The first Huckins launched in 1928 — talk about a bad time to start a business — but the name achieved real prominence in the 1940s, when the company was contracted to produce two squadrons of PT boats for the U.S. Navy. Built of the carbon fiber of the day — triple-planked mahogany and plywood — these lightweight craft were part of the Navy’s gasoline-powered mosquito fleet of hit-and-run torpedo boats.
Mark Ellis is well known in New England power and sail circles for his efficiently propelled and neoclassical designs. Born 69 years ago in Watertown, N.Y., he worked early in his career for noted yacht designers Ray Hunt, Ted Hood and Phil Rhodes.
I enjoy drawing by hand, although my office only issues drawings in some form of CAD. My first step in a new design is to sketch an outboard profile and deck plan to a size and form that I think will allow for the hull shape and interior volume, fitting the practical requirements of the design.
Seattle-based Blue North — with interests in timber, agriculture, boatbuilding and fishing — describes itself as a “sustainable resource company.” But this company does more than talk a good game; it subscribes to cutting-edge technology and high-quality craftsmanship that demonstrate its commitment to the environment. The proof is in its latest fishing boat design, a remarkable 191-footer being built for Blue North’s Alaskan cod hook-and-line business.
My family and I recently had the use of Back Cove’s new Downeast 37, the Maine builder’s fresh take on its original 37. We ran the boat from Portland, Maine, to Newport, R.I., for the boat show in early September, with leisurely stops along the way in Kennebunkport, Maine, and North Weymouth, Plymouth and Falmouth, Mass.
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