I have a haddock (II)

I. Headache-free Ownership – Yes, I’m opening this post the same way I closed the last one. If you laughed last week, get ready to laugh some more:

Why, you may ask,  all this talk about headaches in what is supposed to be a yachting blog?

A bunch of years ago I sold a dealer demo to a knowledgeable New England yachtsman. It was a stunning 54′ “downeast” design, but after moving her up and down the east coast boat show circuit she definitely had some wear and tear on her.

My client loved her classic lines, but he was concerned about the quality of his ownership experience. I’ve always remembered his comment:

Dave, I will buy a yacht. I won’t buy a headache!

We all get that. When the most valuable of assets is our quality leisure time, who has time for headaches? The truth is that when you’re not aboard your boat only two nautical concerns should cross your cerebral cortex from time to time:

1) Did I tie her up properly?

2) Is the holding tank empty?

And that’s it!

Which brings me to Hinckley.

I was happily retired when Hinckley called me last Spring.  As much as anything, what got me to “yes” was that I shared Hinckley’s philosophy of boat ownership. More specifically, I wanted to know what it was like to work for the only vertically integrated company in the biz.

Vertical Integration, downeast style? That’s easy – Beginning to end, and top to bottom

  • Hinckley designs and builds them;
  • I sell them (um, that would be to you, loyal reader);
  • Hinckley wraps their headache-free service plan around you; and, someday,
  • Hinckley sells you out of your boat, and most probably into another Hinckley.

The key to it all is their “haddock-free” service plan. Here’s how it works:

Hinckley has six service yards up and down the east coast:

  • Southwest Harbor, Maine
  • Portsmouth, Rhode Island
  • Oxford, Maryland (my fave, and not only for the homemade strawberry ice cream at the Oxford General Store)
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Stuart, Florida, and
  • Naples, Florida

The method to their madness is that wherever you are, from a short vacation cruise all the way up to that great seasonal north/south migration, Hinckley is there for you.

Each yard is staffed with Hinckley trained and managed service teams, tied into their Service HQ in RI and the factory in Maine. Their build and service records of your specific boat are exhaustive,  from the time the hull was molded right through to last winter’s winterization (Yes, I see that at delivery your shower hot water was set too hot, and we changed the mixer valve and tuned it down, as you requested). And with employees who have been working for them for decades, you can often talk to the very carpenter who mounted your mother-in-law’s heirloom mirror on your starboard bulkhead.

What underlies this no-headache approach  is Hinckley’s Jet Boat Service Package. This is an all-inclusive option that provides you with fully predictable ownership expenses and dependable quality outcomes.

Hinckley’s captains can pick up your boat at your dock and bring it to the nearest service facility for winter storage. They will assign a dedicated experienced Service Manager for her stay. On arrival he will manage:

  • A sea trial;
  • The inspection;
  • The haul out and winterization;
  • Any recommended annual maintenance;
  • Any warranty work, or equipment upgrades you can imagine; and,
  • Bottom painting, including the jets, inside and out.

Then, come spring, they will commission her and bring her back to your dock, ready for another headache-free season.

It is a remarkable package. It also provides (as will be covered at length in one of my next posts) rock-solid support of your re-sale value, if and when that time comes. Stay tuned for that eye-opening discussion.

And oh, of course, they can do your varnish for you as well, to Hinckley’s famous  standards.

I feel this last bit of context is important, loyal readers, so put on your PFD and focus your Steiner’s:

Looking back over my posts to date, I’ve noticed that without any great plan in mind one theme keeps popping up: VALUE. Whether it’s in the design, construction, technology, and now the service, it’s dawned on me that there is a strong value quotient built into these fine yachts. I didn’t know that before I got here, and it is a gratifying thing to learn.

What is that value worth to you? You’ll have to answer that question yourself. But I look forward to helping you come up with that answer, so (you know the drill) just launch a flare!

What I can provide you with is the cost, so just ask. At the end of a long and wonderful (haddock-free) day on the water I think you’ll conclude that the value provided is greater than the cost paid.

And really now, how often in yachting (and life) do we trip over that?

II. Talaria 48 Flybridge MK II


This is exciting! There has been a redesign of Hinckley’s 48FB, now called the Mark II. She now has a galley-up option (I love galley-ups – who wants to work in the dungeon?) and some way-cool technological improvements. I’ll devote a lot of time to this yacht in future posts, but for the moment you can read a little about it here (and enjoy the great virtual walk-through):


An in-depth video review of the 48 MK I, done by my old friend at Power & Motoryacht magazine’s Ken Kreisler (interviewing my new friend, Hinckley’s COO Mike Arietta!) is worth five minutes of your time. Just trust me on this one:



III. T34

Last weekend I was thrilled to do a sea trial of our T34 Pilothouse for a client up on the North Fork. He was nice enough to snap this pic (like my Hawaiian shirt?) as I pulled away (sideways, by jetstick, of course):


In what is a very rare development for us (Hinckley’s business plan is almost entirely “build to order”) I’ve got a 2016 T34 ready to deliver to you right now! Here is the full listing, and just launch a flare if you want the inside scoop. I’ll even throw in a Hawaiian shirt:



IV. Montauk

You will recall that I had two Hinckley’s at our Westchester event last month. I loved that, as it felt like our own private mini-boatshow. I loved it so much that we are doing it again! In Montauk, no less!

From Friday, August 26th through Monday the 29th I will have a Talaria 29r,

Talaria 29R

and the (yes, available) 2016 T34 Pilothouse mentioned above:


This is a wonderful opportunity to see two fine yachts in a glorious setting, the Montauk Lake Club!


You can read all about the Lake Club here:


And you can register for the event here:


Montauk in late August is a busy place. I recommend you register like they used to vote in Chicago – Early and often!

This was a long one, folks. Thanks for sticking with me to the end. I hope to see you in Montauk, and I’ll look for you on the water.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave