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Hinckley Yachts Factory Tour – Where Cruising Dreams Come True

Our RV travels have brought us up to the northern coast of Maine on Mount Desert island (pronounced “dessert” despite the spelling!), home of rich forests, rich seas and rich people. While driving down the road the other day, we noticed two big trucks pulling yachts out of a driveway. Then we noticed a sign:

Hinckley Yachts – Now Hiring!

Hinckley Yacht in transit Trenton Maine

Yachts leave the factory for great adventures on the ocean.

We did a quick U-turn and decided to have a look. Not because we need a job, but because Hinckley Yachts are among the finest yachts built — and we had just driven right past their factory! We stopped inside and asked if we could take a tour. Within minutes a really nice young fellow named Chris, who’s been with the company for 12 years, handed us safety glasses and off we went!

Hinckley Yacht builders in Southwest Harbor Maine

What a wonderful surprise to be given a spontaneous factory tour!

His enthusiasm for the company was infectious, and as we saw how these phenomenal boats are made, and the energetic environment they are made in, we could understand why.

Hinckley Yachts was founded by Benjamin Hinckley in 1928, and Hinckley has long been one of the highest end custom yacht builders around. Once the dream boat of sailors in every yacht club, almost all Hinckleys being built today are powerboats ranging from 29 to 55 feet (and from half a mil to several million dollars apiece. Ahem!).

Hinckley Yachts bow section under contruction

The cabin “pan” bow section of a power boat under construction.

Hinckleys are assembled using modern nautical engineering techniques, forging three separate fiberglass pieces together: the hull, the cabin (which Chris referred to as the “pan”) and the deck. Our Hunter 44DS sailboat was assembled the same way, as are most modern production sailboats, and the finished product is a stiffer and more resilient hull than the old fashioned method of using “stringers” (like floor joists) as ribs in the hull.

Many boating traditionalists were skeptical of this business of building the cabin separately and then lowering the cabin “pan” into the hull back when the lower end boat builders like Hunter and Beneteau started doing it, but if Hinckley is doing it now, then it must be the best way to go!

Hinckley Yachts deck sections being built

Power boat deck sections get assembled.

All Hinckleys are built with kevlar along the entire length and breadth of the hull, from the waterline down. By comparison, our Hunter had a kevlar reinforced hull from the waterline down in the forward section from the keel to the bow, which is unusual for a cruising sailboat in its class.

When we visited the Hunter factory before buying our sailboat Groovy, we learned that they test their new models by driving them into the beach at top speed while engineers with probes, sensors and clipboards take notes, look for leaks after impact, and refine their designs.

Chris didn’t say that Hinckley crash tests their new boat designs, but these boats are built to go anywhere and do anything, and they can be found all over the world.

Cabin pan being lowered into Hinckley Yacht in Maine

A completed cabin “pan” section is lowered into the hull.

Once the pan is situated in the hull, then the deck is lowered onto the whole thing and sealed with 3M 5200 and other sealants.

Deck being attached to hull at Hinckley Yachts in Trenton Maine

Finished product – Let’s go!

What Hinckley is known for is the gorgeous fitting out that each boat receives.

Hinckley builds boats strictly to order, so every one of the 30+ boats that are in production at any one time have been purchased by an individual. Lower end production boats are built 95% of the way at the factory and then commissioned the last little bit by the dealership.

On our sailboat, the AGM batteries , and engine alternator were upgraded by the dealership for the owner that commissioned the boat. Most sailboat buyers have a dodger made locally as well, rather than going with a factory dodger.

Hinckley Yachts Cherry interior on their boats

Hinckley yacht interiors are truly lavish.

Not so with Hinckley. The wealthy folks that buy these boats can request anything they want, from specific navigation electronics, to different woods and interior layouts, and on an on. Most of the buyers are repeat customers who are upgrading or just need another boat.

Many of the buyers are celebrities, so it’s not uncommon for the factory workers to see a famous person arrive with their entourage. Sometimes the celebs send representatives instead, and frequently an interior designer or other consultant will show up to specify how the boat should be outfitted.

