Traditional American boat maker employs an ELGi compressed air solution to streamline its manufacturing
Renowned worldwide for building exceptional yachts, Hinckley was facing the challenge of keeping up with its hefty standards due to its often complex and protracted manufacturing process. Adopting ELGi’s air compressors helped it streamline the process while maintaining the superior quality it is known for.
After a disastrous pandemic-stricken 2020, the worldwide yacht market is looking up, albeit to a slow rhythm. The far-reaching, unprecedented changes Covid has brought to our lives has also altered client preferences and appetite. Christmas and new year did bring back some interest in the market, while demand in the upcoming summer looks encouraging.
Quoting an industry executive, Travel Weekly magazine writes that there is a shift away from the cruise industry to private yachts for comfort, quality, and safety. Recreational vehicle trips are on the rise, with superyachts acting as the perfect catalysts. There is a trend to equip yachts with a gymnasium, home cinema, and water toys so that guests do not need to disembark. As yacht makers adapt to the new normal, they are stepping up their game as well. By treating the planet gently, leveraging modern technology and best energy-efficient practices, yacht makers are adopting a more sustainable manufacturing approach.
Being a niche market with a penchant for luxury, buyers mainly comprise high net worth individuals and companies with high cash flow. Thus, owing to the precarious economic situation worldwide, 2021 would probably see lesser yachts being built, but this is also an opportunity to get creative by bringing innovation and opting to refit and redevelop the existing fleet. It’s also the time to offer excellent maintenance services and deals so that people get out on the water, cruise far and wide, sail without fuss, and have more fun.
Yachts by Type:
- Sailing Yacht
- Jet Boats
- Open Yachts
- Expedition Yacht
- Motor Yacht
- Classic Yacht
- Fishing Yacht
- Gulet Yacht
- Super Yacht
- Semi displacement
- Displacement yachts
- Sky Lounge
- Up to 20 ft
- 20 to 50 ft
- Above 50 ft
Hinckley’s roots lie deep in the soil of Maine boatbuilding. The company, founded in 1928 to build and care for the boats of local lobstermen, has been in continuous operation building classics like the Bermuda 40 and the Picnic Boat. Henry Hinckley set the roadmap with Bermuda 40 in the early 1960s when he crafted its stunning lines out of radical new material, fibreglass. This combination of elegant form, material innovation, and brilliant attention to finishing detail set the course Hinckley has been riding ever since.
Today, Hinckley builds jetboats and sailboats ranging in sizes between 29 to 55 feet and supports its customers and other yachtsmen with its network of service yards from Maine to Florida. Two other distinguished boat builders, Hunt Yachts and Morris Yachts were acquired by the company in 2013 and 2016, respectively.
The company’s philosophy of doing things the right way and listening to customers’ feedback helps them innovate and implement new designs that drive growth. They take immense pride in their craftsmanship, never ceasing to give a hundred per cent in all facets of manufacturing.
The Yacht Range
Picnic Boats: Launched in 1995, the series of picnic boats has a class of its own. Over the last 26 years, the Hinckley Company has refined them from stem to stern, with over 1,000 boats created thus far. On its 25th anniversary, it introduced the Picnic Boat Signature Edition with three new models – Boat 34 S, Picnic Boat 37 S, and Picnic Boat 40 S.
Sports Boats: Offering a new era of refined performance, Hinckley offers sports boats in two variants – 40C and 40X. Both are purpose-built for high offshore performance and made from lightweight epoxy-infused carbon fibre and Kevlar™ with Hinckley’s world-renowned craftsmanship. Sport Boat 40c sports an expansive forward J-seating area.
Motor Yachts: With more space and power, customised lines of Talaria 43, Talaria 48 MKII and Talaria 55 MKII offer passengers exquisite Hinckley craftsmanship, supreme design, gadgets galore, and top performance.
Runabouts: From the electric, energy-efficient, superlight Dasher to the traditionally breathtakingly beautiful yet super-efficient and environmentally sound Center Console, Hinckley’s Runabout series is a symphony of curves offering a seductively easy way to carve through the water.
Sailboats: Adorned with classic shapes, dramatic lines, and inner strength of the boatbuilding tradition, Hinckey’s sailboat line captures the best design and technology.
