If any boatbuilder in Maine understands the need for diversification, it’s Lyman-Morse. Ever since he took over as president from his father Cabot in 2013, Drew Lyman and his wife, Mackenzie, have worked to ensure that the company can withstand the ups and downs of the boatbuilding industry. Over the years they’ve added numerous non-marine divisions to the company’s portfolio, but there is no lack of boatbuilding at Lyman-Morse, and the company is regularly rolling new boats out of its sheds.
In early June, Lyman-Morse sea-trialed and launched the first of its Hood 35s, an express version of the new C.W. Hood design, which will be the first recreational vessel to use military-grade controls for the new Hamilton HJX29 water jets, which can be controlled with Hamilton’s “boat mouse.” A computer-like mouse shaped like a boat, it allows the operator to move the boat by simply moving the mouse to where he or she wants the boat to go. With twin 480-hp Yanmars, the 35 was clocked doing more than 40 knots at its first sea trial.
The owner is a tech executive who wanted a New England look and the latest technologies in his boat. The 35 has a cold-molded, wood-composite hull made out of Douglas fir and Western red cedar and features drone controls, remote cameras and the ability to operate autonomously. The FLIR camera has a motion sensor that can track anything that crosses the boat’s path, even if it’s just a bird. The console is Tesla-inspired, and down below the berth moves forward and aft on a finger-jointed sliding panel that the owner helped design. Hull No. 2, a flybridge version, is already under construction and will head to a client in Florida.
The yard is also constructing an Express version of the Hunt-designed Monhegan 42, a hull it has built previously. An additional Hunt/Lyman-Morse collaboration is scheduled to be announced in September.
Two semi-custom LM46 sailboats were recently completed, and a deposit has been taken on a third. Hull No. 2 was launched in April with a racing keel and a high-tech sail package. It immediately recorded the best elapsed time in May’s 140-nautical-mile Sam Wetherill Trophy Overnight Race, an early prep race for the Bermuda Race.
Last but not least—and possibly most noteworthy considering how electric boats are catching on—the yard was contracted by Silicon Valley start-up Navier to build the first two Navier 27 foiling electric boats. In May, composite Hull No. 1 was painted, and No. 2 was already in the mold. The foils and engines will be supplied by Navier. Lyman-Morse will do the build and integration, and the goal is to get Hull No. 1 completed in time for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. With sailboats and various power and electric boats rolling out of its sheds, Lyman-Morse is fully diversified.
FRONT STREET SHIPYARD
On the heels of last year’s launches—which included a pilotboat-to-mailboat conversion, and a new 30-foot Holland lobster boat powered by a 300-hp Yamaha outboard—three more new-build projects are underway at Belfast’s Front Street Shipyard.
Inside Building 5, a Ray Hunt-designed, 41-foot dayboat with a composite-built deep-V hull and conservative styling to create what the design firm calls “a modern classic” is nearing completion. It was commissioned by a client who plans to use the boat for entertaining and occasional sportfishing in New England waters. The open cockpit is designed for socializing and features ample seating with a hidden fish box and recessed fishing rod holders. Down below, there is a cabin and head with enclosed shower for occasional overnighting. The interior features an oiled teak sole in the salon and varnished cherry cabinetry and trim that contrasts with white panels.
The hull topsides and deck are cored fiberglass for a lightweight construction and high performance. At 41 feet, 6 inches LOA and with a beam of 13 feet, 6 inches it will be powered by two Volvo Penta D6-IPS 650 engines and is expected to cruise at 32 knots with a top speed of 38 knots. Next to the Hunt, two Mussel Ridges are taking shape. A 46 will become a commercial fishing boat and a 42 will be turned into a recreational boat that will get launched in 2023.
Up Route 1 at the shipyard’s Bucksport facility, hulls and decks for SW Boatworks’ 42- and 44-foot models and the ever-popular Crowley 36 lobster boats are being laid up for other builders. In addition, Front Street recently brought an inland solar farm online that on a sunny day produces 2000 kilowatts, supplying 40 to 45 percent of the yard’s electrical needs, which keeps the yard humming along.
Brooklin Boat Yard (BBY) continues to build stunning sailboats and beautiful powerboats.
This spring, BBY launched the first Eggemoggin 47 Plus racing daysailer. The original Eggemoggin 47, which was drawn by former BBY in-house designer Bob Stephens, was launched in 2001. Three modified versions of the original 47, drawn in a collaboration between BBY’s Eric Blake and Keith Dibble and Marblehead-based yacht designer Jim Taylor, were launched in 2012 and 2013. But the latest iteration, Tink, drawn by current BBY in-house designer Will Sturdy, is a heavily modified 47, which is why it’s called the 47 Plus.
Sturdy often races on the second-generation 47s, much of it on the rail, which gave him plenty of time to think about what he’d do differently. He decided to give the 47 Plus about 30 percent more righting moment with more beam, a different rig and different foils. The hull is constructed out of carbon fiber and wood for light displacement. The standing rigging and mast are all carbon, and she has an 8-foot, 6-inch fin keel with a long spade rudder. The LiFePO4 Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system powers all the electrical sailing functions, which include electric travelers and winches.
“It started as an evolution,” Sturdy says about the second-generation 47s designed by his predecessors. “All the 47s share an aesthetic, but the 47 Plus is designed to have a completely different style.”
