When we count our blessings, time spent in Maine is near the top of our list. There are few coastlines more spectacularly beautiful, but a down-to-earth, no-nonsense sensibility is the state’s enduring hallmark. You can see that reflected in its boats, too, where form follows function in the region’s native Down East designs. As a result, there are few ugly boats in Maine.
When Chris-Craft made the commitment to change to fiberglass construction, it did so in a big way. America’s biggest boatbuilder was losing market share in the early 1960s, and fiberglass was the reason. Chris-Craft salesmen continued to preach the virtues of wood while companies such as Hatteras, Bertram, Boston Whaler and Sea Ray were showing off glass boats to an audience that was eager for the flashy new low-maintenance designs.
If you haven’t followed the adventures of Arawak in the pages of Soundings’ sister magazine Power & Motoryacht or at betterpowerboat.com, here are the basics. In 2013, the AIM Marine Group launched a project known as My Boatworks, in which a 1996 Grand Banks 42 would be given a thorough refit with the help of sponsoring partners.
The Cape Dory 28 debuted in 1984, featuring a traditional trunk cabin, a single engine and a roomy cruising interior. During its decade-long production run, she set a standard for the fleet of salty Down East-style cruisers that would follow.
By typical kindergarten standards, John C. Harris was sort of a weird kid. As a 5-year-old he preferred fiddling with the pencils, compasses and other drawing tools on his father’s drafting table to the more conventional childhood games his friends were playing outside. And when his classmates were drawing engineering schematics in high school drafting class, Harris’ frustrated teacher simply left him alone to design and draw what he was completely obsessed with: boats.
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