Stay in touch with the coast.
Sign up for our newsletter »

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors: 25 Years of Boats and Stories

Show Information for Press and Media
Information for Press: Show News | Image Bank & Link Info | Contact Info
For immediate release - May 24, 2012
Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors: 25 Years of Boats and Stories
25 Years of Boats and Stories
ROCKLAND, Maine – It has been 25 years since publisher John K. Hanson, Jr., founded a magazine with a joyous mission: to spread the good word that Maine’s craftsmen and boatbuilders are among the finest, and to celebrate all that is unique about coastal life. In that time, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors has grown from a small magazine into a business that promotes the finest that Maine has to offer through a glossy print magazine, a summer show on the Rockland waterfront, and a pair of award-winning websites. This dedication to telling stories and creating community is a natural focus for Hanson, who has a great fondness for words and a passion for boats. “Whether it’s in print, online, or in person, we wanted to connect people, share a way of life, and support the craftsmen and artists who make Maine so special,” he said. A driving force behind the magazine, the show, and the company websites is the ethos that “Tradition Shapes Innovation,”™ which captures how Maine’s history is reflected in contemporary products. Maine designs are timeless, durable, practical, and beautiful. “Mainers are known for their resourcefulness and ingenuity, and for thinking outside the box to meet the challenges of life on the coast,” said Hanson. “This philosophy shines through all aspects of the Maine lifestyle: art, food, boats, homes, and appreciation for the natural world and the people who form our communities.” “When I founded the magazine, I really wanted to tell the world about the wonderful people on the Maine coast and the great boats that they build,” added Hanson. “I knew there was strong heritage, craftsmanship, and integrity among Maine’s boatbuilders, beginning with the ca. 1608 launch of the 30-ton pinnace Virginia at the mouth of the Kennebec River. That’s what we’ve been talking about since 1987—showing the world the quality of work that comes from the shores of the Gulf of Maine. We’ve done that with the help of top-notch writing—the likes of Gerald Warner Brace, John Gould, Peter Spectre, and E.B. White have graced our pages over the years, as has the work of fine photographers such as Billy Black, Alison Langley, and Benjamin Mendlowitz. As for the artists we’ve covered, it’s a who’s who from the sculptor John Bisbee to Winslow Homer.” Ten years ago, the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show was launched as the “live” version of the magazine, to provide readers the opportunity to meet the people who make the products. “We wanted to take the experience right up to the handshake,” Hanson said. Beautiful boats, unique handcrafted wares, and a sparkling summer scene fill the Rockland waterfront during the annual event, to be held this year August 10-12, 2012. The show celebrates the entire palette of life on the coast with an eclectic mix for life both on the water and the shore. “The coastal lifestyle starts with boats but goes way beyond that—we love houses, art, food—the whole gamut, from muddy boots to a summer sunset. The scope is bigger than the average boat show,” Hanson said, “And the great thing is, you’re able to talk to the people who actually make the goods.” As the state’s only in-the-water boat show, attendees get a close-up look at spectacular boats from rowing craft and kayaks to sailboats and poweryachts. Hanson’s path brought him to Maine after he graduated from Georgetown University in 1973 with a degree in theology. A love of boats led him to the Hinckley Company, where he worked until he joined the staff of the fledgling WoodenBoat magazine in 1976 as advertising director. During a lunch with some artist friends aboard his antique powerboat, Buffalo Soldier, conversation turned to the architecture of the summer homes along the shore. The harbor scene was filled with North Haven dinghies, lobsterboats, and porpoises, and Hanson realized what he wanted the new magazine to be—a publication that gives readers their very own taste of such a day. Hanson knew he was onto something good when the then-president and CEO of the New Yorker sent him a note in April 1989 that read: “Your magazine is a little jewel that arrives to herald each new season. What a wonderful treat.” The business has grown over the years from humble beginnings. First: one small room in Camden’s Highland Mill Mall, then larger space in Camden. Today, the MBH&H offices occupy two floors of a flatiron building in Rockland located just across the street from the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show grounds. No matter where the offices have been located, the pursuit of humor and joy has infused the whole business. To that end, Hanson has spearheaded many quirky events over the years: the Toboggan Regatta and Boatbuilders Ball and the Going to the Dogs Regatta among them. Inspired by Hanson’s golden retriever, Fagan, the magazine’s “Boatyard Dog®” column (which, according to Hanson, is more important than the publisher’s page in the minds of many) has grown into the zany World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials—a signature Sunday event at the show. There’s no telling where this quirky mindset will take the company over the next 25 years. MBH&H Magazine, Show, Website: The Facts The Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show was founded in 2003 by Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine. Held annually during the second weekend of August in Rockland, Maine, the show attracts thousands of attendees from all over the country and world. Show hours: Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, August 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $12 at the gate, under 12 free. Advance tickets are available for purchase online through August 1 at No pets allowed on show grounds (except the pre-qualified Boatyard Dog Trials contestants and legitimate service animals)—please leave them at home. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors is very pleased to acknowledge the following sponsors of the 2012 show: Awlgrip, Bangor Savings Bank, The Bark, Custom Float Services, Fixtures…Designer Plumbing Showroom, Jaret & Cohn Real Estate, Knight Marine Service, Loyal Biscuit Co., Sea Bags, and Yachting Solutions/Cannell, Payne & Page. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, “The Magazine of the Coast,” is celebrating its 25th year. Noted for eclectic award-winning coverage of all aspects of coastal living, the magazine covers everything from maritime matters and natural history to boats, homes, fine art, and food. The magazine has loyal subscribers around the world and more than 100,000 total readers. An award-winning online edition at is filled with original content, photo galleries, tide charts for Maine and New Hampshire, guides to products and services, and Local Knowledge™ to help visitors enjoy the Maine coast. Media Contact: Marnie Read Maine Boats Homes & Harbors 207-266-9381 High-resolution images are available for download at