Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Mike Guerette...Unsung Hero at Hamlin's Marine

Mike's Day Off

Mike Guerette is our Shop Foreman in Waterville.  He's an independent-minded outdoorsman who also happens to be a cracker jack marine mechanic.  Mike takes his job very seriously which is part of the reason our shop was recently recognized by a Worker's Compensation auditor, as "the cleanest marine shop" he had ever seen.  I also give plenty of credit to our Waterville Operations Manager, Tim Dutton.

Mike has spent the past decade attending Marine Technician schools all over the country including Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, and Mastercraft.  Over the past year, Mike has continued to provide our customers with a first-hand look at how we maintain and repair boats and marine engine with his series of "Tech Talk" videos.  

At Hamlin's Marine, we see a lot of smashed props and gear cases.  So whenever I'm on an unfamiliar lake or harbor, I'm always worrying about striking a rock.  I've given our shop plenty of work over the years!  Here's a "Tech Talk" video showing a gearcase being rebuilt by one of our experienced technicians:

One of the things that makes my stomach turn is seeing fiberglass or gelcoat damage.  Often the damage is cosmetic, but it's a terrible thing to see spider cracks overcoming the surface of a beautiful boat.  Mike and Norman explain the process of repairing stress cracks on fiberglass boats in this video:

In normal times, Hamlin's gears up for the Boat Shows.  Did you know that Hamlin's Marine displays at the Boston Boat Show, the Portland Boat Show, the Augusta Boat Show, and the Bangor Boat Show?  Our crew also sets up displays for Sportsman's Shows and prepare boats for our Saturdaze on the Water series throughout the summer.  Mike Guerette captures the crew preparing for the Augusta Boat Show:

Mike Guerette is one of the reasons that Hamlin's Marine is the best marine service center in the State of Maine.  Mike works behind the scenes, but his work has never been more valuable than in times like these!  Thanks Mike...Can't wait to see more "Tech Talk".

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Anti-Social Boating

Image result for anti social

Ted Ross is a legend when it comes to selling boats at Hamlin's Marina.  He's at home with his family in Farmington, Maine but is available by phone or web chat available on our website  Ted can answer your questions, negotiate a boat sale, and arrange delivery all without touching you.

Josh Cottrell is in a highly-secured office in Hampden, Maine.  Although you can't hug him or shake his hand right now, he is available to get you into the boat of your dreams.  Josh shot this video this past weekend of our awesome Do-It-Yourself Boat Show located at 100 Marina Road in Hampden located at the public launch for the Penobscot River (which is open for boating by the way!)

Our service departments in both Waterville and Hampden are open for business with some restrictions.  Check out this video, demonstrating our new policies at our Waterville service department.  Michael Guerette, our Lead Service Technician, has helped spear-head new safety and public health policies at Hamlin's.

It doesn't seem like there's much to do lately except worry, but you can definitely connect with Hamlin's Marina.  Let's all dream about the upcoming warm weather and being on the water!  In fact, with all the travel restrictions and social distancing, I can't think of anything better than wetting a line from a new boat.

Hope to see you all again soon!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Forget Pizza...Have a Fishing Boat Delivered!

Hamlin's Marine Fishing Team

If you have been paying much attention to the news lately, it's looking pretty grim.  I mean who would think that we'd need to contend with a deadly virus, government gridlock, and the G.O.A.T. leaving for sunny Florida all in the same month?  One might wonder if the Massachusetts lock-down today is a desperate attempt to keep Tom Brady in New England.

Yes...we have serious issues to contend with, but Maine's Governor Mills gave us all something to cheer about!  She has declared open water fishing early to encourage people to get outside and do something fun and productive.  You don't even need a fishing license from now until April 30th.  Follow this link for complete details:

Hamlin's Marina can deliver a fishing boat right to your door if you live in Maine.  We have some incredible offers right now including extended warranties and some huge discounts on stock boats.  Check out these deals:
New 2018 Alumacraft MVT1546AW

This Alumacraft is set up to fish with pedestal fold down seats, modified V hull for stability, running lights, and is pre-wired for a Minnkota trolling motor.   Unique to this model is a 5" tunnel in the hull which allows you to run the Yamaha F25 in really shallow water.  The entire package with trailer is yours for just $7995 + tax delivered to your door!  Check out this link for more details:

New 2019 PolarKraft Frontier 179WT

Our most popular full-windshield model with canvas full enclosure to keep you warm and socially distant is the Polarkraft Frontier 179WT.  This beast is wide and deep and perfect for trolling for Salmon and Togue.   Have this fully loaded package with Yamaha VF115 and Ezloader trailer delivered to your door for only $29,995 + tax.

Please visit our website to see our full line of new and used boats.  You can contact our sales force, negotiate a deal, and pay over the phone.  We deliver!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Bangor Boat Show is Cursed

Nobody Likes Boating on Sesame Street

Last Year's Bangor Boat Show turned out to be a disaster for the local boating community because the Cross Center made the mistake of double-booking the venue during the Holy Day for boaters in Central and Northern Maine.   Sesame Street Live stole the show on Sunday, and boaters all over Maine went into mourning.

Naturally, all of us at Hamlin's Marina formed a strong distaste for any puppet or plush animal for quite awhile.  Life is unpredictable...I never thought something like Sesame Street Live could have such a negative impact on the boat business.  

Enter 2020, and an invisible enemy is shaking every business to its core.  The Bangor Boat Show is cancelled this weekend.   First Sesame Street and now Corona Virus...the show is definitely cursed!

Better than Sesame Street

It's my mission right now to ensure that people can still look forward to boating in the coming months.  Our showrooms are open in Waterville and Hampden, and we have special incentives from the manufacturers to keep America rolling.  In Hampden, we have set up a Candock run with a huge selection of 2020 Bennington pontoon boats lined up in the marina parking lot located at 100 Marina Road, Hampden Maine next to McLaughlin's Restaurant.

