Letters to the Editor 175
Hinckley 41 fans
As soon as the Jan/Feb issue of MBHH arrived in our mailbox, we eagerly began reading the excellent articles on 2021 Launch Highlights. Laurie Schreiber’s piece on Lizzie Hinckley and Night Train immediately caught our attention, as we are the grateful owners, well, caretakers of the 1965 H-41 Bellatrix. While the article is a fabulous story and history of the boat, there is one H-41 detail that is incorrect. Hinckley built a total of 28 (not 24) H-41s—19 “Standard” and 9 “Performance” boats. After 50 plus years, there are 26 H-41s still sailing—hull 4110 was lost in a boatyard fire years ago, and hull 4123 was lost at sea, 300 miles off Hatteras in December 2020. Please keep the fascinating articles coming!
Bruce and Nancy Suppes
Hinckley 41 Owners Group
Not sure about those knots
I’ve got to comment on the choices of essential knots in the Sailor’s Medley (MBHH Jan/Feb 2022). Bowline, no problem, but a square knot? Furling, and maybe if you reef or to send a package are the only places a square knot is seen, it seems. A rolling hitch or stopper knot is much more useful, and a real disadvantage to someone who doesn’t know how and where to tie one. As for the clove hitch and two half hitches…way down the list! I would put a figure of eight knot here, save your halyard from going aloft. And where would a sheet bend go? I would put it in the top four. You don’t need it often, but when and where you do there is no knot better. I always enjoy Peter Spectre’s work!
Bullish on Bucks Harbor Marina
We have been happy readers of MBHH for (I think) forever. I might suggest an idea for possible article: Bucks Harbor Marina. We have stopped there for many years at the beginning and end of our summer season when we are on our boat, and when we return it to Sedgwick. (We live in Hawaii but when in Maine, we’re out on Vinalhaven). We always spend the night in Bucks Harbor coming and going.
BH Marina has always had convenient moorings. About 5 or 6 years ago the marina was bought by Jonathan Buck (a direct descendant of the Buck for whom Bucksport and Bucks Harbor were named).
Suddenly the Marina store had good stuff, the bathrooms were clean as a whistle, new outdoor showers and laundry were added and enthusiastic sub-teen kids were arranging mooring reservations and manning the store. And these kids were helping out with docking, ice, and fuel service plus doing cannonballs off the pier when things were slow. And it’s been that way ever since. Kids getting bigger and always happily helping. Great parents and, I would say, a great family. We now always look forward to Bucks.
This past June, coming from Sedgwick to Bucks our alternator crapped out. On arrival I said hello to Jonathan and posed my problem. He said: Well, you can go to Horseshoe Cove, Mr. Vaughn could handle that, but if you want to take a chance here, Jamie (though only 16) just rebuilt a Mercedes car motor and might be able to fix it. We said okay, and Jamie figured out the problem, did the work, fetched the needed parts, and cheerfully fixed it the next day. No sweat, a perfect job.
My guess is that Jonathan is a successful young businessman and that making money may not be a big priority. He told me he hoped to give his kids great Maine summers with jobs, good fun, and responsibility. Well, I think that has worked out very well. (And we hope the financial side is manageable.)
They are a cheerful, nice family and we always look forward to coming to their float, saying hello, getting a mooring, and seeing how the kids have grown.
I am an author and I am working on a book about a steamship line in the 1860s—wooden-hulled, paddlewheel-driven, built at one of the dozen or so shipyards that lined the East River in New York at that time. I have some questions on how large wooden-hulled vessels were launched. Would any of your readers be willing to answer several questions I have? Can you suggest some 1860s-era shipbuilding manuals that might help me?
Joseph R Ornig
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Joy on the water
I enjoyed reading the account of “finding joy on the water” in the Publisher’s Letter, including John and Polly’s visit to their son Jack at Cal and the chance to go out on the launch to watch a practice.
I had no idea that we share such a close experience—I have a son, also Jack, who rows lightweight at Dartmouth. Dartmouth eliminated their lightweight team at the beginning of Covid. So he went from sky high to rock bottom in an instant, with an oncoming pandemic.
Long story short, he took a semester off and organized his exiled team in Florida to train for an attempt at the U23 worlds. They won, and ended up getting sixth at Worlds in Czechoslovakia just as Dartmouth reinstated the lightweight team. Rock bottom back to an even higher sky high.
He learned to row here in Center Harbor in the way that Bill Mayher and Maynard Bray allow kids to find their own joy on the water, and he first got the racing bug in the all-fun-no-stress “Temple Tiny Regatta” that Sam Temple and Meggan Dwyer created to start off the season for everyone here in Center Harbor. I attribute much of Jack’s accomplishments to the joy he finds on the water and at the boathouse.
No matter the sport, Jack always lagged well-behind his foot-taller-super-jock twin sister growing up, until he found that joy on the water and slotted into rowing. She’s now over at Bates playing lacrosse so they can root each other on without comparisons.
I suspect our Jacks have crossed paths several times and will again. It’s fun to know we share similar experiences.