley. Also a Connecticut native, Harley became enamored with maritime studies when she was a student at Williams-Mystic and continued to work at the Seaport.
In 2013, Mike joined the crew at Nathaniel Wilson’s sail loft, where he worked on the suit of sails for the Charles W. Morgan and NY-50 Spartan restorations among many other projects.
The idea for M&H Bartles, Sailmakers has been years in the making. Mike has dreamed of owning his own loft since his Mystic days and after his years in Maine, felt drawn to contribute to the state’s prestigious reputation in the maritime industry. After Harley began working at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath in summer 2018, Mike was inspired to finally start his loft. Thanks to a supportive group of friends and family, we opened in the fall of 2018.
Mike and Harley live in Boothbay Harbor with their new baby, Teddy, and two dogs, Rigby and Bowie.
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