New Lime Green Accent on Swingback Model
Benningtons Being Set Up for Display in Marina Parking Lot

Bennington Pontoons for Miles

Looking forward to seeing people again at Hamlin's Marina!  Things are getting better every day, and we can't wait to see the boats on the water again.

Monday, March 16, 2020

This Docking Might Make Your Boat Look Bad

About a decade ago, I was in Ireland and saw Candock for the first time on the Emerald Coast.  It looked like a long, flexible snake across a tidal flat.  I could see that it would be the ultimate solution for the 15 foot monster tidal conditions at Hamlin's Marina.

Fast forward until last fall, and I was in Sherbrooke, Quebec at the Candock plant.

Tyler Learning Installation of Docking integrated with a Jetslide
I've probably been on more plant tours than 99% of the world population, so I am not easily impressed.  After I put on the safety glasses and earplugs, I was prepared to be bored out of my mind.  Not so with Candock.  The plant and the people running the plant reminded me a scene from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".  The family that runs this plant goes all over the world to install custom on-water modular docks that look cool and add fun to the boating experience.  I've never met people so excited about docking, and it is contagious.  

Hamlin's Marina is now Maine's distributor of Candock Modular Floating Systems.  I never thought docking was that cool.  To me, it was always a necessary evil to get to your boat.  Docking was something I had to maintain when the Penobscot River ripped the fasteners out and snapped wooden boards during extreme tides, or when a discourteous yachtsman ignored the No Wake Zone. 

Check out this video demonstrating the flexibility and stability of Candock:

Hamlin's Marina is upgrading our marina with Candock this spring, and I know our slip customers will be as excited as I am.  We used the Candock for our display at the Augusta Boat Show, and people were amazed by the fact it can be customized for any waterfront.  The cool factor of the LED lights in the utility channel was lost on nobody. 


The best part about Candock is that is a more affordable solution to traditional aluminum and wooden docking systems available.   Contact us today for a quote on your custom docking solution:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Hamlin's Marina Welcomes Jeanneau Power Boats to Maine

A couple years ago, Josh Cottrell and I were down in Rhode Island at the Newport Boat Show.  The Newport Boat Show is an elegant affair, and I consider it the ultimate exhibition to people watch and gawk at power boats.

As we wandered around the docks, a certain boat caught our attention.  The handsome vessel carried a wide beam and had a pair of Yamaha F250s hanging off the transom.  I looked around for more information and learned that we were looking at a Jeanneau Leader 9.0.


Instant confusion.

9.0?  Must be metric?  9 meters...huh...

Jeanneau?  French? Made in Poland... What?

Leader...a Walk Around, a Center Console, a Cruiser????

It seemed as though Josh's mind was being bent as well because we were suddenly at a loss for words.  If you know Josh and know that we are never at a loss for words!  Finally we looked at each other, and we both came to same conclusion that we needed to get the Jeanneau line for Hamlin's Marina. 

Finally, a company that builds a boat for the Maine coast that provides both value and quality!  It took only about five minutes of us crawling around the Leader 9.0 to know that Jeanneau produces the perfect models for coastal cruising in Maine. 

Hamlin's Marina will be showcasing the most popular models from Jeanneau Power Boats in Portland, Maine at Fore Points Marina on May 15th & 16th.  Come take a test ride on an NC795, NC895, or Leader 9.0 at the newest marina on Casco Bay. 

Fore Points Marina...Portland's New Waterfront Destination

Josh Cottrell and I would love to show you how Jeanneau is the perfect cruising boat for your family.  Please register for this event now, as availability is limited.  Get your free tickets by following this link:

Friday, March 13, 2020

Boating Will Save the World

I'm 43 years young.  I have never experienced a week like this. 

On Sunday, we finished up at the Augusta Boat Show.  Hamlin's Marine broke an all-time record for boats sold. 

New Stingray 191 DC

Mark's Music Scaffold Audio/Video Display

PolarKraft 165 WT
On Monday, I had a meeting with the Hamlin's sales team.  They reminded me of weary soldiers collapsed on the battlefield.  Our groggy staff gulped our coffee and eagerly filled up our service boards with new boat scheduled deliveries.  At that time, we were well ahead of our sales forecasts, and to top that off...the weather was unusually warm.

Then...things got really weird.  I spoke with one of my boat reps over the phone, and he told me boat dealers and promoters were starting to panic.  The Governor of Massachusetts had declared a State of Emergency and decided to cancel boat shows.  At the time, I thought it was hysteria...unthinkable!  Then the following day, the panic came to Maine.

Living in Maine, I often feel blessed that we are removed from the mainstream.  People here are practical, hard working, and independent.  I like to think of myself that way.  But all the sudden, I was at Sam's Club with my wife wrestling for cases of toilet paper!

Anyway, they cancelled all three of our shows for the rest of the month.  The Orono Sportsman's Show, the Bangor Boat Show, and the Augusta Sportsman's Show are now all cancelled for the month of March.  Normally, we sell about 50 boats during the next couple of weeks.  

Hamlin's Marine will do our best to conduct business as usual from our showrooms in Hampden and Waterville.   Our 2020 model pontoons, sport boats, and fishing boats will be on display inside and on the lot (luckily there is no snow in the forecast).  Our manufacturers have extended us extra rebates and we are saving tens of thousands on show you will get an incredible deal on new and used boats in March.  

Come see us at our showrooms...we are being extra careful by disinfecting all of our work surfaces, and anyone that shows up with the sniffles will be sent home!  We can even launch boats in the Penobscot River!!