Our Story

Heritage

Bob Hinckley Testing Early Fiberglass Boat
Bob Hinckley testing the stability of an early experimental fiberglass dinghy

In 1928, the Hinckley Company built its first boat. It was the beginning of an unbroken line of vessels that would come to earn the collective admiration of sailors and yachtsmen around the world. But on that day in 1928, on the waters of Southwest Harbor, Maine, the only eyes cast on our efforts were those of a few New England lobstermen for whom the first Hinckley was made. Strong and purposeful, the boat’s design set a course that all Hinckleys, both sail and power, have followed for 90 years. In pursuing this course, each new boat to emerge from the Yard has probed a little deeper into uncharted realms of nautical design. Today’s sailboats and jetboats reflect an unmistakable line of thinking: How can we make it stronger, faster and safer?

1959 Hinckley's First Fiberglass Boat, a Bermuda 40
1959 Hinckley’s First Fiberglass Boat, a Bermuda 40

Even at a time when all boats were wooden, those made by Hinckley stood apart. There was something in the way they moved through the water — stately, proud and elegant — or swung their pennants in the harbor at dusk. People who knew boats could instantly spot a Hinckley; those who didn’t were simply able to appreciate the graceful shape and glistening brightwork.

Their lines were a direct result of their need to endure the rigors of life among the rocky coves and jutting promontories of Maine’s Acadian coast. Then as now, frivolous design had no place on such unforgiving waters. A specific form was borne of these nautical circumstances, characterized by a strong, well-found hull, sweeping deck lines to quickly shed foaming waters, with overhanging bows and fine counters to lend stability in angry seas.

Their speed and stamina were a direct result of Henry Hinckley’s training. An aeronautical engineer by education, he insisted on making his boats light yet strong. And he was never afraid to innovate. In the 1950s, for instance, Hinckley was one of the first to forego the traditional oak frames and planking in favor of fiberglass — according to the pundits, completely unsuited to the construction of a “proper” yacht. But Hinckley saw in fiberglass what the traditionalists had missed — an opportunity to save weight while adding strength. And without sacrificing the aesthetic beauty for which Hinckleys were known.

 

Construction, Craftsmanship and Performance

Hinckley hulls are designed by top naval architect MIchael Peters and built in Maine. Hull construction combines an inner layer of carbon laid bow to stern with a companion outer layer of kevlar for bulletproof puncture resistance. The cloth is laid up dry into the mold which allows fibers to be aligned to the computer-designed load paths. The structural grid is also dry laid up inside the hull mold and then everything is infused with epoxy at once to form a chemically bonded structure of incredible strength and durability. Our confidence in this approach is why we are unique among production and semi-custom builders in guaranteeing our hulls and decks for life.

This focus on advanced composite materials and dry-laid single bond epoxy infusion results in a yacht of tremendous strength, seaworthiness and beauty. Weight savings in the hull structure allow for the signature teak woodworking accents which are Hinckley hallmarks. The innovations in hull materials allow us to provide the luxury on deck and below deck which our owners and their families love.

Digital switching allows you to easily transition electronics from day mode to night mode at the touch of a button on multi-function displays. The completely redesigned Jetstick III allows easy navigation through tight turns and docking at tricky marinas.

Design

The iconic Hinckley look needs little in the way of explanation. Nothing looks like a Hinckley. Each of our boats carries its lines in exquisite proportion and consummate detail. Onboard, there is a perfect balance struck between interior and exterior space that provides a sporting feel, a true connection to the water balanced with amenities just right for your cruise.

The elements of the boat’s surface are combined with drive systems, engines, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems sized and placed to achieve targets that give the boat responsive handling, confident acceleration, stability and comfort underway.