Friday, April 29, 2011

The Ultimate Penobscot River Ride Will Be Here in 45 Minutes!!!!

I'm so excited.  To me, it's 5 A.M. on Christmas morning and I'm a twelve year old lying in bed with my eyes wide open waiting for my parents to let me come down the stairs and see my brand new bike.  Only I am really 34, its a beautiful April morning, and I am about to unload a 2011 Rinker 310 Express Cruiser at the marina.  I swear, though, it is the exact same feeling.

You see, I've had to wait a long time for this boat to arrive.  In January, I painstakingly picked out options, colors, and the engines.  Of course, my instinct was to load up the boat with every bit of marine candy I could.  Unfortunately, it's not my boat, and it is important for the future boat owner to customize the vessel to his/or her preference.  So, I didn't go crazy...the boat is white with a black boot stripe and some other nice finishing touches.  The twin V8 Mercruisers will push the boat in excess of 40 MPH if needed, but will cruise efficiently at around 25 mph.

Rinker has broken the status quo with this new vessel and has, in my opinion, manifested what all boater's desire...a perfect balance of form and function.   Really, this boat is a work of art.  But the 310 is certainly no wall ornament, as it will hand deliver you to countless ocean-going adventures.  Life is short and fleeting...buying a 310 will transform your existence and provide you, your family, and friends with memories of seascapes, lobster bakes, and beach combing in Maine.  No regrets...just a feeling of real satisfaction.
Check out some of the photos of our adventures in Penobscot Bay...

The interior is spacious and there is plenty of room to lounge in the open air; just imagine rounding the corner in to Castine Harbor, cutting a 3' chop, and feeling the warm sun on your skin.  Pull up to the dock...walk to the market and pick up a couple of ribeyes to throw on the integrated grill.

Oh, the anticipation is killing me.  Got to shoot down to the waterfont to unload her right now!!!

Check her out... Rinker Boats - 2011 Rinker 310 Express Cruiser  and view all of our other boats at Boat Sales at Hamlin's Marine

Monday, April 18, 2011

Polar kraft Outlander...Inspired by Maine Waters!

Here's a great story...kind of a modern day "David and Goliath".  It's a story of how a small Maine dealership stood up to some pretty big corporate players and proved them wrong.

Hamlin's Marine has been the world's top volume dealer of Polar kraft aluminum boats for the past four years running (Polar kraft Boats).  But not too long ago, Hamlin's was a top dealer for a brand of boats that had a pretty good reputation at the time.  Our prior brand of aluminum boats was built by a proud group of people in Minnesota and these boats bore the name of Lund.  In 2005, Lund was purchased by Brunswick Corporation, the world's largest boat company.  Brunswick also happens to own the Mercury outboard brand.  As you may be aware, Brunswick proceeded to force dealers to power Lund with Mercury outboards.

For many reasons, the atttitude of Brunswick Corporation did not meld well with Hamlin's Marine, nor our customers for that matter.  Soon, we made the tough decision to take on a new brand of aluminum boats, the little known brand of Polar kraft.  In order to launch the brand, Hamlin's Marine teamed up with L.L.Bean to design a series of Outlander boats in the Polar kraft line.  Quality construction with a focus on the hull and substructure was the primary focus on the Outlanders.  Check out this video to see the extruded aluminum stringers, horizontal connecting torque boxes, and extruded hat ribs:

Within one year, the Polar kraft line was outselling our Lund line at our dealership...4 to 1.  An executive at Lund made a personal visit to Hamlin's Marine in 2006 to let us know they would be taking the line away from our dealership and relocating it to a Tracker Marine dealer that believed in the Mercury line of outboards. 

Now there are twelve different models in the Outlander series, and sales are booming across the country.  Check out Outlander 186 SC that started it all here: Polar kraft Outlander 186 SC

This boat was first drawn on a big boardroom table in Freeport by a team from Hamlin's and L.L.Bean!  Here at Hamlin's we couldn't be more proud of the Polar kraft and the Yamaha and Honda outboards that power them.  Please come in into our showrooms and see for yourself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hamlin's Marina...The site of legendary Norumbega?

Check out this exerpt from Wikipedia about the lost City of Norumbega:

"Norumbega (or Norumb├Ęgue, Nurumbega, etc) was a legendary settlement in northeastern North America, inextricably connected with attempts to demonstrate Viking incursions in New England.  Like Cathay, it was a semi-legendary place name used to fill a gap in existing geographical knowledge.


An early reference was that of the French navigator, Jean Allefonsce (1542), who reported that he had coasted south from Newfoundland and had discovered a great river. "The river is more than 40 leagues wide at its entrance and retains its width some thirty or forty leagues. It is full of Islands, which stretch some ten or twelve leagues into the sea. ... Fifteen leagues within this river there is a town called Norombega, with clever inhabitants, who trade in furs of all sorts; the town folk are dressed in furs, wearing sable. ... The people use many words which sound like Latin. They worship the sun. They are tall and handsome in form. The land of Norombega lie high and is well situated."

The word "Norumbega" was originally spelled Oranbega in Girolamo da Verrazzano's 1529 map of America, and the word is believed to derive from one of the Algonquian languages spoken in New England. It is often cited as meaning "quiet place between the rapids" or "quiet stretch of water"."

