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What's the Brokerage Market for a Huckins Yacht?

We spoke to three brokers who each had a Huckins Yacht listed online. Here’s what they had to say about the market for these classic motoryachts.

Huckins 55

Dick Rogers, Huckins Yacht Brokerage; www.huckinsyacht.com
“In the 15-plus years that I’ve been specializing in these Huckins I’d say 90 percent of the inquiries are from experienced boats who have a real affinity for the classic look of the boats. They’ve probably been boaters all their lives and a lot of them had been sailors who have retired and switched to power in later years because of the ease of handling a powerboat. But no question the classic look of the boats will appeal to a lot of experienced boaters. What I try to stress is the performance of the Huckins hull design. We have continued to use the same hull design since it’s proven in all sea conditions. In one of our 53-footers you can get top-end speeds of about 25 or 26 knots on a pair of 430- or 450-horsepower engines, at 75 percent power they’ll cruise all day at 21, 22 knots with reasonable fuel consumption of probably 30 gallons an hour. They will stay on plane, which is the most efficient operating speed, down to 14 or 15 knots and at that speed you can gain much greater fuel efficiency. They say the hull design is a good compromise among different hull designs compared to deep-Vs or displacement hulls. These boats track perfectly in a following sea. You’re not continually fighting  the helm, and they won’t fall off to one side or the other. They have a hard chine so in a beam sea the roll is dampened quite considerably and if you’re up and running in a plane attitude you just adjust your speed to what’s most comfortable in a beam sea. As you may know the classic ones that were built after World War II to the mid ’70s—1974 I guess—they used wood construction, similar to the cold-molded construction today. The only difference is we used ⅜-inch Philippine mahogany instead of wood veneers like cold-molded construction today, and this planking is bonded together using resorcinol resin which is a phenolic resin, and that means that the hull is not subject to opening up when they’re stored out of the water and you have to put them back in the water to swell up when they’re launched and then the boats are, since the early 1960s the boats were sheathed in fiberglass cloth, and then in the late 60s we started resin-coating the bilges.” 

Rich Buteux, United Yacht Sales; www.unitedyacht.com
Freedom has the same traditional Quadraconic hull that Huckins has built for years starting in wood and now in composite.  The interior is elegantly done with high-end style and materials. The quality interior includes darker woods, green-blue marble countertops from the cockpit through the dressing table in the master stateroom, and three pounded-copper sinks. Being a single-stateroom boat with a high-end finish and technology makes it challenging to find the right buyer for that combination. Hamilton jet drives were installed to reduce the draft to 2 feet 7 inches to access the owner’s home port in Naples [Florida]. This yacht been well maintained, and is kept inside during the Florida summer which preserves the exterior finish. Huckins boats have a large following who appreciate the boat, the hull, support from the builders, and the ride. Even though hull is not a deep-V it has an amazing ride in the ocean. We were running in the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale in 3- to 6-footers and you could still run her in the 20-knot range. The most common comparable boat might be a Hinckley Talaria 44, but they are not the same level of boat. The Talaria has the jet drives, similar draft and look but not the same level of custom finish inside. We take her to shows, and I firmly believe that’s where she will sell. Looking on the Internet one cannot appreciate the quality of this wonderful boat.”

Preston Wright, Whiteaker Yacht Sales; www.whiteakeryachtsales.com
“It’s a pretty narrow market. There’s a certain group of folks that love wooden boats, it’s definitely a niche market, that’s for sure. The person who buys this boat will appreciate the attributes of a wooden boat and he or she probably has a few skills to go along with the appreciation—either that or deep pockets. Hopefully the person that buys this Huckins 53 is going to carry on the legacy of this boat. It’s great that a lot of these old boats are still around and that is a testimony as to the quality of their construction. That boat’s as old as I am and it’s probably going to outlive me. The person that buys her will not be a novice boater, He is not going to buy a Sea Ray or a Carver, something like that, this kind of boat is near and dear to their hearts. This Huckins 53 has Detroit Diesel 671s naturally aspirated, and those engines are simple, easy to work on and they run and run. They have been used in many different applications for the past 50 or 60 years. They’re workhorses and you can rebuild them in frame, which means they most likely will stay in the boat for many years. When you purchase a boat like a Huckins 53 you just have to realize that the boat is going to become part of your life. It’s not a vessel that you park in the marina and forget about it. It’s something that you have to take care of. It’s not your typical fiberglass boat that you can leave alone and not do any maintenance on for a couple of years and then have someone buff it out, paint the bottom and you’re ready to go again. This boat will require care on a monthly basis, making sure she’s adequately ventilated and used.  With a wooden boat like this, the worst thing you can do is let it sit at the dock. You have to love it. It’s not just a boat you buy just for a status symbol or to impress your friends, this is a boat you have to love. The boat kind of owns you, you don’t own the boat. You just get to take care of it, until the next guy comes along.”

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