I am pleased to announce that D.N. Hylan & Associates Inc. will become Hylan & Brown - Boatbuilders. It was in our winter 2012 newsletter that Doug announced that he had brought me on as partner. Since that time my responsibilities as well as my ownership of the company have grown to the point that Doug thought we ought to put my name on the shingle too. I'm honored to be associated with all the great work that Doug and this shop have turned out over the past 20 years. I look forward to continuing and building upon the great reputation for quality, honesty and creativity that Doug has worked so hard to build.
From his previous 24/7 schedule Doug has transitioned to part time in the past couple years. He has taken time to realize some long term goals with his wife Jean, including a cruise to the Bahama's last winter, and construction of a new home behind the shop on Benjamin River. Doug continues to turn out custom design work and supply the shop with detailed construction drawings for new builds and restorations. Whether he is in the office designing on the computer, or 1000 miles away steering down the ICW he is almost always the first place I turn for help in solving any number of the wonderful problems that arise in custom yacht construction.
Traditional work-boat inspired design/ build
Last winter we built
, a pleasure boat inspired by the Chesapeake crab "scrape boat" DARLENE. "Scrape boats" or "barcats,' are a distinctive member of the Chesapeake deadrise family. The have a very fine bow that rapidly transitions to almost flat sections by the midship station. This twist was traditionally achieved by cross planking the bottom from chine to keel. In his Point Comfort 18 design, Doug developed a method for achieving this hull shape in plywood, and that same method was applied, on a larger scale, in the construction of PELICAN.
After sea trials and boat shows this past summer she has just taken to the water in her home port of Stuart FL. Doug had started the custom design for PELICAN in summer 2016. But when he departed on his cruise south last September the design was unfinished and there was no contract to build.
In December I got the best kind of phone call you can get in this business: PELICAN's future owner said "let's build it!" Luckily Doug brought a computer along on his trawler MIM. So while Jean took the helm Doug finished the design of PELICAN. And with the help of a cloud, wifi and a robotic router in Blue Hill we were setting up molds for PELICAN in no time.
PELICAN was mostly completed by the time Doug returned to Brooklin at the end of May. It was a rewarding project that gave me great hope for the future of our little shop. While Doug was rarely unreachable, there were inevitably challenges in the construction that had to be solved without his help. Our foreman Matt Elwell and I found ourselves quite capable of collaborating to overcome these challenges. So while I have to respect the technology that enabled us to build a custom boat designed
on a boat thousands of miles away, it was really the experience gained from years under Doug's tutelage that enabled us to turn out a great boat in his absence. And that's old technology!
This summer we were subcontracted to build 49 door sets for a 91' sloop currently under construction at Brooklin Boat Yard. The order was for cherry passageway and cabinet doors, all with curved/ laminated cherry frames. It was the largest joinery project to date at Hylan & Brown, and it all went very well. A special thanks is in order to Kit Macchi who made every laminated frame, built some of the doors, fit every lockset and morticed every hinge. She did a great job and missed out on more than a couple afternoon sails to get it all done.
If you're in Brooklin I encourage you to stop by BBY and behold this 91 ft. boat. It is impressive in all ways. We were but one small piece of a construction puzzle, the magnitude of which is tough to convey.
Marsh Hen Design
"Bare Hull" Construction
Early this fall we started construction of a "bare hull"
design. Her owner, a recently retired architect, will finish the boat at his shop in Castine. We look forward to consulting with him and providing him assistance when necessary as he brings the boat to completion. I'm hoping this arrangement might be appealing to some other ambitious amateur builders. Doug's designs are wonderful to work from, and well within reach for many reasonably capable carpenters. But the logistics of building and rolling a hull the size of Marsh Hen or Bowler are challenging in most home shops. Have us build the hull and call or e-mail whenever you need help. It could be a cost effective and rewarding way to take on a project that might otherwise be out of reach.
Quoddy Pilot- INTEGRITY
Quoddy Pilot - INTEGRITY
used with permission from Samuel F. Manning
We will be finishing up work on a 1973 Quoddy Pilot called INTEGRITY this fall. Her devoted owner reached a point in life where he was ready for a boat with a more manageable sail plan than the big cutter rig he's been wrestling with for the last 30 years. Rather than sell a boat that he often refers to as "part of the family" he hired Nat Benjamin to design a ketch rig for her thereby dividing the area of the cutter's big gaff main into a more manageable main and marconi mizzen sail. Kit Macchi built him a lovely hollow mizzen of clear Sitka spruce. It's fitted out with a combination of new "in house" custom hardware beautifully fabricated by Matt Elwell, and reclaimed antique bronze hardware. The enormous main boom was cut in two and the resulting pieces were reshaped and refinished to become the new main and mizzen booms. With the addition of a roller furling jib and an electric windlass, sailing INTEGRITY will be a whole new experience in 2018. I hope a strategic and cost effective refit like this might encourage others to keep the 'old girl' in the family when the time comes to make some changes.
Elco 50 "Flat Top" PATIENCE
This winter the shop will be busy. PATIENCE, a 1927 Elco 50 flat top, arrived at the shop just last week. She's had some structural restoration done over the past 10 years. We will begin with outstanding structural issues and then direct our attention to the design and construction of her aft cabin.
In "Junior's" shop we'll begin construction of the latest of our "hat" designs. Starting with Doug's Top Hat design, first built in 2002 followed by the Bowler design first built in 2013, we will call this one "Gatsby" (a somewhat obscure hat also known as a newsboy cap.) Her hull will be built to the same lines as Top Hat and Bowler, drawing characteristics from each. Her main bulkhead will be at the same station as Top Hat's, providing more cockpit and less cabin than Bowler. Her raised sheer will be nearly as high as Bowler providing enough space down below for a V-berth and a toilet. She'll be new and different from both previous designs in other ways: A rounded windscreen with a convertible canvas top, a 90 HP outboard on the transom (no motor well) and wrap around seat in the rounded aft end of the cockpit will amount to a speedier, and perhaps flashier version of her sisters. Doug's at the computer taking the design from concept to construction details, as I write this. We are shooting for a July launch.
A House for a Handy Billy 21'
A great small project we're looking forward to this winter is the conversion of LUCILLE, a Handy Billy we built in 2000. We will build a forward cabin that closely follows the design and details of Maynard Bray's Handy Billy COSTANZA. It's a bit hard to comprehend how you might create a comfortable overnight shelter on a boat the size of a Handy Billy, but close inspection of COSTANZA reveals careful layout and nifty convertible spaces. It's all done simply and with great proportions. One might expect a collaboration between Harry Bryan and Maynard Bray to be pretty nifty, and COSTANZA does not disappoint! I'm thrilled to have played match maker for the buyer and seller of LUCILLE. She's in great shape and changed hands at a reasonable price, but the boat was never even listed. The buyer came to us looking for a small power boat for picnicing and camp cruising in eastern Penobscot Bay. Months later the seller got in touch to inform us that he was considering selling LUCILLE. While brokering sales is not a big part of our business it's worth a call to us, whether you're looking to buy, or selling a wooden boat.
While restoration and new construction projects come and go you can always count on our maintenance crew, day in and day out, providing thorough and thoughtful maintenance on our growing fleet of storage boats. We are presently expanding our storage and service capabilities and are accepting new storage customers. Whether it's a family heirloom, or a dream come true please consider entrusting your boat's care to our capable hands.