Hinckley Yachts are built to order

You can specify anything you want on your Hinckley!

All boat builders (and RV manufacturers) had a terrible time with the financial collapse of 2008, and Hinckley sharnk to just 40 employees and 4-5 boats on the production line at the time. Now they employ 265 people and they are going gang busters.

What put Hinckley on the map in the last two decades wasn’t their gorgeous Sou’wester sailboats that sent their reputation soaring in the latter half of the 1900’s. Hinckley’s modern essence is power boats!

Back in 1998, they started putting jet drive engines into their power boats. These engines similar to the ones used on jet skis, and they Hinckley’s boats completely. Without a prop, a Hinckley poweryacht of 40 to 55 feet can float in just 2 to 3 feet of water — ideal for the Bahamas where every bay is super shallow — and they can cruise at 30 to 40 knots easily!!

Wouldn’t it be fun to step off the swim platform into waist deep water and walk onto a deserted palm tree studded white sand beach?!!

Hinckley Yachts Jet Drive engine on their boats

Transom view: Jet drive engines make Hinckleys both shallow drafted and very fast.

So, with your deluxe Hinckley poweryacht you can jump from Ft. Lauderdale to the westernmost island in the Bahamas in a little over an hour, and you can spend the winter season anchoring in bays that few other boats can get into, all while enjoying the sheer luxury and space and amenities of a 55 foot top-of-the-line yacht that was built just for you.

What a way to go!!

Hinckley Yachts under construction

Hinckley yachts on the production line.

But how much diesel fuel does it take to power twin Yanmar 260 horse power engines at cruising speed? Oh, somewhere on the order of 23 gallons per hour per engine.

Hinckley Yachts boat builders Southwest Harbor Maine

Boats under construction every way we turned…

That’s chump change for the folks that can buy these boats, but if you want the wind to power your boat instead, Hinckley still makes stunningly beautiful sailboats. While we were there, a 42′ day-sailer was on the line. What makes such a big yacht just a day-sailer? The mini cuddy cabin is very small.

Rather than going out for a daysail in a little Sunfish or Hobie cat, why not take your 42′ yacht?

Hinckley Yacht almost completed in Maine

Ready for some summertime fun.

Now, these wonderful boats are not megayachts like we saw all through our cruise in Mexico . Our British yachtworker friend Derren has the unique dream job of flying all over the world to the most exclusive and fanciest marinas on every coast to do warranty work on British Sunseeker megayachts . Hinckley yachts are of the same caliber but max out at a half or a third of the length of Sunseekers.

We were amazed to learn that many Hinckley poweryachts are actually used as tenders to megayachts. Chris said it’s not uncommon for their customers to pick up a 43′ Hinckley to be a tender to a 200′ megayacht. They even had one customer who found that one 29′ Hinckley runabout wasn’t enough for his megayacht, so he had them build a second one. But 29′ was too long for the spot he wanted to stow it on deck, so he had them make new molds and redesign the 29′ runabout to a shorter 26′ version, just for him.

If you are in the class that can buy two Hinckleys and have the second one be a total redesign of the standard fare, then you aren’t really watching your wallet when it comes to repairing these things down the road.

Hinckley Yacht at Southwest Harbor Maine

Sheer elegance on the water — and skillfully driven too!

However, for luxury yacht owners on a budget, it turns out that the warranty on Hinckley yachts is lifelong, and we chatted with one fellow on the line who has done warranty work on boats that are decades old, all at no cost to the owner, even the current owner didn’t buy the boat new from Hinckley. No need for a third party RV warranty on these babies!

An hour after we drove off from this really fun tour, we were prowling around the cute town of Northeast Harbor when we looked out on the water and saw a familiar shape — a Hinckley powerboat! The captain swung it around in an expert maneuver and backed it into the slip effortlessly. Then he calmly stepped off the boat himself to cleat the docklines — without any assistance from anyone. Wow. These yachts and that kind of seamanship are the stuff boating dreams are made of.

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Volume 1 reviews the geography, weather and seasons in Mexico and shows you what the best anchorages between Ensenada and Manzanillo are like.

