Launch Into Spring and Summer! Hinckley Southwest Harbor Delivers New Boats and Service Projects Coast to Coast and And Celebrates 85 years!
Southwest Harbor, Maine: The warmer weather has been stubborn about arriving but the forecast is more than sunny for customers of Hinckley Service Southwest Harbor. Under the leadership of Will Ratcliff, the yard’s new operations manager, customers ranging from summer residents to local fisherman to Bar Harbor’s commercial tourism fleet have benefited from the vast range of experience of the Hinckley crew and the massive infrastructure of the venerable Southwest Harbor yard. The Hinckley Company endures as no other yard in the US and celebrates its 85th year this year.
Equipped with the largest travelift in the area at 160 tons, vessels like Bar Harbor’s Friendship V powercat are annual service customers. Hinckley’s versatile Southwest Harbor work force, of 55 nimbly shift gears from such projects to working on the more than 100 Talaria Jet and Picnic Boats, Hinckley sail and other sail and power yachts. Owners from as far away as Naples FL, Long Island Sound and the Great Lakes deliver their boats to Hinckley Southwest Harbor for large refit projects and annual maintenance.
“Discerning owners come to Hinckley because this yard can provide the service and expertise that most yards can’t and the rest won’t,” said Ratcliff. “Henry Hinckley said ‘If you want the job done right you have to do it yourself.’ That way of thinking is imbued in this crew.” Proof of that statement is behind every door in the Hinckley yard. The 113,000 square feet of work sheds – the majority of which is heated - were filled this winter with other world class brands such as Alden, Morris, Lyman-Morse, Grand Banks, Sabre, C&C, Bertrams, Vikings and others.
But not all boat owners have the luxury of turning over their boat for the winter to have work done. Such was the case of FV Sherrie Marie. The Deer Isles fishermen purchased the boat at the beginning of the season and wanted improvements made but needed a tight turnaround. Ratcliff met with the fishermen and put together a 7-day turn around refit that included – a steering shaft overhaul, fiberglass and paint work. The boat was launched on time and on budget.
This time of year, the paint bays are never empty. Hinckley will paint 37 new and service boats between January and May. And from now until July 4th Great Harbor will be humming as 30 new Talarias are launched and under go sea trials before being delivered to their new owners. In that mix, Greg Ball and his team of veteran sailboat builders will be sea trialing Integrity, a new Sou'wester 42. Built for a long time customer, this 42-footer is the 78th hull built. Since 1928 the company has launched 831 sailboats and 1655 jet and power boats.
“It’s go time,” said Ratcliff. “We look forward to welcoming our owners and customers back and handing over their boats for what we hope will be a great summer.”
About The Company.
The Hinckley Company began by building workboats for the local fishing and lobster industry in Maine and built its first pleasure boats in the 1930s. By1960, it altered course launching the Bermuda 40 sailing yacht. The B-40, as she came to be called, was (and is) a true “gentleman’s ocean racer” both graceful and balanced, stunning qualities that would earn her a place in the American Sailboat Hall of Fame. The Bermuda 40 design was as successful on the race course as she was pleasing to the eye. And Henry Hinckley built her out of fiberglass, a relatively new building material for the times, but one that Hinckley had been pioneering the use of since the mid-fifties. This combination of elegant form, material innovation and brilliant attention to finishing detail set the course Hinckley has been on ever since in the pleasure boat business.
The Hinckley Company, founded in 1928, is now a world-renowned builder of premium sailboats and jetboats from 29 to 70 feet in length in Trenton and Southwest Harbor, Maine, and it operates eight service yards along the U.S. East Coast. Hinckley has approximately 1,500 boat owners and over 8,000 service customers. It is privately owned by Scout Partners, a partnership between David Howe and Peterson Capital LLC. Peterson Capital was founded by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson. Jim McManus serves as President and CEO.