I. Brains and Beauty –
Flipping through the channels the other night, this scene stopped me as just as firmly in my tracks as the very first time I saw it:
Lauren Bacall was nineteen years old here, in her first movie. Her brains and beauty knocked Bogart for a complete loop, both in the movie and in his life. You can see why.
Brains and beauty is the theme here today, loyal readers. Some of my earlier posts have been focused on the Hinckley aesthetic. It’s fun and easy to get lost in that. But in my time aboard these boats and at the factory I’ve become equally impressed by what I’m finding under the hood. In a word, technology!
Tech seems deeply intertwined into Hinckley’s DNA. I date it from their jetstick innovation (starting with the first Picnic Boat in 1994, and running right through this month’s splash of their 1,000th jet boat). And it goes on through the use of their proprietary infused carbon fiber/E-glass construction process that still hasn’t been beat in the industry. My friend Phil Bennet, Hinckley’s Sales Director up in Maine, tells me he actually tested this hull construction by firing a .357 magnum bullet into it. Unsuccessfully, I might add…
I wanted to learn more about this brains and beauty thing going on at Hinckley. So I spent some quality time this week with a key player there, a great guy named Scott Bryant. His title is “Director of New Product Development.” I asked him what that actually meant:
We’re the guys who engineer the value into the boats.
I love that concept, so I thought I’d share with you a bit about Scott’s day-to-day work life. Let’s start with an example of his end-product. This is the electric retractable awning for one of our best selling models over the last ten years – the Talaria 38R (there are five of these just in my home port of Sag Harbor!):
The development team at Hinckley managed this project as a classic engineering problem (think Boeing). For my fellow geeks out there (and for those that would rather just roll their eyes) those steps seem to me like something Tesla or Apple would engage in, and include:
- Opportunity Analysis:
- Concept Development (ever-cognizant of new developments in the aerospace, home automation and automotive industries):
- Initial Drawings;
- Specification Development;
- Target Price Analysis;
- Preliminary design;
- Committee review (with direct input from Sales and Marketing):
- Focus Group Management (groups include both current and prospective owners);
- Board of Director review; and, finally (whew)
- Tooling, construction and installation.
Wait, not finally! Finally ain’t until owner/user feedback comes in after delivery and use, with review of warranty and service reports over the life of the product.
I am amazed at this scope of work, and how much pure process it takes. Trust me, in manufacturing, process is expensive. It’s great that Hinckley has the resources and dedication to make this kind of investment. Way too many shoot-from-the-hip manufacturers don’t, or can’t. To them I say –
(Bonus points to whomever can identity the meaning and source of this expression, sans Google!)
And what did it take to design the 38R’s awning?
Eighteen months and a solid six figures!
And what’s more:
The components and installation in every 38R awning are another six figures.
Think about it – a Bentley’s convertible top is perhaps five feet long. And it spends most of its time in a garage. The 38R’s is eleven feet long and must thrive in a salt-water environment. What I see is that the Hinckley team made its technology beautiful and its operation seamless. That sort of value-adding result doesn’t happen by chance.
I displayed the brand new 34R (the 38R’s smaller sibling) at our Sag Harbor event a few weeks ago:
The sun was scorching hot, and people gathered when I put the top up for the first time. I’m no fool, so I spent the next few days punching that button every twenty minutes. The docks loved it!
Scott closed our talk this way, laying it all out, so to speak, on his drafting table:
You asked what my job was? Well, doing tech just for the sake of tech is pointless. The whole point of tech is to provide a better, higher-value experience for the owner. That’s my job.
You know how to whistle, don’t you?
If you want to meet Scott, here he is, speaking about the development of “his” 34R:
And if you would like an opportunity to run this amazing vessel for yourself, howzabout this?
II. Hinckley Talaria 34R comes to Montauk!
From Friday, August 26th through Monday the 29th I will have a Talaria 34R for your use at the storied Montauk Lake Club:
It is a thoroughly stunning location, and I have reserved three transient slips (up to 110 feet) if you’d like to stay for the weekend. Montauk will be blitzed that weekend, so I recommend you make your sea trial reservation now.
II. But What About Next Week?
Wanna see some Hinckley’s next week?
This Thursday, July 21st, from 4pm till 8pm, I’ll have two Hinckley’s for your enjoyment: A Talaria 29R –
and a Talaria 34 Pilot House –
They’ll be at a cocktail hour showcase of an amazing waterfront estate, offered for sale by my friends at Houlihan Lawrence. They provided me with this this video, and you’ll note the owner’s Hinckley at his dock. Low tide in Rye gives him just over two feet of water – ample draft for his fine little yacht:
I would thoroughly enjoy seeing you there. You can register quickly and easily here:
Ciao for now, loyal readers. But as always, if you have questions, answers or good jokes, just launch a flare.
Thanks, and enjoy!
– Big Wave Dave