Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 2 at Scout on the 151 Project

Our crew...Justin, Eric, and Reid, made great progress today on the 151 project. Scout's people have been extremely generous with their time and facility to ensure that what makes a Scout a Scout remains true, even when the 151 Sportfish and 151 Dorado are built in Maine.

We got down and dirty today prepping the top deck with rigging tubes and pre-drilling everything for stainless cleats, a bow rail, access hatches, and other finishing components.

The highlight today was popping the deck mold with the help of compressed air and overhead hoists.  Here's a video of us flipping the finished part just off the mold:

Going through the build process in real time is a religious experience for me.  I've had dozens of sales training seminars at Scout, but until you see human hands slowly manifest a boat from a barrel of resin and a roll of cloth, you just cannot appreciate the lengths that Scout goes to deliver a superior boat.  Everything from the hand laying process to the premium materials used to stiffen and reinforce  areas of impact and stress guarantee a lifetime of enjoyment on the water.

The Puffin team worked hard today, but that didn't stop us from having some fun.  
Here are the boys learning about static electricity:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cutwater's Long Awaited 24 Outboard

One year ago, I stood dumbfounded aboard the Cutwater 24 Solara at the Seattle Boat Show.  The boat was visually stunning and featured a fully enclosed cabin with a comfortable rear cockpit.  The 24 Solara on display was equipped with a gas inboard/outboard engine.  

At the same time, there was a 24 Solara powered by a Yamaha F300 outboard on display at the Toronto Boat Show.  I knew that the outboard version was going to be a smash hit with our boaters in Maine.  The 24 Solara reminded me of a saying from a wise old salt I know.  He said:

"You know Dan...folks always want the same things in a boat.  They want it to go fast, they want it to be big, and they want it cheap.  You can certainly get one of those may even find two of the three, but you ain't gonna ever get all three!"

Well, if this boat did as well on the water as it did in the Seattle Convention Center, I was going to prove that old man wrong!

Well...history would side for the old man.

Preliminary orders for the boat were record breaking, but as is often the case in the boat building world...the hull and deck needed some tweaks.  It would take another year to achieve Cutwater's full satisfaction related to performance, handling, and comfort.

Where many builders might have pulled the plug on the project, Cutwater steamed on ahead.  They employed massive resources to ensure that the Cutwater 24 customer would get more for their money.

Here are a couple of spy photos of the new and improved Cutwater 24 Outboard that is testing at 46 MPH with three passengers, full fuel, and water:

One of the perks of my job is that I get to do some pretty sweet boat stuff.  I'm travelling to Seattle later this month with my wife, Katie, and some of my favorite customers to seatrial one of the first production Cutwater 24s.  We've already pre-ordered a couple for customers and one will be on display in our booth at the New England Boat Show in Boston next month.

The new and improved Cutwater 24 will change the cruising game in Maine.  I anticipate that early orders for this will be huge, so if you think you might want one this Hamlin's right off!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bringing the Scout 151 to Maine

Hamlin's Marine has long been a dealer for Scout Boats, and our customers have fallen in love with the unique styling, unbeatable performance, and supreme comfort that is only found in a Scout. 

Now, something special has happened.  We will be bringing the production of the Scout 151, an entry level 15' fiberglass boat, to Maine!

Tomorrow, I'll be joining my crew in South Carolina.  Hamlin's Marine and Puffin Boats of Hampden, Maine will be at the Scout plant assembling a 2016 Scout 151 Sportfish that will be featured at the New England Boat Show in Boston next month.  Meanwhile we've been busy back at home ramping up our facility and crew to take full production back to Maine!

Two versions of the Scout 151 will be on display in Boston in February, as well as all the Maine boat shows (Portland, Augusta, & Bangor) throughout the month of March.  Both versions will feature integrated 10 gallon fuel tanks, 100% composite construction (no wood!), plenty of onboard storage, four person capacity,  and an unsinkable closed cell foam core.

