Today’s center consoles do much more than fish.
They’re bigger, faster and no longer angler-exclusive. Center consoles have undergone a sea change in the past 10 to 15 years, morphing from hard-core fishing machines to multiple-mission, all-purpose boats.
Illustration by Jim Ewing
William Hand covered a lot of ground as one of America’s pre-eminent yacht designers. His lasting legacy is an admirable fleet of 42 husky, seafaring yachts known today as the Hand motorsailers.
Designed from 1927 through 1942, these cruising craft took the powerboat’s reliability and added a sailing dimension for versatility, creating a hybrid with tremendous range when motorsailing and the ability to sail without power.
Boatbuilding in the Lowell family goes back to 19th century Nova Scotia through six consecutive generations of captains, fishermen and merchant mariners. “We went from square riggers to lobster boats,” says Jamie Lowell, who along with his younger brother Joe took over the business when their father, Carroll Lowell, died in 1997. Their great-grandfather, Will Frost, built the family’s first powerboat in 1901, when the fishing world was shifting from sailing vessels.
John St. Hilaire’s Down East lobster yacht Thorobred is a ‘piece of Maine craftsmanship
The story of the Maine-built lobster yacht Thorobred is anything but typical. The red-hulled 38-footer was conceived by its owner as a traditional 43-foot wooden lobster boat like those the native Mainer admired as a youth — and like the ones the nearby Lowell boatbuilding family has been turning out for decades.
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