Maybe you've heard of Norumbega...or maybe you haven't.  The subject actually arose during a discussion between myself and Dean Bennett, the Town of Hampden's director of economic development.  You see, Dean and I, have been working on building a waterfront park on the Penobscot River just south of our marina.  The new park will be situated on a spectacular piece of land which forms a 10 acre penninsula.  Chances are you have never seen this piece of land as it has been left undisturbed for about 100 years since Stern's Lumber mill vacated.  Well we were brainstorming about park names, and I remembered this old story I'd heard about a lost civilization somewhere in New England.  Also, I'd once spent a night at the Norumbega Inn in Camden, ME.

Now with all the technology and resources available to the common man like Google Earth and Wikipedia,  Dean and I quickly discovered that the new park actually may be the site of the mythical people.  The Wikipedia entries state that the city lies 15 leagues into the river.  Well, neither Dean nor I could remember how far a league was, but Google was quick to let us know its about 5.5 km.  And, yes neither one of us was very good with kilometers either, so Google informed us that a kilometer is .62 of a mile.  Anyway Dean and I put our heads together and figured out that Norumbega should be about 51 miles from Penobscot Bay.  The Google Earth measurement gave us about 25 miles up from the mouth of the river, but of course that is "how the crow flies".   Well, I'm pretty sure that those Vikings who found the Norumbegans couldn't fly like crows.  Our mighty Penobscot twists and turns like an ornery snake.

The best we could tell with our limited cartography skills, is that Hamlin's Marina is 51 miles north by water from where the Penobscot opens up into the mighty Atlantic.

The other piece of evidence that pretty much guarantees that Hamlin's Marina is in fact the modern day Norumbega is that all of our boaters here "worship the sun" and many of them are "tall and handsome in form".  I don't know how clever they all are, but I've heard some folks around here speak a language sharing some similarities to Latin.

Anyway, I think the new park should be called "Norumbega Park".  What do you think?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Degree of Fish Fever

Why should you fish anyway? You will spend endless hours trying to retrieve fish from water that is too deep, shallow or discolored. You'll have moments of disgust and moments of joy. Sometimes you'll wonder what you’re doing wrong; other times you'll wonder what you’re doing right. And after those long tireless hours, some of us will even return those fish to the tannic stained waters of Maine.

I fish a lot. But some people fish harder and longer than me. I like to blame their ability to out fish me on my age, but I have a strong feeling that it has to do with something else.

My brother in-law tells me how much he likes to fish. Every time I ask him to go, something gets in the way. It may be a barbecue he has planned with friends or a baseball game he wants to see. His degree of fish fever is probably low.

I have another friend. I asked him to go ice fishing with me last winter. He hates the cold and tepidly declined. But latter that evening, I received a call from him asking how the fishing was. He has a higher degree of fish fever and fished with me the following weekend.

Several years ago I was fishing Rangeley Lake, in western Maine, shortly after ice out. When we were pulling out of the water, after a long weekend of fishing, we ran into John. John had been fishing the Lake for two weeks. He had caught over fifty salmon during that time. John takes several weeks off from work moment Rangeley Lake opens up. John has a higher degree of fish fever than me.

What degree of fish fever do you have? Take the following test and add up the degrees to find your fever!

You've called in to work stating you were sick to go fishing =1* -You regularly skip family get-togethers to go fishing=1* -All you friends fish; if they don't, they're not your friend=1* -You own more than two fishing poles nut less than five=1* -You'll walk more than a mile or paddle more than three for a fishing spot=1* -You own more than five fishing poles=2* -You suck up to your friends that own a boat or fishing camp=2*

-You get pissed off when people catch more fish than you=2* -You regularly get up earlier that 4:00 AM to go fishing=2* -You dream about leaving your spouse, abandoning your family, purchasing a rig to travel across country with one thought in mind, fish, fish, and more fish=3*

-You regularly get up earlier than 3:00 AM to go fishing=3* -You decided to marry your spouse, or are deciding, because of her fishing ability=3* -You have spent more on your truck and boat than you paid for your house=4* -You think about fishing more than twice a day and read fishing literature or the FishHead blog at work=5* -You find a trip to LL Bean, Kittery Trading Post or Cabela's more exhilarating than a trip to the hospital for your first born=5* -You've sold your house to purchase your rig and obtain more time to fish=6* -You’ve quit your job because fishing season is open and you don’t know what you’re going to do other than fish=7* -Your contemplating a divorce because your spouse complains about the amount of time you spend fishing=8* -You've left your wife, abandoned your family, purchased a rig and are traveling across country with one thought in mind, fish, fish, and more fish=10*

How high is your fever?

(1*-3*)If you're degree of fish fever is between 1 and 3 degrees you have a mild fever. Limit your interaction with fishing buddies and fish less than once a month to cure the fever.

(4*-6*)Your fever is critical. It is important to sell all fishing equipment and cancel fishing plans if you want to stop the fever from progressing. This is a critical stage and if not managed properly your fever could become worse.

(7*-9*)You have a bad fever and have entered the management stage. The selling of equipment or canceling of fishing trips could cause panic attacks or worse. It is important to fish on a weekly basis to keep your composure but limit contact with other fisherman if at all possible. This could invoke the desire to out fish them and spend more and more in an attempt to do so.

(10* and over....) You have the fever baaaad! It is important to manage your life in a way that evolves around fishing. Limit your friends to people that fish and choose your spouse and her family carefully (marital problems could result if this is not followed properly) Fish every weekend and at least once during the week to limit the temptations to blow off work and go fishing. And finally fish till you drop! (Booking trips to Labrador or Alaska can help you with this endeavor).

You only live once!

Check out some of the finest Aluminum Fishing Boats here.

By: Marc Gilbert (A Hamlin's customer and very serious fisherman!)

Boat Sales, Service, and Marina at Hamlin's Marine