When Boston Whaler moved from Rockland, Massachusetts, to Florida in 1991, Paul Hureau stayed behind. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy
graduate had spent 18 years with the pioneering builder of foam-filled unsinkable boats. His experience in the Coast Guard as chief of a district boating safety branch — he earned a commendation for his work — had served him well. At Whaler, he’d created the commercial products division, which produced boats for police, fire, military and rescue organizations.
Hureau and his wife, Bev Brown, saw a chance to design and build their own boats. In 1992, the couple established Maritime Skiff. The mission was to build a line of small, fuel-efficient, stable center console boats that were wide-beamed, foam-filled and unsinkable, easy to rig and service, and powered with a small to midsize outboard.
Hureau designed the basic hull shape, giving the 18-footer a rounded bow, wide chines and a variable deadrise for a dry, stable ride. He contracted with North End Composites in Maine as the builder. The simple, functional boats were an instant success for recreational and commercial use. During the next 15 years, Maritime Skiff produced more than 20 center console, cabin and express models. In 2004, the company arranged for Kenway Corp. of Augusta, Maine, to provide the hulls and components. In 2007, Hureau sold Maritime Skiff to the owners of Kenway, who continued the boatbuilding philosophy as Maritime Marine.
“The Maritime Skiff line was engineered from [Hureau’s] vast experience in — and dedication to — boating,” Maritime Marine’s Peter Galvin said when Hureau died in 2013. “Every time he stepped on a boat, he would immediately start thinking of ways to make it safer, stronger or ride better. He was ahead of his time.”
The Maritime Marine fleet today comprises skiff, center console, cabin and pilothouse models from 14 to 25 feet.
This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue.