Category Archives: Places

Dinner with the Hinckleys: How family, crew, and culture made a world-class brand

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Gwen Hinckley practically had a bed-and-breakfast going for the clients, friends, and tradespeople associated with the boatbuilding firm of her husband, Henry Rose Hinckley II. “If you were able to find some of the old customers, they’d laugh about staying with Henry and Gwen,” says Hank Hinckley, their youngest child. “Dad would get up and […]

War boats, draggers, sportfishermen, trawler-yachts: Bink Sargent navigates a diverse career

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In 1937, Lennox “Bink” Sargent took a break from his studies in engineering at Harvard University, and from his summer internships with Boston naval architect A. Loring Swazey, to work for Henry Hinckley, a distant in-law who rehabilitated and was expanding a boatyard his father bought in 1927. Sargent was a young man of 20 […]

Eugene Walls stopped by Bob Rich’s shop, stayed 21 years

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In the spring of 1946, Eugene “Gene” Walls went down to Robert “Bobby” Rich’s boatbuilding operation, Bass Harbor Boat, in the seaside village of Bernard. Walls was recently returned from the war, during which he served in the Navy, operating landing crafts in the Pacific Theater. In the way of close communities, Walls and Rich […]

O Richtown brothers, where art ye? Searching for a long-past boatbuilding clan, with digressions

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 WEST TREMONT – Wooden boatbuilder Richard Stanley, his wife Lorraine, and I are sitting in the cockpit of the 1902 Friendship sloop Westwind, a multi-year restoration project that is up on jackstands in his shop. The scent of sawdust is in the air. I ask Richard about his influences as a youngster, how he learned […]

Adequate: A Bunker and Ellis gem, an admirer’s fulfillment

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 Rod Lucas had never really thought of buying his own powerboat. Thanks to his mother’s outdoorsy nature and his grandmother’s summer home on the Southwest Harbor shore, he grew up with a love of sailing and cruising. But as a young man in the 1950s, he began a career in the budding industry of building […]

Bunker and Ellis: How two men played pool and became boatbuilding icons

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  “We worked nights, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, even Christmas,” Raymond Bunker said in 1979, not long after his 32-year partnership with Ralph Ellis ended. “Often, we worked until nine o’clock or midnight, just the two of us, and we sometimes built four boats in a winter.” Bunker and Ellis were in their 30s when they […]

The Esther II: A father’s boat, a son’s heart

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 TREMONT –  Back in the 1940s and ‘50s, Charles Orville Trask used to set out from Bass Harbor and head 20 miles offshore to lobster fish and tub-trawl for hake around Mount Desert Rock, Great Duck Island, and Frenchboro. Trask used to be an assistant sales manager for Ditto, Inc., in Chicago, pre-photocopier. He was […]

A Rich heritage: “All I wanted to do was build boats”

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TREMONT – “I built boats from the time I could walk,” says Robert “Chummy” Rich. “Most of them wouldn’t float. If they did, they’d float upside down.” When Rich was a young kid, he liked nothing better than to hang out with his grandfather, locally renowned boatbuilder Clifton Rich. He borrowed scraps of lumber from […]

Island Artisans: A vibrant cooperative

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BAR HARBOR – Celebrating its 30 anniversary this year, Island Artisans is a vibrant shop that showcases the works of more than 100 Maine artisans. The cooperative got its start with a group of just 11 local artists, who found strength in numbers. The store is currently owned and managed by five of the original artists: […]

A family’s Friendship, a fleet’s friendly ways

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SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Three generations of Zubers are aboard the Friendship sloop Gladiator on a terrifically hot Saturday in July. “Did you see, last night? There were, like, a thousand squids over there,” says nine-year-old Liam, who points to the sea. “It was so cool.” The boat is temporarily tied up to a town dock […]