Volume 2 gives detailed info that can't be found in any of the guidebooks about the glorious cruising ground between Manzanillo and the Guatemala border.

Volume 3 (right) provides all the info you need to get off the boat for an adventure-filled trip to Oaxaca.

9 thoughts on “ Hinckley Yachts Factory Tour – Where Cruising Dreams Come True ”

Your neat article on Hinckley brought back many memories, when I was working with Ted Hood in Marblehood years ago, and Hinckley was a customer for both sails and masts. They were a fun customer to call on…as well as dream having one of those Bermuda 40’s.

What a great job you had, and how fun to work with Ted Hood and Hinckley. I’m glad this post brought back good memories!

What a lucky accident to just be driving by and get the factory tour!

In the mid-1970s, we were visiting Wrightsville, Beach, NC, and stumbled on the Westsail factory in the same way. They had just opened their factory there and had several 32′-43′ sailboats in their yard. They were very proud, rightly so, of both the new location and the beautiful boats, so we Colorado landlubbers also got the grand tour. I dreamed about one of those boats for years, but they were a little impractical for Corps of Engineers reservoirs at 5,000 ft. above sea level! Don’t know if Westsail is even in business anymore.

That sounds like a great tour too, Steve. Old Westsails are very popular cruising boats (on the oceans) to this day!

Never even thought of going to a yacht factory, this could be a really interesting vacation event for my family.

That tidy wiring on the back of the pan? I did that!

OMG!!! You work at Hinckley??!!! How totally cool is that! I wish we’d met you when we were there! What dream boats they are!!

It’s a hectic and fast-paced job, but still interesting and enjoyable. Not so many people in this country anymore get to help build something that people will enjoy for years to come.

I got that sense when we were there, Scott. How fulfilling to work on such a high end product and to be able to make your customers’ boating dreams come true!

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Hinckley Yachts, Trenton Maine

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Photographer: Peter Frank Edwards

Somes Boats

In a fiberglass workroom with Phil Bennett, who began with Hinckley nearly 30 years ago and is vice president of sales.

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  • Sailboat Guide

Hinckley Yachts

The Hinckley Company, founded in Southwest Harbor, Maine, has been building and servicing this world renowned brand since 1928. The Hinckley Company Southwest Harbor, ME 130 Shore Road Southwest Harbor, ME 04679 (P) 207 244-5531 (F) 207 244-9833 The Hinckley Company: Corporate One Little Harbor Landing Portsmouth, RI 02871 (P) (401) 683-7005 (P) (866) 446-2553 HID (1972-1998): HRH (1998-2009): THC

Associations

  • Shields Class
  • Carl Alberg
  • Henry R. Hinckley
  • John G. Alden
  • K. Aage Nielsen
  • McCurdy & Rhodes
  • Norman G. Owens
  • Sparkman & Stephens
  • William H. Tripp Jr.

30 sailboats built by Hinckley Yachts

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Bermuda 40-1

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Pilot 35

Owens cutter.

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Ocean Cruising 40

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 38

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 49

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 21

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Islander 30 (Hinckley-1938)

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Ocean Cruising 42

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester JR 30

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 41 Competition

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 48

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 28

Hinckley 43 (hood)-2.

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester SR. 38

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester 59

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester 50

Hinckley 42 competition.

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester 42/43

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 43 (Hood)

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester 51 CC

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Bermuda 40-2

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Islander 30 (Hinckley-1940)

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 43 (Mccurdy & Rhodes)

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley 41

Ocean cruising 48.

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Bermuda 40-3

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Sou'wester 51

Hinckley sou'wester 34.

1978 Hinckley Hood 43 cover photo

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hinckley yachts trenton maine

Hinckley Company: Sport Boat 40c

hinckley yachts trenton maine

The Hinckley Company has been on a roll in the past few years, adding one new boat model after another all while retooling and upgrading its yards and boatbuilding facilities.

The most recent addition to the company’s fleet is the Sport Boat 40c, a center-console outboard-powered boat launched in August last year. Built at the company’s plant in Trenton, Maine, the boat is a beneficiary of Hinckley’s investment in new technology, as well as recent rapid improvements in outboard engines.

