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September 13, 2018

Three Maine boatbuilders team up on high-end sloop

Courtesy of Brooklin Boat Yard
Courtesy of Brooklin Boat Yard
A rendering shows the Hinckley Sou'wester 53 sloop, expected to launch next June.

A new yacht under construction on the Maine coast will combine the skills of three different boatbuilding operations.

Brooklin Boat Yard, Hinckley Co. and Front Street Shipyard are producing the first Hinckley Sou'wester 53 sloop designed by naval architect Bill Tripp III.

Hinckley's plant in Trenton is fabricating the hull, Front Street, in Belfast, is building the deck and pilothouse, and Brooklin Boat Yard will assemble both, build the interior and install systems.

"It's an interesting collaboration, working with all these people together," Brooklin Boat Yard President Steve White told Mainebiz. "Three boatyards, the designer and the owner — so there's a lot of cooks on this project."

This is Brooklin Boat Yard's first collaboration with Hinckley, although it has worked with Front Street on several previous projects, said White, who is also a founding partner at Front Street. White has also collaborated with Bill Tripp, when Brooklin Boat Yard built a Tripp-designed 55-foot cold-molded racing boat, named Aurora, in 1992, he said.

White said the schedule calls for Hinckley to deliver the hull and bulkheads to Brooklin in early October. The delivery from Front Street is scheduled for early January.

According to a Brooklin Boat Yard news release, Hinckley began construction of the hull in August. The boat is expected to launch from Brooklin Boat Yard June 2019. Constructed for a cruising-minded owner hailing from New England, the modern pilothouse sloop will feature a composite hull and custom interior. Features include a pilothouse that will act as an indoor/outdoor room, providing expansive space and natural light; 360-degree sightlines from inside the pilothouse; a sliding glass door; two double cabins and two heads with stall showers; mahogany interior finished in Herreshoff style, with a mix of white panels with wood trim; teak sole with gloss varnish; and teak decking.

White said the owner has been working with Tripp and Hinckley for a while on the boat's design, "and he's in pretty constant contact with us about the details. He's great guy and a knowledge s sailor."

The hull will be constructed of carbon outer skins, foam core and carbon inner skin with epoxy resin infusion in the company's state-of-the-art facility opened earlier this year.

"Our carpenters and shipwrights at Brooklin Boat Yard have a real opportunity to show off their craftsmanship with this yacht," said White said in the release. "The bespoke interior will be elegantly finished to the owner's high standards and particular specifications."

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Brooklin on hull number one of the Sou'wester 53," Peter O'Connell, president and CEO of Hinckley Yachts, added. "We strongly believe in this new yacht, which will enable owners to experience the joy of bluewater sailing with the ease of ownership that is uniquely Hinckley. The Sou'wester 53 offers many comforts but there are a few in particular you will rarely find on other yachts — the comfort of longevity, enduring quality and timeless beauty."

Hinckley announced the debut of its Sou'wester 53 design in March. The design was produced in collaboration with Tripp Design Naval Architecture in Norwalk, Conn.

Bill Tripp III is the son of Bill Tripp Jr., who designed the Bermuda 40, a well-known Hinckley sailboat that debuted in 1960. Tripp III's Bermuda 50 design, constructed by Hinckley, debuted in 2015.

In June, Brooklin Boat Yard launched the $7.1 million Sonny III, a highly customized high-performance 91-foot yacht designed for day sailing and blue-water passages, for owner Albert Phelps, who is 94.

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