CFN Shakedown Cruise: Dixon 45


By Brian Robbins

Welcome to another CFN Shakedown Cruise.

Periodically, we will focus on a new launch and dig a little deeper into what went into the project – whether it be a new model or a hull well known to the New England commercial market.  What we hope to do is provide insight and information our readers can apply to their own setups … and, as always, offer up a little entertainment along the way.       — Editor


SORRENTO, ME – “That’s a wicked hat.”

Boatbuilder Joe Sargent tugged on one of the earflaps of his faithful red hat that he’s been hauling out every winter for years now.

“It’s a beauty, ain’t it?” said Joe, grinning.  “Can’t beat it on a day like today.”

Which was true: the thermometer had finally shouldered its way up into the single numbers, but the wind that was puffing up out of the nor’west was keeping things from getting too balmy.

It was cozy in the wheelhouse of Joe Bennett’s new Haley Mae, however.  We were on the mooring in Sorrento harbor, preparing to do a photo shoot.  It was one of the first idle days the new 45’ Dixon had known since she’d hit the water a couple weeks before.

Joe Sargent slid the split wheelhouse door open and stepped out onto the deck to check something.  I took advantage of the moment to ask Joe Bennett why he chose Sargent’s Custom Boats to finish his Haley Mae.

“They’re the best,” said Bennett.  “I just gave them the basic idea of what I wanted and knew I could trust them to build something that was going to work well and look good.”

Joe Sargent came back in time for those last few words.  He lifted his hat enough to show off his shaved head.

“Looking good,” he said.  “That’s me.”…

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