The 42-foot sport boat was a response to consumer demand, said Hinckley’s chief marketing officer Pete Saladino. “Consumers are changing how they use their boats and where they use them and what they use them for,” he said. The next yacht in the new line, an express version called the Sport Boat 40x, will launch this summer.

When Hinckley bought Morris Yachts a few years ago, the company also acquired the Morris production facility, which was near Hinckley’s site in Trenton. The Morris buildings have been retooled as an advanced composite center, Saladino said, including a building-sized oven, where epoxy-infused carbon hulls up to 85 feet long can be hardened.

The sport boats, as well as the rest of the Hinckley lines, are built of epoxy-infused carbon with an integrated primary bond between hull and stringers for a stiffer, stronger, and more durable hull. An inner layer of carbon fiber is laid bow to stern with a companion outer layer of Kevlar for puncture resistance. The cloth is laid up dry into the hull mold which allows fibers to be aligned to the computer-designed load paths. The structural grid is also dry-laid up inside the mold and then everything is infused with epoxy at once to form a chemically bonded structure of incredible strength and durability, Saladino explained.

“Our confidence in this approach is why we are unique among production and semi-custom builders in guaranteeing our hulls and decks for life,” Saladino said. “No one else in this industry is building carbon epoxy in the way we can. It allows for excellent performance and a beautiful ride. It’s a big change that we’re excited about and it’s really helped us with our workforce and our team in Maine.”

Hinckley now employs 275 people at its facilities in Maine, which include the service division in Southwest Harbor, where a new 20,000-square-foot heated storage building has ramped up capacity.

hinckley yachts trenton maine

The new 40c incorporates some of the innovations first introduced in 2017 in Hinckley’s electric launch Dasher, including the concept of synthetic “artisanal” teak. In Dasher, a carbon composite was hand-painted to look like wood. Since then, Hinckley has come up with a process to print wood colors into a fiberglass laminate that is installed over the molded composite toe rail and other exterior accents. Saladino calls this “wash and wear format,” since the imitation wood makes the boat much easier to maintain, especially in hot, sunny climates that would otherwise wreak havoc on varnish and real teak.

“This is a way for the accent to be beautifully present but also able to handle different climates,” he said.

The only real wood on the boat is in the interior accommodations.

Powered by triple Mercury Verado 300-horsepower four-stroke outboards, the 40c can hit 50 knots with the throttle full forward. The interior accommodations include a galley equipped with a refrigerator, cappuccino machine, cook-top, and microwave, a full head and a U-shaped settee with seating for three that converts into a queen-sized berth.

The sport boat’s deep-V underbody is from the drawing board of the Ray Hunt Design studio.

The new models have proven to be extremely popular. Saladino declined to say how many had been sold so far, noting only, “We are building as many new center-console sport boats right now as new Picnic Boat 40s.” 

Polly Saltonstall is editor of this magazine.

Hinckley Sport Boat 40c

LOA:  42' 7" Beam:  12' 5" Draft (hull / prop):  2' 4" / 3' 1" Displ. 19,000 lbs. Fuel Capacity:  450 U.S. gallons Water Capacity:  50 U.S. gallons Top Speed: 58 mph with optional power

Builder: Hinckley Yachts 130 Shore Road Southwest Harbor, ME 207-244-5531 www.hinckleyyachts.com

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Featured jobs, experienced marine carpenters.

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Hinckley Yachts are renowned worldwide for their beautiful woodwork. Our experienced Marine Carpenters focus refitting teak handrails and toe rails, installing new teak decks, and designing layouts based on customer requirements. Our team frequently finds it self at the center of the action as they work with other trades and with our engineering team on stringer installs for engine repowers or generator and gyroscope installations.

Experienced Marine Diesel Mechanics

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Our experienced Marine Diesel Mechanics tackle tough, challenging projects on a daily basis. From complete engine repower programs to transmissions, hydraulics and stabilizer work, no job is too big for our expert team. With over 1,100 water jet-powered boats built by Hinckley since the launch of the first Picnic Boat, the team is frequently working on important water jet updates for our flagship YachtCare program.

