Hodgdon 64

There are few Maine boat builders that can claim the lineage of Hodgdon Yachts. For more than 189 years, five generations of boat builders have served at the Hodgdon yard in East Boothbay, Maine. Since 1985, fifth generation boat builder Tim Hodgdon has been at the helm of the yard that has become known for its large, cold-molded custom boats and that has developed a reputation for its state of the art work with carbon fiber.

Most associate Hodgdon Yachts with the extraordinary Bruce King designed superyachts, Antonisa (124 feet, built in 1999) and Scheherazade (154 feet, 2003). The yet to be named Hodgdon 64, a collaboration with Connecticut-based Tripp Design, is the yard’s latest custom yacht and length-wise one of its smaller projects. While smaller in size, the Hodgdon 64 is certainly no less complex in its design, build, systems engineering and finish. One might think that building a smaller boat might be a bit easier for the yard, but smaller size has presented some unique challenges to boat builders used to working in large interior spaces where they can essentially set up shop and work unencumbered.

The Hodgdon 64 hull combines a cold-molded wood structure with .1875-inch Alaskan yellow cedar in the accommodation spaces and infused with carbon fiber plating outboard. The wood is visible from the interior, rendering an elegant look that maintains the flexibility to adapt to the hull form. The wood composite also enhances soundproofing and serves as thermal insulation. The cored, PVC foam, resin-infused carbon fiber skin assures that the boat will be strong, light and responsive. The Hodgdon 64 actually began as a 62-footer and was extended with the addition of a scoop transom after the hull was built. The owners felt that a short scoop transom would be handy for boarding from a swim ladder or tender.

Tripp designed the boat for fast extended cruising in open water, a cross between a true ocean racer and elegant passage maker. The modern hull shape is designed to be not only comfortable and easily driven, but also sea kindly and very fast. The hull form is narrow, lending itself to a rig height of about 88 feet. Tripp notes that their designs create boats that “sail on the water, not through it.” The Hodgdon 64 is equipped with a hydraulic-lifting keel with an L–shaped profile stainless steel fin and lead bulb giving the boat a shoal draft of eight feet with the keel up and 12.5 feet with it fully extended. The keel was built by Duro Keel in Mexico.

Rigging includes a custom Harken hydraulic system, Hall Spars Nitronic-50 stays, Hall Spars high modulus carbon mast, Harken winches, jib furler and Hall Vee-boom with lazy jacks. The deck is teak and the layout very clean with stainless steel pop-up cleats, 24-inch custom stanchions, flush hatches and a teak toe rail to meet Offshore Racing Council rules. The helm is comprised of twin Edson carbon fiber wheels for unobstructed visibility on either tack. The boat’s transom is open in keeping with its racer styling.

Hodgdon Yachts recently moved all their joinery operations from East Boothbay to Richmond, Maine and this new state-of-the-art facility, Hodgdon Interiors, will be responsible for all of the yard’s woodwork. From the most basic wood components to complex veneer core-cell construction interior furniture, all joinery is in house and world class.

Along with its plumb bow and clean deck, a sleek, low-profile pilothouse serves as a spacious main saloon and nav station. Sweeping forward and side-facing windows enhance the yacht’s high tech looks. There is a dining table and wraparound settee to port and two swivel chairs to starboard. The cushions and fabric are from Bristol Cushions of Rhode Island.

Below deck on the Hodgdon 64 there are three cabins with en-suite heads featuring showers and Tecma Silence standard toilets. All of the joinery material is cherry veneer and white-painted tri-cell panels to save on weight. One of the aft cabins has two single bunks plus a settee (port) while the other cabin has a double berth and settee (starboard). Each has a spacious locker for personal gear. The forward cabin has a double centerline berth and settee. Climate control features include Marine Air Dometic 48,000 BTU air conditioning/heating units. The portside galley is U-shaped and is bordered by the lift keel trunk. The reefer/freezer has 24V DC chiller plates in custom-built boxes and is topped with large custom Corian sinks and a Force 10 gimbaled range. The counter tops are Corian veneer over a honeycomb composite core. The water maker is a Spectra Newport 400 MKII. There is also an Asko WCAM1812 washer/dryer unit.

For auxiliary power the Hodgdon 64 has a Volvo D3 110 turbo diesel with a 2.48 reduction gear, Aquadrive CV joint and thrust bearing turning an Aquamet 22 shaft and a Gori three-blade feathering propeller. There is a Mastervolt Ultra 15 kW generator for auxiliary electrical power.

The Hodgdon 64 is still under construction with a launch scheduled for 2009. In building the Hodgdon 64, Hodgdon Yachts has demonstrated versatility and will surely attract buyers eager to own a yacht of Hodgdon’s pedigree in a package less than 100 feet. Call this new class of yacht what you will; a mini-superyacht, Café Racer or hybrid racer/cruiser. The Hodgdon 64 will be at home whether racing from Camden to Castine or Monoco to Marseille.

By Ocean Navigator