Hinckley Yachts of Harbor Springs
Marina/Marine Sales & Service Boat Dealers/Marine Supplies
- Harbor Springs MI 49740
- (616) 550-8162
The Hinckley Company’s roots are deep in the soil of Maine boatbuilding. The company, founded in 1928 to build and care for the boats of the local lobstermen, has been in continuous operation, building such classics as the Bermuda 40 and the Picnic Boat. Henry Hinckley set the course with the Bermuda 40 in the early 1960s when he crafted her stunning lines out of a radical new material, fiberglass. This combination of elegant form, material innovation and brilliant attention to finishing detail set the course Hinckley has been on ever since in the pleasure boat business. Today, Hinckley builds their signature water jet powered motor yachts, Hinckley Sport Boats, Hunt and Morris Yachts from 29’ - 76’, and supports its owners and other yachtsmen with its network of service yards from Maine to Florida.
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Rep/contact info, brian dekkinga.
- Phone: (616) 550-8162
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Debt Trips Up Hinckley, Venerable Yacht Maker
By Geraldine Fabrikant
- Oct. 9, 2009
SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Me. David Rockefeller Sr. ordered a new boat last year, a $3 million 55-foot powerboat.
Mr. Rockefeller, now 94 years old, may not have needed a new boat. It was, after all, the sixth he has bought from Hinckley Yachts in Southwest Harbor. But Hinckley Yachts and its workers certainly needed the order and providing them with work was part of Mr. Rockefeller’s motivation, his spokesman said.
Hinckley which has been making boats since 1928 and is known for classically designed, beautifully constructed sailboats as well as sleek, easy-to-maneuver powerboats is under financial pressure. It has significantly reduced its work force from about 625 employees at its peak in mid-2008 to 305 at the end of August. The layoffs, in turn, have affected Southwest Harbor businesses, some locals say.
Like other yacht makers, Hinckley lost substantial business when the economy turned sour. But Hinckley’s problems can also be traced to its sale to one, and then another, private equity firm over the last dozen years. With each sale, it took on more debt, which became onerous when business slowed. And the culture also shifted from a family-owned business to one controlled by outsiders.
Beginning early this decade, near the peak of demand, private equity buyers poured money into yachting, convinced wrongly, it turned out that the business could weather any economic storms because its wealthy clients would continue to buy. Several other boat makers have run into problems, including Ferretti of Italy and the MasterCraft Boat Company of Vonore, Tenn.
Hinckley may well survive this downturn, thanks to a strong brand name nurtured over decades of Hinckley family ownership and a loyal clientele, some of whom spend their summers near Bar Harbor.
James P. McManus, who was hired as Hinckley’s chief executive two years ago by Monitor Clipper Partners, the private equity firm that now controls the company, declined to comment on Hinckley’s finances.
In the meantime, some of Hinckley’s critics say, the constant pressure on the bottom line by the new owners has left some employees feeling that management misunderstands the customers and the employees. “If they had not had that debt, we could have weathered this,” said Ruth Brunetti, who, during a 20-year career at the company, was chief financial officer, treasurer and contracts negotiator. She was dismissed in July. “We have suffered from a double impact: the economic downturn and corporate greed.”
Some companies are still profitable. Sabre Yachts, a boat maker owned by the entrepreneur Daniel Zilkha, “will be profitable despite a substantial drop in sales, because it carries no debt,” Mr. Zilkha said.
Because Hinckley is privately held, it does not release details about its profits and losses. But according to people close to the company, Hinckley’s revenue in 2008 was roughly $100 million and taxable income was about $4 million. But this year, for the first time since the mid-1990s, it will have a taxable loss of about $4 million, they said. Several people close to the company estimate that revenue this year could fall to $50 million to $75 million.
Buyers certainly pulled back unwilling or unable to pay $900,000 to $4 million for Hinckley’s sailboats or $400,000 to $3 million for its powerboats. In the spring, only three boats were under construction at Hinckley’s main manufacturing plant in Trenton, Me., including Mr. Rockefeller’s. In an interview, Mr. McManus said he was optimistic about the company’s future. He said orders had begun to return, and he planned to bring back 85 employees this month. Buyers are not the only customers in retreat. Hinckley also services and stores boats, and a boat restoration can cost as much as $150,000. “But now people are not spending for that work,” said one former Hinckley employee who did not want to be identified as talking about the company.
“One customer with a 92-foot sailboat was going to spend $2 million to refit it, but he canceled that order,” this person said. “That would have kept somewhere near 25 people busy for six to eight months.”
Bob Hinckley the grandson of the founder, Benjamin Hinckley who ran the company with his partner, Shepard McKenney, from 1982 until it was sold in 1997, has fond memories. “I worked there as a kid,” he recalled. “We always built a high-quality product,” he went on. “We used wild teak, not plantation teak even though it costs two to three times as much. We used a great deal of varnish. It took us about 10 months to build a 50-foot sailboat.”
Mr. Hinckley was running the company in the early 1990s, when the government levied a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts and orders fell. “It was brutal,” Mr. Hinckley recalled. “Wealthy people don’t like to be taxed on their hobby.”
Still management shared the pain with employees. “We cut our own salaries in half and asked employees to take a 10 percent pay cut across the board,” Mr. Hinckley said. Guy Dunbar, a former production manager who now owns Dunbar Real Estate in Southwest Harbor, recalled that “after a year, they paid us the difference.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Hinckley went overseas and sold boats to Germans and Japanese for whom the luxury tax was not an issue. “We never leveraged up the company,” Mr. Hinckley said. “We paid down loans. When we sold the company, it had just $1 million in debt.” Bain Willard Companies, a Boston-based private equity firm, was the first buyer, 12 years ago. It paid about $20 million, equal to about one year in sales, putting down about 25 percent in cash and borrowing the rest, according to several people with knowledge of the negotiations.
And Bain Willard had the wind at its back. Hinckley had introduced the “picnic” boat not long before a luxurious powerboat that combined the look of a New England lobster boat with a water jet propulsion system, instead of a propeller, that allowed the boat to maneuver in shallow water. It had been an instant hit.
Bain Willard expanded Hinckley, opening service centers in Florida, Maryland, Rhode Island and other places. In those boom times, the strategy paid off. In 2001, it sold about 51 percent of Hinckley to Monitor Clipper of Boston for an estimated $40 million in debt and equity. Bain Willard executives could not be reached for comment, and Monitor Clipper declined to comment.
But after Sept. 11, 2001, and the start of war in Iraq, boat buyers became nervous and growth stalled. In 2005, Hinckley sold its real estate across the country, raising enough money to pay down much of its debt, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s finances. It leased back the land, replacing interest payments with rent payments. Its revenue recovered in 2006 and 2007 before the economy weakened.
The company has begun to monitor its cash flows aggressively. “We have always watched over receivables,” Ms. Brunetti said. But this went further, she said.
One owner, who has had a number of Hinckleys, said he had a lien on his boats for several thousand dollars in storage fees after doing business with Hinckley for years. And a former employee said: “If a customer was 30 days behind on payments, we had to call. It was just not the way we had done business.”
But Mr. McManus countered that asking customers to pay what they owed was simply good business and that relations with clients were good. Still, in a business that deals with the superwealthy, that aggressiveness can antagonize important customers, several former employees said.
In Ms. Brunetti’s opinion, “Today, people are worried about doing business with Hinckley because of the monetary situation and their reputation for how they treat their customers,” she said. “That has taken a toll.”
Hinckley’s problems have also taken a toll on its hometown.
Leslie McEachern, the owner of McEachern & Hutchins, a hardware business his family has owned for six decades, said: “Hinckley was a good business in the area. They employed a lot of people. Unemployed people don’t spend money, and all the businesses around here are feeling it.”
Ms. Brunetti said: “What upsets me is that this is a small town. Lots of people who really loved the company got hurt.”
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The hinckley company overview.
Hinckley Yachts builds luxury powerboats and motor yachts and provides brokerage and yacht services for all makes and models of yachts.
