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.
When I visited Eastern and Seaway boats in early 2011, the company was struggling to make a comeback from the recession. It had gone from building 117 boats in 2007 — the company’s best year — to 54 in 2009. But even at its nadir, Eastern was busy producing new models, including budget boats targeted to the times. It even bought two of its competitors, and the results have been positive.
Before Soundings editor-in-chief Bill Sisson asked me to write about the new Jupiter 41 Sportbridge, its enclosed deckhouse had already caught my attention from among the scores of boats I saw at the earlier boat shows. The coupe styling is really sleek, of course, but what drew this old ship driver to it was the promise of excellent visibility from the wheel, with the wraparound windshield merging largely with the side windows.
The smart design and smooth ride make it an offshore winner
I spent some time on the new Hunt 44 last summer and came away impressed for a number of reasons. This Down East express cruiser is a real machine in the best possible sense.
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