Experienced Marine Electricians

hinckley yachts trenton maine

Our experienced Marine Electricians love tackling challenging new systems installs that integrate C-Zone, bow thrusters, radars, displays, generators, AC systems and more. Our customers come to us for the absolute latest in electronic packages from Garmin, Raymarine, B&G and Simrad among others. You’ll work alongside ABYC-certified, highly experienced team members on the latest electronics packages in the industry.

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  1. Hinckley Talaria 48 Motoryacht: "Orion"

  2. Cruising in Style with Hinckley Yachts in Palm Beach @TheHinckleyCompany

COMMENTS

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    Marion Stewart and Sam Belling Celebrate a Pacific Coast Boating Lifestyle Aboard two Hinckleys BY ERIN LENTZ Just a few weeks after delivery of their Hinckley Sport Boat 40X, Sam Belling found himself in six-foot swells off the coast of Baja. As the owner of two Hinckleys (the other a Talaria 48 MKII) with his […] Hinckley Yachts builds ...

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    Heritage. The Hinckley Company started in 1928 as the Manset Boatyard in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Henry R. Hinckley's focus was on servicing the local lobster boats as well as the yachts of summer residents on Mt. Desert Island. In 1933, Henry built his first boat, Ruthyeolyn, a 36-foot fisherman with beautiful lines that are surprisingly ...

  4. Hinckley Yachts Factory Tour

    Hinckley Yachts was founded by Benjamin Hinckley in 1928, and Hinckley has long been one of the highest end custom yacht builders around. Once the dream boat of sailors in every yacht club, almost all Hinckleys being built today are powerboats ranging from 29 to 55 feet (and from half a mil to several million dollars apiece.

  5. Hinckley Yachts, Trenton Maine

    Hinckley Yachts, Trenton Maine. Photographer: Peter Frank Edwards. Somes Boats . Wherever the owners take them, the yachts all have Maine DNA. About 300 craftspeople, many with decades of experience at the yards around Mount Desert Island, work to build the motor yachts and sailboats of the Hinckley Company, which now also includes Morris Yachts.

  6. Somes Boat

    The Hinckley Company got its start nearly 90 years ago on the shores of Southwest Harbor when engineer Henry Hinckley's father bought a small boatyard facing directly into the mouth of Somes Sound. In the 1930s Hinckley built luxury pleasure boats with the swooping, curved features of the grand automobiles of the day, and by the 1950s the ...

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    Find Hinckley Yachts for sale in Maine. Offering the best selection of Hinckley Yachts to choose from. ... Hinckley Yacht Brokerage | Southwest Harbor, Maine. Request Info; 1969 Hinckley Competition 41. US$115,000. Hinckley Yacht Brokerage | Southwest Harbor, Maine. Request Info; New Arrival; 1988 Hinckley B40 MKIII. US$225,000.

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  9. Henry R. Hinckley Company · Southwest Harbor Public Library

    The Hinckley Company started in 1928 as the Manset Boatyard in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Henry R. Hinckley's focus was on servicing the local lobster boats as well as the yachts of summer residents on Mt. Desert Island. Today Hinckley builds boats at its production facilities in Trenton, Maine, but the original Manset yard is at the heart of ...

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    News. TRENTON — There was a time when, among the boating crowd, the phrase "a Hinckley" conjured up visions of elegant sailing yachts with graceful sheer lines, long overhangs, powerful rigs and plenty of varnish. Over the past several years, though, Hinckley has become better known for its powerboats. Ranging in line from 29 to 55 feet ...

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    The essence of Hinckley's Maine heritage is in our sailing vessels. Here you'll find the classic shape, dramatic lines, and inner strength of a boatbuilding tradition that is equal to the challenges of the North Atlantic. Over time, Hinckley has merged the integration of new technologies into the craftsmanship that guides our boatbuilding. The result is a fleet of sailboats that ...