The staff at The Hinckley Company come from unusually diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 31.6% female and 30.7% ethnic minorities. The Hinckley Company employees are slightly more likely to be members of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, with 54.0% of employees identifying as members of the Republican Party. Despite their political differences, employees at The Hinckley Company seem to be happy. The company has great employee retention with staff members usually staying for 4.8 years.
The Hinckley Company is a medium retail company with 740 employees and an annual revenue of $200.0M that is headquartered in Rhode Island.
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The Hinckley Company Rankings
The Hinckley Company is ranked #91 on the Best Retail Companies to Work For in America list. Zippia's Best Places to Work lists provide unbiased, data-based evaluations of companies. Rankings are based on government and proprietary data on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity.
- #91 in Best Retail Companies to Work For in America
- #8 in Best Companies to Work For in Rhode Island
- #1 in Best Retail Companies to Work For in Rhode Island
- #1 in Best Companies to Work For in Portsmouth, RI
- #68 in Biggest Companies in Rhode Island
- #1 in Biggest Companies in Portsmouth, RI
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The Hinckley Company diversity
The Hinckley Company diversity summary. Zippia estimates The Hinckley Company's demographics and statistics using a database of 30 million profiles. Zippia verifies estimates with BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. We calculated The Hinckley Company's diversity score by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of The Hinckley Company's workforce.
The Hinckley Company has 740 employees .
32% of The Hinckley Company employees are women , while 68% are men.
The most common ethnicity at The Hinckley Company is White (69%).
15% of The Hinckley Company employees are Hispanic or Latino.
8% of The Hinckley Company employees are Black or African American.
The average employee at The Hinckley Company makes $48,818 per year.
The Hinckley Company employees are most likely to be members of the republican party.
Employees at The Hinckley Company stay with the company for 4.8 years on average.
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Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of The Hinckley Company, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about The Hinckley Company. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at The Hinckley Company. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by The Hinckley Company. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of The Hinckley Company and its employees or that of Zippia.
The Hinckley Company may also be known as or be related to Talaria Co LLC The, The Hinckley Company, The Talaria Co. LLC, The Talaria Company LLC and The Talaria Company, LLC.
Hinckley Takes the Helm at Sweetwater Landing
Hinckley Yachts , a leader in the luxury yacht industry, has announced a new alliance with Sweetwater Landing Marina located in Fort Myers, Florida. Effective immediately, Hinckley Yachts will be assuming operation of the Sweetwater Landing Marina. Strategically located in a prime coastal setting, the Sweetwater Landing Marina presents an opportunity for Hinckley Yachts to further enhance its services and sales offerings. This alliance opens doors to an expanded range of possibilities, enabling Hinckley to provide superior yacht care and sales solutions to a broader clientele.
One of the marina’s standout features is its pristine and picturesque property, complementing Hinckley’s commitment to excellence. The property boasts a category 5 hurricane rated yacht storage facility, providing a secure and safe haven for boat owners seeking refuge during tumultuous weather conditions. Sweetwater Landing Marina’s transient slips and ample space align seamlessly with Hinckley’s unwavering dedication to delivering the utmost in customer service.
This new alliance extends beyond business endeavors, fostering growth and opportunities for employees. As Hinckley Yachts takes the helm at Sweetwater Landing Marina, it paves the way for a promising future for team members.
Acadia mountain rises up from somes sound behind us, and we’re aboard a hinckley. these coveted yachts are still built by hand a few miles away, known for their iconic curves, polish, and posture..
W hat I know when I start driving toward Mount Desert Island on a sunny day earlier this summer is that Hinckley Yachts are beautiful, and prized. A boat captain friend back in South Carolina happens to call while I’m on the way, and he actually gasps when I mention that I’ll be visiting the Hinckley boatyard. “Wow, wow, wow,” he repeats. “To have one of those beauties would be my dream.”
