About the Hinckley Club and our Family

This page has been built and designed as the official Hinckley Boat Building Family Alumni Association by Barry Hinckley on behalf of the Hinckley family. Hinckleyclub.com has no relation to or with Hinckley Yachts, Inc or related companies, which the family sold to a private equity firm in 1997.  This site is for owners, employees, fans, and alumni to interact share photos and memories about the boats, we all love.  If a cat has 9 lives, a Hinckley has more…When I would hear my father would tell prospects that our boats would last “one day longer than a rock”. I took that literally, but having watched these boats over the past 5+ decades pass from loving family to loving family, I realized he wasn’t kidding! As you will see the site is designed around models/hulls/owners.  You can search boats by Model, then Hull # then you can view, claim ownership, upload, post, comment, etc. Underlying this thought process is the fact that one boat, maybe launched in 1966 (like me), most likely has had several families own and love her. Those families had formative and bonding experiences, the boats brought them and us together. This site is designed to connect all those experiences back to the common bond, the Hinckley boat.  It’s also to tell the Hinckley story from the point of view of the three generations of family, owners, and employees that built the company, much of which has been lost since the company was sold over 20 years ago.

As a child, we looked forward every Spring as the long Maine Winter would break and the owners and their families returned to enjoy their Hinckley. We built and still maintain great relationships around those boats. In fact, the boats are vehicles to those relationships, This site was born out of two things, first while going through an old darkroom we have in the basement at the house in SWH, a couple of years ago, I found tons of old negatives that I remember dad taking of the boats and developing in the ’60s and ’70s.  (we call that fully integrated, from photos to marketing!) Of course, I  wanted to do something with them and you’ll see some of those old black and whites scattered throughout this site. But also, many owner families, former employees, and captains over the years have sent us old photos or brochures that we love but didn’t know how to properly share and inventory.  So this is the site to clear out all those old drawers and upload those old photos. So go ahead, create an account, build a profile as an owner, employee, captain, fan, or affiliated personnel. You can claim ownership of a Hull #, or simply post to a hull #. You can also use the forum to create a thread, share photos, etc. I run this site on the side with my son Hudson and daughter Sasha, so if you have feedback we’d love to have it…just send it over via the contact button.

We still have the family house at 14 shore road in Southwest Harbor, just a few docks up the harbor from the yard. The whole family is there, in fact, Jill has spread out a bit and is renovating a house down the road. We spend the summer mornings working on the site with Bob, categorizing as many details and I can of the many years of boats and relationship that he and Tina and the whole Hinckley crew built over the years.  Stop by and say hi, you’ll see my sister Lizzie’s. Hinckley Competition 41 Night Train (yes she bought dad’s original Night Train back) on the end of the dock.

Hope to see you in SWH in the Summer!

Barry Hinckley, August 2021

History of Hinckley Yachts

From the families point of view, Hinckley Yachts was founded by Benjamin Barrett Hinckley, father of the famed Henry Hinckley who began working at the yard in 1932, 5 years after Benjamin purchased the boatyard abutting his summer home in Manset, in 1927. Bob began at Hinckley in summers while in high school and college he joined full time after serving in the Army in 1960. At Henry’s urging, “The  Company” as it was known, began the pioneering transition from wood to fiberglass construction in 1958 but managed to preserve that authentic look with just the right amount of teak and mahogany. The was perfectly express in delivering the first Bermuda 40, Huntress in 1960.

The Company in the ’60s and ’70s was a true family business.  Uncle Ben, Henry’s brother, kept the books and ran the business. Bob ran sales and things really kicked into gear with the launch of the first “glass” Bermuda forty in 1960, of which 203 were eventually built. Other designs joined the B-40’s success, a fiberglass version of the Pilot 35 of which 125 were eventually built, a Hinckley 38, SW 48, the Hinckley 49, and a few other designs including launches, workboats, and Bob’s personal favorite, the Hinckley 41. This boat lead to a series of “Night Trains”, which Bob and his friends raced successfully up and down the eastern seaboard. In turn, Bob and his wife Tina logged many miles with the kids, Jill, Barry, and Liz, cruising eastern Maine on the Night Trains.
Enough can’t be said about the women behind the three men who ultimately built the Hinckley Company. Bob’s wife Tina essentially ran the family home as a B&B where clients and cold, hungry, and wet sailors often sought refuge. Tina also owned and operated The Hanging Locker which outfitted many of the yachts with everything from clothes to cutlery. Tina and Bob also purchased and operated Bass Harbor Marine in the early ’70s. Bass Harbor was merged into the Hinckley Company in 1982 when Bob, Tina, and their partner Shep McKinney bought The Company back from Canadian, Richard Tucker, who’d purchased it from Henry in 1978.
Ben’s wife Alice, the French Huguenot from Charleston, brought Southern Charm to the Yankee Family and Henry’s wife Mama Gwen managed to somehow keep track of Henry’s many comings and goings.
Here are links to some good articles on the history: