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Mailboat: February 2023

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OLD-SCHOOL GENTLEMAN Thanks for the fine article on Jock Williams of Hall Quarry (“A Charmed Boating Life,” December 2022). He is a Maine legend if ever there was one. Jock is a superb craftsman whose word is his bond, and he keeps his customers forever.

I first met him decades ago, when I brought my boat to his yard for service. He looked at my to-do list, thought for a few minutes and then quoted me a number for labor that would require a certain number of days. Weeks later, I returned to the yard to discover the crew was still working on the boat. I began to grow concerned because the project was taking longer than planned, so I asked about the bill. Jock replied, “I already quoted you for the job.”

On another occasion, we sailed to his yard to have a new centerboard built. We hit nasty weather on the return trip home, and the new board was lost. I called up Jock, who told me to sail back. “We’ll have a new one ready,” he said. There was no bill, and the new board lasted for decades. There is only one Jock Williams. An old-school gentleman and boatbuilder of excellence. -Peter Berman, Norwalk, Connecticut

MORE CLASSICS

I enjoyed the story “Unforgettable” (November 2022). If you are looking for more classic boat designs to feature in Soundings, I suggest the Tiara 31 Open. It is a beautiful boat with understated lines that immediately became a favorite of Great Lakes fishermen and cruising couples alike. The boat was the cornerstone of a popular line for Tiara, and it spawned many copycats. While I have never owned a 31 Open, I have had a 33 Open and currently own a 41 Open. Still, I’m always jealous when I see a well-kept 31. - Thomas C. Glass

I’ve been reading Soundings since the earth started to cool, and I simply love the Classics department. I like it so much that I bought two large-format prints from Jim Ewing: one of the Rybovich Sedan Sportfisherman, and one of the Bertram 31. They are hanging in my living room. You asked for suggestions for the
section. How about Chris-Craft’s wooden 22-foot open cutlass dory? The lines are mesmerizing—the sweep of the varnished teak sheer is particularly beautiful at rest in low-sun conditions. I would love to see that boat featured in your magazine. Thank you and keep up the excellent work. -Ken Curtis

We’d love to see a classic flush-deck motoyacht in the magazine. A Hatteras 43, Bertram 42 and Pacemaker 57 come to mind. The Uniflite 46 and Egg Harbor 40 were great boats too. We see so many stories focusing on sportfish and Downeast-style boats these days. When we do find articles on motoryachts, they don’t often cover the flush-deck designs. We currently have a beautiful Bertram 42 up in the Great Lakes. It is by far our favorite boat, and we’ve had 50 over the years. Thank you and the entire staff for the great work. -Tim & Dianne Lucas

I have two nominations for the Classics department. The first is the Cape Dory 36 designed by Carl Alberg. I had the good fortune to own one fresh out of the factory. It was Hull No. 100. I kept her on the Five Mile River in Rowayton, Connecticut, one of my favorite places on the planet. She was a solid, graceful boat; not a speed machine, but very comfortable, and fun and easy to sail. I never spilled my drink while sailing her! Another suggestion for your consideration is the Patient Lady IV. This catamaran hailed out of Roton Point, also in Rowayton. Tony DiMauro was the owner and he used the boat to lead some very successful defenses of the “Little America’s Cup.” I had the good fortune to be a member of Roton Point at the time and was able to witness the development of the Patient Lady and her experimental wing mast firsthand. Boy, could that boat fly. If it’s not too late, please throw these ideas into the suggestion box. I really enjoy Soundings and look forward to your Underway column every month. Thank you for your time. -O.C. O’Connell

This article was originally published in the February 2023 issue.

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Since the early 1970s, Jock Williams has built hundreds of boats at his yard, John Williams Boat Company in Mount Desert, Maine.