I can remember hearing the buzz about Hinckley when Martha Stewart commissioned the Southwest Harbor- founded company to build one of its famous “picnic boats” for her, and she had them paint the hull an exclusive-to-her color that’s a heathery soft green. (The yacht’s name is Skylands II , after her cottage, up high in Seal Harbor.) But I’ve never gotten nearer to a Hinckley than to see the gleaming, million- dollar yachts in pictures or when passing through harbors. I’m ready.
Steam’s rising from the lobster pots at Lunt’s, and there’s a lineup of private planes at the Bar Harbor airport when I turn into the industrial park just across from the runways. Phil Bennett, one of the Hinckley Company’s vice presidents, is meeting me here, at the hangar-sized warehouses that make up Hinckley’s boatbuilding headquarters. The Hinckley Company got its start nearly 90 years ago on the shores of Southwest Harbor when engineer Henry Hinckley’s father bought a small boatyard facing directly into the mouth of Somes Sound. In the 1930s Hinckley built luxury pleasure boats with the swooping, curved features of the grand automobiles of the day, and by the 1950s the company was pioneering the use of fiberglass in boatbuilding for its powerboats and sailing yachts. Bennett compares Hinckley boatbuilding acumen to “something like watchmaking in Switzerland.”
On MDI, the Hinckley Company still operates a service yard at the original site of its founding in Southwest Harbor. (With the Hinckley Company’s acquisition of Morris Yachts in 2016, it added the sailboat builder’s service yard in Northeast Harbor, too.) But it’s the Trenton facility that’s home to the real “toy shop” now, Bennett explains as he shows me around the former woodland property near the bridge to MDI. “This is where every Hinckley begins.”
A dapper dresser in yachtsman style, Bennett is a longtimer at Hinckley and in the boat world generally. His grandfather was a boat maker, and Bennett himself decided to move to Maine and join Hinckley after first getting to know the company while visiting to sell Hood sails back in the 1970s. “Most people know that a Hinckley is expensive and shiny, but they may not fully know why,” Bennett says of the yachts that typically take a year or more to build and customize for each owner. “They haven’t yet seen what goes into making them.”
IN THE WORKSHOP
The smell of wet epoxy resin is like a wasabi jolt.
We’ve entered the fiberglass shop, a garage- style building arrayed with elephant-sized boat hulls inside even larger molds. Vacuum fans whir and rumble, and at least a dozen men are working among the raw boat shapes and spools of silken-looking fiberglass cloth.
From a lobstering family, Barry Archilles started at Hinckley about 40 years ago and figures he’s helped build about 1,000 boats. He’s seen the fiberglass processes develop and improve to be lighter, thinner, and stronger, he says. “It’s a lot more technical now.”
“Years ago, all you would do is build layers of fiberglass,” he says, and the result was rugged, heavy construction that was about 65 percent resin. Now Hinckley uses techniques similar to those used to build airplanes, Archilles says, so that a hull is about 65 percent fiber and only 35 percent resin. That’s where the technical know-how comes in—this is composite construction that makes use of super-strong materials like Kevlar and carbon fiber, lightweight core and resin infusion processes, and engineered laminates.
Archilles is explaining all of this in his downeast accent and with the fervor of telling great sea stories. When an owner bumped a rock ledge recently while out on his new yacht, Archilles hurried down to the boatyard to take a look. “That boat was in the water for about two weeks afterward, because the man didn’t want to tell anyone at first.” Since Archilles had helped to build the yacht, he was curious to see how it had fared after the accident. “I was excited to see for myself and make the repair,” he says, “and do you know what? It never leaked in all that time. The rock had punctured all the way into the core, but the water didn’t migrate.”
That means the high-level finishes in the cabins and on deck were just fine. Hinckleys are known for well-varnished wood cabinetry and trim: teak with a swirling grain, rich-toned mahogany, and American cherry, tulip, and red cedar. Bow-front drawers and other curved details are throughout, and even the toe rails are shaped into a tapered curve. We soon meet Ronnie Nelson, another Hinckley longtimer who started in the yard about four decades ago. Bennett says Nelson is known as a magician when it comes to carpentry. Quiet and busy, Nelson is sanding long, serpentine cherry rails when I stop by his workbench. Barry Buchanan is nearby, inspecting the woodwork of a finished console. He says he came to Mount Desert Island specifically to build wooden boats, and notes that a Hinckley has so many wooden features, it’s often thought of as a wooden boat inside of fiberglass. “It’s one thing to build a table,” he says. “But it’s another to build a boat that goes somewhere. I like that movement.”