Outboards: Amalgamation of beauty and brawn, outboards constitute sport boats and Hinckley 35 range that offers clients optimised performance, ClearViewTM visibility, ultimate comfort, and supreme safety.
Since Hinckley started its journey, yachts from the Hinckley yard have been made to the highest standards. Henry R. Hinckley’s focus was on optimum quality. He was not satisfied with many off-the-shelf parts, and soon the yachts from Hinckley came to feature custom-designed and fabricated hardware such as stanchions, chocks, pulpits, and masts. This attention to detail made these yachts distinctive and, in time, they would earn the collective admiration of sailors and yachtsmen around the world. Their speed and stamina were a direct result of Henry’s background of studying aeronautical and mechanical engineering at Cornell. Henry insisted on making his boats lightweight yet strong and was never afraid to innovate.
Composition and Innovation
Today, Hinckley remains the only builder using Carbon and Kevlar composite from bow to stern vacuum-infused with epoxy for incredible strength. The company is one of the first U.S. builders to adopt SCRIMP resin infusion and remains a world leader. Hinckley’s single bond infusion allows for an integrated, chemical bond between hull and support structure. With its move to epoxy resin infusion in 2018, it is now building with a resin material of 40% greater strength and improved environmental benefits. Hinckley believes so strongly in this approach that it is unique in guaranteeing its hulls and decks for life (source).
Jet drives, a JetStick, Kevlar, carbon-fibre, lightweight core, and resin infusion with engineered laminates – strong ingredients meticulously engineered for top-notch performance. It uses techniques similar to aeroplanes to have a hull with 65% fibre and 35% resin. Instead of adding drives with conventional boats, it innovates a full-fledged design around the propulsion system.
Thus, to attain a brilliantly balanced unit, precise weight is placed as required while testing the jets in steep turns while minimally spinning the boat on its axis.
Well-varnished wood carpentry comes with American Cherry, teak, red cedar, and rich-toned mahogany that is handpicked from the tried and tested groves to match the grain, texture, and warmth of the ambience. Much of the hardware is its own, made of 316L stainless steel.
10-15 carefully brushing of coats go onto each cabinet door and other wooden pieces. Carpenters and craftspeople follow a precise design and engineering plan.
Hinckley wanted compact, silent, and efficient compressors for its yacht yard, principally for carpentry, mechanical, and paint sections. Hinckley’s yards are legendary for their customer-centricity, craftsmanship, and expertise. They attract a local, national and international community of yachtsmen who want their boats to receive the highest level of care and service. From boat-painting to fibreglass fabrications for refits, boat canvas and upholstery, marine diesel service, and rigging, all the marine services and trades take place at Hinckley.
Hinckley’s partnership with ELGi started in April 2019. As their yard was divided into two parts – northern and southern, the compressors were expected to provide air to the mechanic shop and to the new set of installed docks with power pedestals to plug the boats in. Additionally, there were air fittings that required air supply and also pits for sanding the bottom of the boats. Usage was estimated to be pretty much all day, every day.
ELGi’s EN Series Screw Compressors, once deployed, brought in much-needed reliability, energy efficiency, and compactness to the fore. It was fitted with ELGi’s unique assembly encapsulating functional systems such as intake system, compression system, and separation system within a common frame for energy efficiency, minimal pressure drop, compactness, and absolutely silent operation. Efficient air-oil separation, ease of maintenance, reliable Neuron controller, and high-efficient motor made sure that the compressor addressed the pain points judiciously.
Hinckley remains the only builder using Carbon and Kevlar composite from bow to stern vacuum-infused with epoxy for incredible strength.
The Northern and Southern ends of the facility were both able to simultaneously benefit from an integrated noise-free solution.
Hinckley was able to fulfil its round-the-clock compressor needs using a state-of-the-art design, saving space and maintenance costs.
For an iconic luxury brand like Hinckley, attention to detail, time-honoured craftsmanship, and dedication to doing things the right way hold paramount importance. Post the pandemic, when innovation and technology-led agility is more imperative than ever before, Hinckley found a solution that revived its values. A large number of Hinckley’s carpenters, craftsmen, mechanical and aeronautical engineers have been able to use ELGi’s air compressors in day-to-day life because they are simple to operate, easy to manoeuver, and safe to use (for self and environment), just like their legendary yachts.