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From the Publisher — Issue 152

Happiness from the mundane and the sublime

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

My world of boats can go from the mundane to the sublime, within 24 hours. My early spring ride is a 1959 Grumman Sport Boat, a square-stern aluminum canoe that looks like it was built out of leftover WWII bomber material. At best you could call it functional—although some consider the look industrial chic. It rows okay, it can plane when powered by my old 3-hp Evinrude, and it is pretty much indestructible. I love it for what it does. Yesterday was supposed to be its seasonal launch, but the wind was blowing way too hard, and the water was way too cold for boating. The mundane boat stayed on the beach.

That stiff wind was still blowing today but it did not deter the launch of a sublime boat: Anna, a brand new 66' cold- molded sailboat built by Lyman-Morse in Thomaston, and designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design in Belfast. This yacht harkens back to the golden age of yachting from the waterline up. From there on down, she is as modern as today—a perfectly gorgeous matching of grace and technology. Standing behind the wheel of the newly launched Anna, and gazing to windward into the stiff breeze blowing down the St. George River, I was thrilled that boats like this come alive on the coast of Maine and that my friends and neighbors are so extremely talented, and can do such great work. Sublime is the act of creation.

I am sure that Anna will give her owners the same feelings of happiness that I get from my far more prosaic Grumman. After all, the joy of boats is mostly about being on the water, feeling movement, hearing the gurgle of waves flowing along the hull, and just being. Some night this week, the wind will die down and I will push the Grumman off the beach and go for my first row. And I will be just as happy. 

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