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Has it really been 30 years?

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

There were always magazines in my house growing up. I was reading “boat porn” when my friends had discovered “men’s” magazines. And there were always boats in my life—the first was a 9' plywood skiff with a 3-hp engine bought with my First Communion money. 

I never dreamed I’d be able to combine these two loves: boats and magazines. It happened by accident. My fledgling boatbuilding business had failed and while looking for work, I convinced Jon Wilson, who was just starting WoodenBoat magazine, to let me cover the many wooden boats, both sailing and rowing, competing in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Before long, I was ad director at WoodenBoat.

Flash forward a decade or so to a lovely summer day on Penobscot Bay. A group of us were out cruising around on Buffalo Soldier, the 22', 1962 wooden Ray Hunt powerboat that I still own and use today. The conversation ranged from boats, to food, to art, to porpoises (which were jumping alongside the boat), to the architecture of summer homes. There was so much to learn about all these subjects.

I knew that Maine had many fine writers, photographers, and illustrators who could tell these stories. I also knew that there was a fine group of talented, creative Maine businesses: boatbuilders, architects, furniture-makers, artists, and such who could use a little marketing push. And I knew that putting all these talented businesses and story-tellers into a magazine would be entertaining and a powerful marketing piece for Maine.

And that’s just what we have been doing for 30 years. Along the way, we’ve added more issues, the websites maineboats.com and USHarbors.com, and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland, which turned 15 this summer. But the mission always has remained the same: to celebrate creativity on the coast of Maine. 

Thank you to all who have kept Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors charging to windward these last three decades. We could not do it without you. 

Here’s to the next 30!