  12. Hinckley Company: Sou'wester 53

    Hinckley's new Sou'wester 53 features a comfortable big cockpit and living spaces that are mostly on one level. The construction of the first boat in the line featured a partnership among three yards. Hinckley built the hull at its plant in Trenton, Maine, Front Street Shipyard constructed the carbon-fiber composite deck and pilothouse ...

  13. Hinckley Yachts

    Hinckley Yachts, founded in 1928, manufactures, services and sells luxury sail and powerboats. The company is based in Maine, United States. The company has developed yacht technologies including JetStick and Dual Guard composite material, and was an early developer of the fiberglass hull. Currently, Hinckley operates service yards in seven ...

  14. Hinckley Yachts, Trenton Maine

    Hinckley Yachts, Trenton Maine. Photographer: Peter Frank Edwards. Somes Boats . In a fiberglass workroom with Phil Bennett, who began with Hinckley nearly 30 years ago and is vice president of sales. Share The Inspiration. Love Maine. We share stories about the people of Maine who are using their creativity and ingenuity to propel the state ...

  15. Hinckley buys Morris Yachts, a rescue by the Zumwalt, and the tallest

    The company has around 700 employees, including 380 in Maine. An early developer of the fiberglass hull, Hinckley's present yacht line includes its iconic jet boats, and sailing vessels, including the new Bermuda 50. In the late 1990s, Hinckley opened a manufacturing facility in Trenton where most of its boats are built.

  16. Hinckley Yachts

    HINCKLEY YACHTS was founded in Maine in 1928 and is considered to be one of the oldest yacht builders in the U.S. The company provides yacht refit, maintenance, repair and storage services for boats up to 150 feet in length and 180 tons. For more information contact: Phil Bennett. 130 Shore Road. Southwest Harbor, ME 04679. Phone: (207) 244 ...

  17. Hinckley Yachts

    Hinckley Yachts. hinckleyyachts.com 1928. Overview. The Hinckley Company, founded in Southwest Harbor, Maine, has been building and servicing this world renowned brand since 1928. The Hinckley Company Southwest Harbor, ME 130 Shore Road Southwest Harbor, ME 04679 (P) 207 244-5531 (F) 207 244-9833 The Hinckley Company: Corporate One Little ...

  18. SW Harbor & NE Harbor, Maine

    Hinckley Yacht's boat service yard Southwest Harbor, Maine: Restoration, mechanical, painting & fiberglass repair, storage, rigging, electronics & more. About. ... With our 16 acres of waterfront and 113,000 square feet of indoor boat storage, Hinckley will make sure your boat is secure and dry for the winter storage season. We have room to ...

  19. Hinckley Company: Sport Boat 40c

    Built at the company's plant in Trenton, Maine, the boat is a beneficiary of Hinckley's investment in new technology, as well as recent rapid improvements in outboard engines. The 42-foot sport boat was a response to consumer demand, said Hinckley's chief marketing officer Pete Saladino.

  20. Hinckley

    2006 Hinckley Talaria 55 FB. 55 FT. Key Largo. $2,195,000. Request Photos & Specs. Hinckley power boats are beautifully elegant, hand-crafted, downeast style yachts. The Hinckley power yacht lineup includes Talaria cruising motor yachts in the 43-55 foot range, their iconic Picnic Boats in the 34-40 foot range, and Runabouts in the 29-34 foot ...

  21. Hinckley Yachts

    Hinckley produces a line of semi-custom, down-east style, lobster boats. The company was started in 1928 be Henry R. Hinckley producing mostly work boats. Hinckley has grown quite a bit since then, with yards in Southwest Harbor and Trenton, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Hinckley was a pioneer in the use of advanced ...

  22. Contact

    If you would like to have a conversation about any boat in the Hinckley Collection or to learn more about owning a Hinckley, simply contact one of our Sales Directors.

  23. Career Opportunities

    Hinckley service employees in Naples, FL. Our experienced Marine Diesel Mechanics tackle tough, challenging projects on a daily basis. From complete engine repower programs to transmissions, hydraulics and stabilizer work, no job is too big for our expert team. With over 1,100 water jet-powered boats built by Hinckley since the launch of the ...