This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Jim McManus, CEO of the Hinckley Company.


Combining Classic Beauty with Modern Technology By Dick Cooper


“One of the strengths of the company has been its history of owner loyalty.”


Looking back on the dark days of summer three years ago, Jim McManus, CEO of the Hinckley Company, says it was as if someone came into his luxury boatbuilding company and turned out the lights. With the nation reeling in an economic crisis that came close to rivaling the Great Depression, the last thing the skittish buying public was thinking about was ordering a new, custom built, handcrafted yacht. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, new boat sales in 2009 plummeted 35 percent from the previous year. “We took a very hard look at what our forecast would be for new boat sales,” McManus says. “We were very realistic about how many boats we were going to sell.” Hinckley, like most boat builders, laid off scores of workers to counter the sharp decline in demand. Most of the next year was “quiet” for Hinckley, he says. But mid-way through 2011, McManus says the New England-based company with sales and service facilities in Oxford, Easton and Annapolis, made a major turnaround and now is on track for setting new sales and production records. “We went to a lot of the people we had to lay off and


brought them back into boat building,” he says. “We had a really strong rebound in 2010. In Fort Lauderdale, we announced the Talaria 48 power boat, and we have already sold eight of these.” The big news for the 83-year-old company came in


January this year when it announced that it had been purchased by new owners who have made a long-term commitment to maintaining the company’s reputation for quality, craftsmanship and technical innovation. The new owner, Scout Partners LLC, is a company


formed by David Howe, a New York investor who grew up on the water in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Peterson Capital LLC, founded by Peter G. Peterson, Secretary of Commerce during the Nixon Administration. Howe, who earned his Coast Guard Captain’s license


when he was a teenager, says he was drawn to the company by its long history of being at the pinnacle of American boat building, plus the fact that McManus was a former classmate at Harvard Business School. He says he first visited the Hinckley yard in Southwest Harbor, Maine, 40 years ago as the young captain


94 THE SHORE LIFE 1-4 | subscribe at theshorelife.net


on a yacht that pulled in on a lay day. “I literally got a walkthrough of the company by Bob Hinckley, one of the sons of company founder, Henry R. Hinckley,” Howe recalls. “So I have a really old history with the company. Then I got a good refresher by reconnecting with Jim.” “Through the latter half of last year, I negotiated an investment with the company that I think puts it in a great financial position to grow and prosper for a long time, Howe says. He says that the company will always turn out Maine-built boats and has no intention of outsourcing or moving the manufacturing operation. The Hinckley Company owes a good part of its success to its location in Maine. The coastal area was long the summer retreat of America’s moneyed folk. Hinckley made the move from lobster boats to yachts and never looked back. The company’s reputation for innovation began in the late 1950’s when it transitioned from wood to fiberglass and began building sailboats that have endured for a half century. The Bermuda 40 sailboat was one of Hinckley’s major successes. The story goes that yacht designer Bill Tripp penned the lines for the Block Island 40, a strikingly graceful fiberglass yawl that caught the eye of several owners of Hinckley wooden sailboats. Three of them approached Henry R. Hinckley and told him if he could build a boat that looked and performed as well as the Block Island 40, they would commission construction. Hinckley hired Tripp to modify his lines and created the


Bermuda 40. With three boats paid for before the work began, the line was started. The yard went on to build 203 of the model, most of which are still sailing. Hull #1, Huntress, still plies the Chesapeake from her homeport in Galesville, and Hull #87, Actaea, out of Georgetown on the Sassafras River, won its class in this year’s Annapolis to Newport Race. The late Edward “Bud” Hinckley, one of Henry R’s sons,


recalled a few years ago that when Huntress was built, fiberglass was a very experimental fabric, and the men of the yard did not know how thick to make the hull so they kept laying it up. When the hull was cured, they weren’t even sure they would be able to get it out of the mold.


A lot has changed over the years at the old yard. In 1995, Hinckley made a major shift in the CONTINUED...


Top: Workers install a boat engine at Hinckley’s Maine plant.


Top Right: The T 38 Convertible is powered by two, 435-horse power diesel engines.


Bottom Right: The T 44 Mk II is an extend-range cruiser with a cruising speed of 29 knots.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132