The Scout 151 is an honest entry level boat that can do, cruise, entertain, and even pull a tube.  With a packaged Yamaha F40 and trailer, you can go anywhere with your Scout 151 with only a light tow vehicle.

For a limited time, you can order you Scout 151 in time for spring at a special low price.

2016 Scout 151 Sportfish (center console) with Yamaha F40 and trailer:


2016 Scout 151 Dorado (dual console) w/ bow rail and ski tow with Yamaha F40 and trailer:

I'll be posting regular updates of the project this week.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Switch to Benningron

Last season, Hamlin's Marine made a very big change.  After twenty-two years with the same line of pontoon boats, we switched to Bennington.

It was a very difficult decision for us as some of the people we worked with at the old company were practically family;  the boat business is a very personal business.

But, things had grown difficult.  Over the course of several years, we found it increasingly difficult to satisfy our customers.  New models weren't being produced, quality was diminishing, and we had to hire a full time person just to submit the warranty claims.  

So when my wife Katie and I were surrounded by excited Bennington dealers at last year's Yamaha Outboards Awards Trip, we listened.  After a couple of plant tours in Elkhart, IN and some boat show reconnaissance, we were hooked!

What we'd been hearing over the past couple of years wasn't just hype.  Bennington is the real deal...a truly remarkable builder and designer of boats.!  Although pontoon boats are one of the most popular segments in the family recreation industry,  most agree that pontoons aren't traditional boats.

Through styling, design, and performance features, Bennington has changed the perception of what a pontoon boat can be.  Sitting in the cockpit of a Q or an R series Bennington with a windshield and an aluminum arch is not unlike sitting in the cockpit of the most advanced sport boats and cruisers on the market.  

The benefits of owning a Bennington are not limited to the luxury models.  The base family models are ripe with quality upholstery and features you'd only expect in competing lines luxury trim levels.

Hamlin's Marine is excited to introduce you to Bennington pontoons in 2016!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


What is "Edendriver"?  Technically speaking, Edendriver is a compact power boat with remarkable styling, handling, and utility for fishing or entertaining.

Of course there was never a boat without a story, and Edendriver's story is likely one of the best and worst you've ever heard.

Let's start with the name..."Edendriver".  Peculiar, isn't it?  It is surely not the intuitive sort of name we are used to hearing like "Sundancer"... "Pursuit"..."Boston Whaler".   You get the point.  "Edendriver" is not a love at first sight type of name.  The name is one of those things like coffee, manual transmissions, or in my case...Bourbon.  An aquired taste is often better, isn't it?

"Edendriver" was inspired by Seph Limehouse's daily driving commute to Scout Boats in Summersville, South Carolina from his home in the Eden Forest on John's Island.   Seph was a boatbuilder and designer at Scout Boats, and he worked alongside his Brother-in-Law, Stevie Potts.  Seph was an old world craftsman trapped in the digital age.  He and his love, Leigh, hand built a custom home on the island to standards rarely seen today.

What Seph didn't know is that his body would not allow him to share a long life with Leigh and his daughter, Ellen.  While Leigh was pregnant, Seph learned that he was going to die.  Seph, Leigh, and the whole family soon learned the agony and pain brought on by terminal cancer.  The physical pain was endured alone by Seph for three years, which makes "Edendriver" all the more remarkable.  

Seph knew that he would be abandoning Leigh and Ellen on planet Earth, but he was going to make damn sure they didn't struggle after his time passed.  Surrounded by friends and family, Seph left his lasting achievement designing and building the Edendriver.  For three years Seph toiled in his barn, all the while fighting excrutiating pain.  "Edendriver" is Seph's legacy and his tribute to the family left behind.

Puffin Boats and Hamlin's Marine will be building and selling the Edendriver for Seph's family beginning in 2016.  Seph's original build will be on display at the New England Boat Show in Boston this February.  The first production "Edendriver" built in Maine will debut at the Maine Boats & Harbors Show in Rockland in August 2016.