The yard’s next new sailboat is in the final design stages. It will be a 43-foot day racer, from the highly regarded Spanish design firm Botin Partners, which BBY has worked with previously. It will be a Spirit-of-Tradition sloop. Material assembly is about to begin, and the yard just finished a cockpit mock-up.
Although sailboats are a passion at BBY, the yard has been busy building powerboats too. Last year, the yard delivered the BBY 32 Express Cruiser, a 34-foot, 2-inch LOA Downeast boat powered by twin outboards. A second BBY 32, this one with a center console and a single 300-hp outboard, is currently under construction and available for sale. Both BBY 32s have what Sturdy calls a super-ultra-light, hard-chine, cold-molded hull that’s sheathed in sapele plywood.
On the drawing board and awaiting the go-ahead from clients are a classic-looking lobster boat, and a stunning 36-foot Express Cruiser with flybridge that will be powered by twin outboards and would make even the most die-hard inboard power fanatic get weak-kneed.
Hodgdon got its start in 1816, when Caleb and Tyler Hodgdon expanded their sawmill business into boatbuilding by founding Hodgdon Brothers in East Boothbay, Maine. Successive generations of Hodgdons built schooners, naval patrol boats and sailing yachts that were designed by some of the century’s greatest naval architects.
But it was current Hodgdon Yachts president Tim Hodgdon, the fifth generation of Hodgdons to run what is reputedly the oldest continuously family-operated boatbuilder in the United States, who steered the company towards the superyacht business in the early 1980s. Hodgdon Yachts constructed some of the world’s most spectacular sailing yachts, including the 124-foot sloop Antonisa, the 154-foot ketch Scheherazade and the 100-foot Comanche. Comanche was built to set speed records, which it did almost immediately, completing an astounding 620 nautical miles in 24 hours, and then winning the 2015 Sydney to Hobart Race.
But since Comanche’s launch in 2014, Hodgdon has focused on Hodgdon Yacht Services in Southport (it services 250 boats annually and features Yamaha, Suzuki and Highfield Inflatables dealerships), its waterfront facility in Boothbay, and construction at a building facility in Damariscotta.
In 2010, the company built two luxury tenders for a superyacht and has been building tenders that range from 6.5 to 12 meters. They include a series of Michael Peters-designed Beachlanders that can nose up to a beach, drop their bow, and allow passengers to step onto the sand without getting their feet wet. A 10.5-meter model was launched a couple of years ago. A 10.8-meter model was launched in March, and another will go to the Netherlands in August. Because the Beachlanders and the company’s other tender models are custom built to maximize length inside clients’ superyacht garages, and because the superyacht owners and the company’s military clients don’t want publicity, Hodgdon has been quietly operating in the shadows since the 2014 Comanche launch.
That changed this spring when Audrey Hodgdon, Tim’s daughter and the sixth generation of Hodgdons involved in the business, announced that Hodgdon will build the all-electric Vita Lion for the United Kingdom firm Vita Yachts.
The Lion will be Vita’s flagship boat, with a sleek 34-foot, 5-inch design by Milan studio BorromeodeSilva, a top speed of over 35 knots and a cruising speed of 24 knots. It will be powered by Vita’s V-4 propulsion system with proprietary throttle and touchscreen technology. The Lion will feature high-speed charging that will allow it to get up to a 90 percent charge in under an hour. The boat can accommodate up to eight guests in a cockpit that can also be configured for dining. Forward, the enclosed cabin includes a day berth, day head and sink, as well as storage, with an integrated Fusion sound system. She will be available for sea trials in Southern France this summer.
Sabre Yachts has a long history of building models between 40 and 45 feet, starting in 1987 with the Sabre 42 sailboat. Since then, Sabre has built 15 models in that range. The Sabre 43 Salon Express, which replaces the recently retired Sabre 42 Salon Express, is the latest.
The Sabre 43 is a blank-sheet design intended to remain true to Sabre’s Downeast heritage but with modern lines. Besides a new mast design, large fixed-glazed windows, a helm door, and sloping deck rails that give her a more modern silhouette, the 43 is intended to still look like a Sabre.
The 43 Salon Express will be the first full-network Sabre under 58 feet in length. Owners will be able to check critical functions and control any circuit on the boat from either the helm MFDs or an iPad mini, but also control the lighting and circuit configuration of the boat with the simple touch of a button. Remote access will also be available for GPS monitoring, geofencing, trip logging, and NMEA 2000-based alarms via cell phone through the included Sentinel Telematics feature.
The 43 will have a salon with two banks of seating over six feet in length and a half-up galley. Belowdeck, a “Hybrid Lounge” can function as a guest berth, private retreat or home office, depending on the owners’ needs. The master stateroom will feature an island berth and storage compartments in American cherry. An adaptable utility room beneath the salon sole will provide space for various storage and appliance options, including a side-by-side washer and dryer, wine cooler, or storage lockers.
She’ll be powered by twin Volvo-Penta IPS-500s with D6 380-hp engines. Volvo-Penta automatic Interceptor trim tabs will provide a smoother ride. Dual Stidd seats at the helm will provide comfort in rough seas, and the joystick control in the armrest should make docking a breeze. The Sabre 43 Salon Express is slated to debut at the 2022 Newport International Boat Show in September.
This article was originally published in the August 2022 issue.