THE WOW FACTOR
To see more, we continue walking through the hive-like action and industry in all corners at Hinckley on this early summer’s day when many of the tall bay doors are open. On an upper level above the carpentry floor, Carlando Grant is focused on one thing: carefully brushing on coats of varnish by hand—10 to 15 coats onto cabinet doors and other wooden pieces of each yacht’s interior. Born in Jamaica, Grant moved to Maine to go to college to study engineering and to work. But first, he took a job with FedEx. One day he brought a delivery to Hinckley and saw the Talaria 55 Motoryacht being built here (the largest of Hinckley yachts), and he applied for a job immediately. That was over three years ago. He still daydreams about a Hinckley of his own, but for now he and his wife own a 21-foot Bayliner to which he’s been adding wooden touches. “I’m a perfectionist,” he says. “I want you to look at a piece that I’ve varnished and say, ‘Wow!’”
Close to 300 men and women work in the Hinckley Company’s boatbuilding yards here in Trenton and another 85 or so work at the service yards on MDI; that includes the crew at the sailboat-focused Morris Yachts across Route 3, another formidable yacht builder on MDI that was begun in the 1970s and that Hinckley acquired in 2016. Since the purchase by Hinckley, Morris Yachts is still operating much as it has, with its name on new boats and the boatyard at Northeast Harbor.
It’s Friday afternoon, and some of the Morris Yachts crew have left by the time we call out a “hello” to someone on a narrow, deck-style platform built around a 42-foot sailing yacht that’s underway. Up there is Ian Ashley, a formal residential carpenter who invites us to climb the temporary stairs and take a look at the deck up close. Once up on scaffolding, Ashley tells me he came to work at Morris about four years ago and “fell in love with building boats.” This one he’s finishing has an extra-long keel for racing, and it almost looks like the yacht’s in graceful motion, even as it’s securely parked upright and steady in a wooden frame.
Throughout the day of taking in all the sights and sounds, I keep noticing that the carpenters and craftspeople are working on different parts of the same boat at the same time —the hull might still be in the mold in the fiberglass shop, while carpenters are already constructing the bunks and galley spaces. Bennett explains that’s possible because everyone’s following precise design and engineering plans that were generated for each boat. In a small office of computers with big screens he introduces me to nautical engineer Peter Smith, who has also been with Hinckley for decades. Smith is part of the team that works out each boat’s design and engineering particulars, including figuring out how and where to incorporate features that a boat buyer dreams up. Those options have included pull-down cabinets for wine storage, retractable deck awnings, bait wells, Italian espresso makers, and disappearing screens. He says they even once designed a compartment lined with a mink pelt, creating a new use for the vintage mink from a client’s fur coat.
A YACHT’S DAY
Finally, we’ll get out on the water. At the shop earlier in the day, we’d seen a gorgeous blue-painted motor yacht with a Swedish homeport painted on the stern. A Talaria 43, the boat will be shipped to its owner soon, so it’s going through another sea trial first to check its systems and performance. In mirrored sunglasses and a t-shirt, Shane Dowsland is the man for the job. He must have the coolest gig in the harbor.
Dowsland is a licensed captain who was a deckhand on a schooner based in Bar Harbor and then worked in the boatyard for Morris Yachts before landing the sea trial job. Now he tests the new boats before delivery. Shoes off and on-deck, we join him for a couple of sea trials departing from Southwest Harbor.
