Thirty years or so of saying ‘Why not?’
STEUBEN, ME – “Man, that’s a big boat.”
Not a very insightful statement, for sure, but it’s the first thing that came out of my mouth when I looked down into one of the hulls being finished at H&H Marine Inc.
“Seventeen feet six inches wide by how long?” I asked.
“This one will be 46 feet,” said H&H’s Bruce Grindal. If you’ve ever called H&H about a boat, he’s the guy you’ve probably spoken to.
“Of course it could be 44 feet,” said Eric Moores, who co-owns H&H with Grindal.
“Or 42,” said Harold Hammond, who does the purchasing for the shop.
“It could be narrower,” said Grindal.
“Or wider,” said Moores.
“Of course, if we needed to, we could make the door bigger,” added Hammond.
Sounds like a Downeast Maine version of an Abbott & Costello routine, doesn’t it? The fact is, even though they were smiling when they said it, the guys were serious. H&H Marine advertises a stable of over a dozen basic models, but the sky is pretty much the limit from there. Lengthening, shortening, broadening, customizing sheers, repositioning bulkheads – they’ve been there and done all that.
As Moores put it, “No matter how many molds you have, there’s always a gap to fill. And you have to be willing to do it or you’re not going to get the order.”
One thing to remember, however: No matter how H&H modifies its basic models to accommodate customers’ needs, they still bear the name of designer Osmond Beal…
Read the rest of this story and other Maine boatbuilding stories in the December issue of Commercial Fisheries News. Buy this issue or Subscribe.
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