Founded in 1928 by Benjamin B. Hinckley, the company originally built work and fishing boats. In 1932 Benjamin gave the reins of the company to his son Henry R. Hinckley who in 1938 began building a series of 28 ft. sailing vessels designed by Sparkman & Stephens. Totaling 20 this series would became the companies first production boat. During WWII Hinckley was commissioned to build a number of military vessels for the war effort and after the war their focus turned to building sailboats once again. Working with Sparkman & Stephens, Ted Hood and later Bruce King, Hinckley established themselves as the premier yacht builder in New England. Although known for their traditional builds Hinckley was an early adopter of fiberglass and has continued to embrace new technologies. They were the first to use vacuum-infusion molding and pioneered Dual Guard TM, the marriage of Kevlar and Carbon in the SCRIMP process which is at the heart of all their current builds.
Over the years Hinckley has produced a number of production series sail designs. The most prolific of which is the Sou'wester series. The original design was introduced in 1945 and total 62. At the time the largest fleet of single design cruising yachts. Building on this success Hinckley expanded the series to include the SW 42, SW 51, SW 52, SW 59, SW 61 and in recent years the SW 70 and the absolutely georgous DS 42. A 42 ft. daysailor with modest accomodations which blends classic lines with the latest in modern boatbuilding.
The Bermuda 40 or B40 is probably the best known of the Hinckley production series and arguably one of the most beautifully balanced yachts ever designed thanks to the masterful eye of Bill Tripp. With a beautiful sweeping sheer, long overhangs and spoon bow she is as elegant today as she was 50 years ago. First introduced in 1959 the B40 became the first fiberglass built series for Hinckley. The design has had a few revisions over the years which have improved the sailing characteristics of the yacht. In 1968 the orginal flat centerboard was replaced with an airfoil shape and the mast was raised slightly giving her an additional 20 square feet of sail. Then in 1972 the Mk III edition of the B40 was introduced with more substantial changes. The mast was raised 4 ft. and moved aft approximately 2 ft. In order to offset the increase in sail area and higher center of effort it was necessary to add a 1000 lbs. of ballast. In an effort to further reduce the center of gravity Hinckley started coring the decks, first with balsa and later with foam materials.
Over the last two decades Hinckley has been known for their Picnic boats, a style of power boat sometimes referred to as Downeast or Lobster boats. The popularity of these designs has been the engine of success for Hinckley of late but for sailors the name Hinckley is synonymous with classic sailing yachts and indelibly etched in the history of American sail.
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