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The Maine Theme

At this time of year there are more boating options than ever as conditions for cruising are great all over the country. But if there’s a list of top 10 places to drop the hook, the coast of Maine is on it. The cruising season is short, but there are big opportunities to create an unforgettable experience on the water. Because it’s prime boating season in Maine, this issue is designed in part to celebrate all things Downeast.

In the story “Whatever Floats Your Boat,” Executive Editor Pim Van Hemmen—who moved to Maine just a few years ago and now gunkholes in the local waters aboard his RIB—offers a look at some of the most interesting custom and semi-custom designs launching this year. It’s no secret that Maine builders are renown for craftsmanship, but Pim’s research reveals that some of the yards we think of as home to traditional boats are incorporating SpaceX-style technologies into new models, including a racy-looking electric runabout and a Downeast express with the lines of a classic build and the systems of a next-generation cruiser.

In “Talkin’ Boats With Sam Chamberlin,” Associate Editor Carly Sisson interviews a young and talented designer behind some of the prettiest boats made in Maine. Chamberlin says he enjoys coming to work each day to “muck around in boats,” and during his 14 years at Rockport Marine in Rockport, he’s fine-tuned his own definition of a good boat. “It’s not the flashiest or the biggest,” he says, “but it does its job well and without a lot of fuss.”

Few boats are more fuss-free than Virginia, which Kim Kavin writes about in “History Reborn.” It’s a replica of what was likely the first oceangoing English ship built in the Americas in the early 1600s. Because there are no shipbuilding plans of the original on record, the project volunteers, including shipwrights, who worked on the 51-footer had to dig through old logbooks to piece the design together. As Kavin writes, they were able to create the impressive replica with “a combination of classic methods, new power tools and old-school grit.” With people like that walking the docks in Maine, who wouldn’t want to go cruising there this summer?

This article was originally published in the August 2022 issue.

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