The Boatbuilders

The Boatbuilders

Steve White '77 and Jock Williams '62 have built international reputations for their classically inspired yachts

By Matthew P. Murphy '87


 
The first thing you notice upon entering the hangar-like construction building at Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine, is the smell: scents of fresh local cedar and cherry mix with the exotic aromas of teak and mahogany. Then there’s the hushed, quiet focus of the place.

These days, most of the company’s 60-plus employees—carpenters, cabinetmakers, and mechanics—are engaged in the construction of a 90-foot sailboat, Bequia, for a New York businessman. This is the yard’s largest (and priciest, though the cost is a closely kept secret) project to date, and the place is swarming with workers. By launch (set for June 27, 2009, after this magazine had gone to press), they will have spent some 80,000 hours over three years: measuring, cutting, bending, and gluing wood, fabricating metal, and installing a suite of systems befitting a spaceship.

The end product will be one of the world’s finest sailboats.

That’s no hyperbole: Brooklin Boat Yard, tucked away on a quiet harbor on Maine’s midcoast, has garnered an international reputation for the design and construction of wooden yachts.

Steve White ’77 is owner of the Maine-based Brooklin Boat Yard, a world leader in the design and construction of wooden yachts. White is pictured here aboard his com-pany’s largest project: a 90-foot sailboat that was scheduled for launch in late June.Steve White ’77 is owner of the Maine-based Brooklin Boat Yard, a world leader in the design and construction of wooden yachts. White is pictured here aboard his company’s largest project: a 90-foot sailboat that was scheduled for launch in late June.
 
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