It’s my first time on a boat that moves by water-jet propulsion, and immediately I feel the airplane-like stability—even at 30 knots and higher. We’re in a smooth glide as we cruise past Beal’s Lobster Pier and the Coast Guard field office in Southwest Harbor. The docks and moorings at the Hinckley yard are flotillas of Hinckley and Morris yachts this time of year. In a quick glance, I count more than a dozen picnic boats that I’m finding easily recognizable since seeing them crafted up close—the highly varnished, teak- trimmed, well-upholstered takes on classic lobster boats, often with million-dollar-plus prices.
We thread through the moorings and pass several lobster boats, too. It’s like an informal water tour of Maine boating. At one point, Dowsland points out another classic boat, a 40-foot Friendship sloop, and mentions that he has one like it. Originally from upstate New York, he married a local woman and says he knows most of the local lobstermen. And the lobstering crowd doesn’t mind seeing a Hinckley pass near their trap buoys, he notes, because the jetboats don’t have exterior propellers that might damage the buoy lines. Plus, he says, “They know these aren’t just rich, plastic boats. They know the local craftsmanship that goes into every one.”
When we motor into Valley Cove, where the seaside mountains of Acadia National Park create a vertical wall of rock and trees that rises straight from the deep water, I step out from the comforts of this brand-new Hinckley yacht’s cabin that’s all windows and wood paneling and soft, couch-like seating— and I look across the teak and holly lines toward the bow and feel the rush and cool of the early summer air. So, I think in those moments on the water, this is what yacht dreams are made of.
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Nestled in a picturesque harbor, Hinckley Sweetwater offers the perfect blend of tranquility and accessibility to Florida’s Gulf Coast. Conveniently located on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, our marina grants you swift access to the open water—without the beach traffic. With onsite service, wet and dry storage, a Category 5 storage facility and convenient amenities for boaters, Hinckley Sweetwater is the ultimate storage and service experience.
Hinckley Yacht Services is also provides a Mobile Service team that services the region from Naples to Tampa on Florida’s Gulf. Our dedicated team of marine technicians and staff brings Hinckley expertise right to your dock. Our marine diesel mechanic, boat detailers, boat electrical and electronics techs and waterjet propulsion experts can be at your dock often the same day you call. And if you need boat varnish or marine carpentry call on our specialists. No one does marine carpentry or yacht varnish like Hinckley.
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Boat washing, waxing, varnish touch up, whatever boat detailing task is on your to-do list, Hinckley Naples is ready. Better yet, let our boat cleaning crew put you on their weekly list so when you’re ready to go, your boat is, too. They’ll make sure your boat is sparkling and your systems are checked.
Varnish and Marine Carpentry
Boat varnish is a Hinckley specialty. Insure the value of your yacht by keeping your joinery in Bristol fashion. Hinckley will varnish your toe rail or any other surface or appointments. Want to repair, replace or enhance your boat woodwork. Make a date with our boat carpenter and varnisher to make your fit and finish perfect.
16991 State Road 31, Fort Myers, FL 33905 Tel: 239-261-2870 [email protected] DIRECTIONS
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Marine diesel service and repair at your dock. What could be more convenient than having a marine diesel expert as close as your phone? Hinckley Naples also has a jet propulsion expert on staff to help keep your boat running reliably.
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Hinckley Unveils the JetStick 4
- By Yachting Staff
- August 1, 2023
Hinckley Yachts in Maine has unveiled the JetStick 4 control system, which the builder says simplifies and adds precision to driving the yachts that Hinckley builds.
The GPS hardware built into the JetStick 4 includes fast digital processors that add to position accuracy.
“We call it elegant yacht control,” Scott Bryant, Hinckley’s vice president of sales and marketing, stated in a press release. “Operation of the joystick is now possible without having to look down and push buttons to change from one mode to another. The smart function is completely intuitive and does it for you. It’s easier than using your tablet or phone.”
The JetStick 4 control system is available on all Hinckley new builds and is accompanied by Hamilton waterjets. The combination, according to the builder, improves top-end performance along with maneuverability.
What’s the Dock Hold feature? It’s the biggest difference between JetStick 3 and JetStick 4. Dock Hold can reportedly now better hold a boat against a dock while lines are secured, or while other chores are performed on deck or below.
Take the next step: click over to hinckleyyachts.com
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