Monday, October 28, 2019

The Big Dark

Image may contain: Dan Higgins, smiling, ocean, sky, mountain, outdoor, water and nature
Big Guy in a Little Boat
There are still a few hardy souls running the Penobscot River in October.  Last Saturday, we had a beautiful boating afternoon.  On a day's notice, we had a couple fly up from Maryland to seatrial and purchase a Jeanneau NC895.

Image may contain: sky, house, outdoor and nature
Jeanneau NC895 Being Inspected Prior To Seatrial

While Josh Cottrell spent the afternoon demonstrating the Jeanneau, I took a friend of mine for a boat ride on a little 14' Carolina Skiff we took in trade.  We cast off from the marina, made a stop at my cove a few miles down the river, and headed back up with a detour up Sucker Brook on a flood tide behind the showroom.

Image may contain: 1 person, tree, sky, outdoor, nature and water
On Sucker Brook at Flood Tide with Steve

There is something special about being on a big, tidal river on a crisp fall day in a tiny boat.  The feeling reminds me of being a kid running around the woods, getting lost in the tall trees.  The world seems like a very big place again...all the problems of the day seem insignificant.

During our cruise, we passed Cianbro's barge loaded with magnificent steel structures headed to a faraway port.

But the Big Dark is coming...the end of boating season in Maine.  For those of you that don't winter in Maine, you are missing out on the season that makes us a hardy people.  It's dark, icy, and sometimes gloomy.  Sure there are beautiful aspects of a Maine winter, but boating becomes a memory.

As we head into the Big Dark, remember that boating will be here again soon enough!  Everyone at Hamlin's Marine is already planning our adventures for next season.  Keep us in mind on those cold, lonely nights.  Don't ever stop thinking about boating!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Career Expo at Hamlin's Marine on Thursday, August 22nd from 5 to 7 PM

Image result for career opportunities

Did you know that boating isn't just a fun hobby, and that people can make a very good living messing around with boats?

Not too long ago, my wife told me a story about a conversation with another mother at the elementary school pickup line.  It went something like this...

Other mother: "So you own the marina in town right?"

My wife: "Yes."

Other mother: "That sounds like so much fun!  What else do you do?"

My wife: "That's it."

She smiled and was thinking, What else do I do???  Are you kidding?  I employ 45 people to sell 300 boats a year, store 600 boats, oversee a small boat manufacturing company and upholstery business, and write hundreds of checks a week. Somehow, I still have time to throw a load of laundry in!!!!

The recreational marine industry is awesome.  Nothing else compares.  My employees are my family, and we share adventures all over the country bringing the best boats to Maine and striving to be the best servicing dealership in the country.

Check out our Annual Employee Field Day:

Hamlin's Marine is hiring now because we are growing fast.  We need a Purchasing and Retail Parts Associate, A Staff Accountant, Rigging Technicians, Mechanics, Yard Coordinators, Boat Detailers, and Fiberglass Technicians.  These are just Titles, but what we really need are dynamic personalities that are dedicated to success.  We want people that want to make a great living with a fun team.  Hamlin's employees all like lots of time off in the winter!!!

On Thursday, August 22nd from 5-7 PM, Hamlin's Marine is hosting a Career Expo at our Waterville and Hampden Boat Showrooms.  Anyone who is interested in learning more about an exciting career with us is invited to come in and meet our staff, tour our facility, look at our listings, schedule an interview while enjoying snacks and a glass of wine, beer, or just plain old water.

Monday, July 22, 2019

North Haven Adventure

This past weekend, Katie and I set out for a new destination...North Haven, Maine.  As the crow flies, North Haven lies about 43 miles southeast of Hamlin's Marina. 

Anyone who knows Katie and me understands that we are not planners, and to pull off a trip like this everything would need to align, lodging, boat, mooring, etc.  The weather was perfect for our journey...inland temperatures were in the mid-90s and offshore we experienced low 80s.  A bit of wind persisted, but the seas remained fairly calm all the way.  Lodging is tricky on North Haven.  I had heard tales of a whimsical inn on the island, Nebo Lodge

Of course, I also knew that a night at that inn in mid-July would require a reservation twelve months in advance.  I called the day before, and wouldn't you know...the Nebo Lodge had a cancellation, I booked a room!

Now for a boat.  Well, that is tricky at Hamlin's Marina in mid-July as well.  Certainly, I would need a craft big enough and fast enough to make the trip in our short window.  Our inventory of boats is pretty wiped out, but luckily we still had a perfect boat for the journey.   The all-new Chris-Craft 28 GT was going to get a break from the showroom.

