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A Letter from the Publisher - Issue 134

Issue 134

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

My small boat fleet is a lot like the collection of boots in my mudroom—one for every flavor of weather. About now, with spring promising to arrive any day, I’m thinking about my early-season vessel, a 1959 aluminum Grumman sportboat. This square-stern canoe powered either by the 1957 Evinrude Lightwin 3-hp outboard that I bought with my First Communion money, or a stout pair of oars, is the first boat in, and the last out. For many Red Sox fans, the official beginning of spring is “truck day,” when the team’s equipment is loaded into a van and heads down to Fort Myers, Florida. For me, the official beginning of spring is when I dig the Grumman out of the snow. The first cruise around the lake is usually rather short. It’s still early spring in Maine after all, and inevitably a bit on the chilly side. While that first outing should satisfy my spring fever, it never really does. It just makes me want more. So, we’ve developed a wonderful additional antidote to spring boat fever, the second annual “Boats of the Year” digital-only supplement to Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Here, Maine boatbuilders share projects that made them proud. The boats featured this year include both power and sail, and range from small and sublime to big and beautiful. You can download your free copy at There is such a great diversity of work being done along our shores and it is good to see them all together. Truth be known, I dream about owning one of each. Reality, though, is my old tin canoe on the lake at ice-out. It’s not as exotic or beautiful as some of the other boats launched last year, but it brings me great joy because it gets me on the water, sometimes even before the snowdrops break the ground. And that is as good as it gets. —JKH

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