Just Launched: Whistler
Custom 54' Twin-Jet Express Cruiser
Whistler's launch brightened a cold, windy, wet spring day on the river in Thomaston, Maine. Photo by Jeff Scher.
|LOA 55'2", LOD 53'8", LWL 47'10", Beam 15'10.5", Draft 2'11", Displ. 56,000 lbs|
|C. Raymond Hunt|
|Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, Thomaston|
Particulars: A new boat's launching is always an occasion. For me, the transition from in-shop project to in-the-water boat is filled with mystic impact; I could go on and on (and probably have bored many) on this subject. A new boat launching in Thomaston at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding is always at the top of the list, given the high quality of the craft they build and the yard's historic setting on the St. George River, where the ghosts of centuries of past boat launchings abide.
That historic setting was a very cold, windy, rainy one when the 54’ Hunt-designed, jet-powered yacht Whistler was successfully launched and christened. Having owned a Hunt-designed powerboat for the last 25 years or so, I am very partial to the Hunt style. While my boat was designed in 1962, this new boat could in some respects be considered a descendant of it. Well, at least it shares certain features, such as a deep-V hull and sassy good looks, in the way that fuzzy eyebrows and freckles can be passed from a grandfather on down. Of course, Whistler is as state-of-the-art as could be.
The deep-V hull that Ray Hunt pioneered has evolved on the newest Hunt boats, to a more sophisticated shape than the constant angle of attack of Hunt's earlier efforts. Due to the modern composite construction techniques used at the Lyman-Morse yard, this new boat is light and stiff, able to fully utilize the twin Caterpillar C18 engines, which are coupled to twin Hamilton HJ403 jet drives. This configuration promises cruising speeds north of 30 knots, fewer fouled lobster pots, and a draft that's about a foot shallower than that of a similar conventionally propped boat.
It's no surprise that Whistler is impeccably finished, with a huge aft deck that houses a “garage” for the inflatable dinghy. The interior finish is as would be expected on a yacht of this caliber -- comfortable in every respect.
It's true that Whistler was a beautiful boat launched on an un-beautiful day. But the warmth of the launching party afterward for the crew that built the boat, the boat’s new owners, and a raft of families and friends, foreshadowed the warmth of the coming Maine summer for this fine new yacht and its crew.
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