Chris-Craft 28 GT

The Chris-Craft is powered by the new Yamaha 425 V8, and it made quick work of Penobscot Bay.  Top speed attained was 52 MPH, but we cruised comfortably at 3800 to 4000 RPM in the mid-thirties.

As for a mooring, we called Brown's Boat Yard upon our arrival, and we picked up the last mooring available in the harbor.  Although, they don't have an official launch service, fifth generation family member Adam Brown picked us up in his Yamaha powered skiff.  Foy Brown let me use his old wooden rowing skiff to get back to the Chris-Craft early Sunday morning.  Nothing like a Sunday morning in a busy lobster harbor to learn how to row!

Brown's Boat Yard

Katie spotted a couple of the Puffin Dinghies we build in Hampden tied to the wharf:

There were a lot of highlights during our North Haven trip.  Here were the Top 5:

5. Dinner at Nebo Lodge
4. Learning how to row with Foy Brown's dinghy
3. People watching at North Haven Brewing Company
2. Lounging on Penobscot Bay in a Chris Craft
1. Late night pizza at Calderwood Hall

Katie and I only spent one day at North Haven.  Our next trip will definitely be a longer one with our daughters as this is definitely a great family destination!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Nobody Boats on Sesame Street...Bangor Boat Show Gets Bumped For Big Bird:(

If you came looking to buy a new Bennington at the Cross Center today, you are going to have to settle for Burt and Ernie.  But don't fret, you have all week to take advantage of Boat Show pricing, extended Yamaha warranties, and the famous Hamlin's Money Booth with your chance to win up to $2000 in store credit with the purchase of a qualifying boat package!

This week Hamlin's Marina will cap off March Madness boat deals with a 24 hour sale!  That's right, Hamlin's Marina in Hampden will be hosting an amazing sales event on Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th:

If you haven't heard yet, twelve lucky contestants have been picked to compete during the event to win a new Scout 151 boat package with a Yamaha 50 HP outboard.  

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, nature, text and water

And for the truly hardcore, join us Friday night at midnight in our boat showroom for a screening of Jaws, Jaws II, and Jaws III.  We will follow it up with a Boater's Breakfast from 6-8 A.M. while we observe the poor remaining souls competing to win the Scout!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March Madness at Hamlin’s Marina

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  One of my favorite holidays, also marks the mid-point of March Madness at Hamlin’s Marina.

Boaters all know that March is the month to buy a boat  because you can save money, qualify for extended warranties, and have time to order the boat exactly how you want it!

The Portland Boat Show and the Augusta Boat Show are in the books and we are busy rigging dozens of boats for the upcoming season for Maine families, fishermen, and ocean adventurers.  

Today our team is at the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show at the University of Maine field house.

This show is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of great deals on aluminum fishing Boats from Polar Kraft and Alumacraft powered by Yamaha outboards.  You can also check out the new Value Fishing Packages from Bennington.  Check out these Doorbuster Deals on Alumacraft Packages:

Next week we prepare for our biggest show of the year, the Bangor Boat Show running Thursday through Saturday.  We will have over 30 boats on display!

Then to cap off the month of March on Friday, March 29th at noon until Saturday, March 30 at noon...Hamlin’s Marina will be having a 24 Hour Sale “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!” 

During the sale we will be having a Jaws Movie Marathon in the Hampden Showroom, hosting a Boater’s Breakfast on Saturday Morning, and giving away a $20,000 Scout 151 to the Winner of “All Hands On Deck”! 

Make sure you enter to win on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kicking Off the Boating Season

Get Pumped!  Get Amped!  Get Fired UP!  

Boating season is only months away, and for those of us attending the New England Boat Show in Boston this week...the season has begun.  If you are not yet aware, we are living in the Gilded Age of recreational boating.  

Veteran and newbie boaters alike have more options to get on the water than any time in the history of the world.  My Great, Great, Great Grandfather Samuel Higgins was a boat builder on the Clark's Fork River near Noxon, Montana in the late 1800s.  His designs were cutting edge back then, but I wish I could transport him to 2019 and give him a spin on a 30' Bennington Pontoon with twin Yamaha 300 outboards!

Image result for behind these mountains samuel higgins
Samuel Higgins and Friends Chilling in His Boat


There are so many exciting new boating options at Hamlin's Marina this year.  Right now we have hundreds of new boats in stock to check out including Bennington, Stingray, Mastercraft, Chris-Craft, and Scout models.  

Let me also announce an exciting new line, Scarab Jet Boats.  Scarab offers single and twin engine options from 16' to 25'.  Jet boats are an excellent option for those in shallow, rocky lakes because there are no lower units.  These boats are absolutely sick and the lack of props allow for safe surfing!  Check out footage from our maiden round trip voyage in our Scarab 215ID with twin 300 Rotax Engines from Hampden to Belfast last November...