All in the Family

All in the Family

This refit wasn’t just about making an old Huckins new. It was also about 75 years of tradition.

By Kim Kavin — August 2004

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It was 1928: Babe Ruth led the American League in home runs, Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic, and a fellow named David Goodrich plunked down $15,000 to have Frank Pembroke Huckins build him a 42-foot yacht. The Minim would be Hull No. 1 at Huckins Yacht, soon followed by a bigger Huckins that Goodrich dubbed The Maxim.

Seventy-five years later, a Jupiter, Florida, man named Maldwin Drummond is carrying on not only the legacy started by Goodrich, who was his grandmother’s uncle, but that of the builder itself. Drummond recently bought a 1962 Huckins—the only 56-foot Huckins Corinthian model ever built—and refitted her as if “I had gone to Mr. Huckins and ordered a boat, how he would have done it.”

Drummond ripped out Formica and replaced it with teak. He mounted the red and yellow burgee of his grandfather, Marshall Fields III. (Yes, that Marshall Fields.) He did “a lot of little tweaking to strip away what had been done over 40 years, to make it more of a gentleman’s motoryacht, which is what it was built to be.”

The morning I joined Corisande VII in Manhattan, she had just pulled into North Cove Marina after her post-refit cruise of The Great Loop, which encompasses a circumnavigation of the eastern United States using the ICW, Mississippi River, and Great Lakes. I had to walk past Ground Zero to meet her, and workmen and murals were a strong presence. The boat’s proud bow pointed toward New York Harbor. Sunshine bounced off the Statue of Liberty’s torch.

I couldn’t wait to step aboard and have the pleasure of appreciating Corisande VII the way Drummond does—not just because of her beauty but because of the beautiful history she represents.

Drummond, who previously owned a 29-foot Fountain and a 35-foot Contender, bought the Huckins in July 2002 after celebrating his 45th birthday. He intended to refit her eventually, but first set off for Maine to enjoy participating in the New York Yacht Club’s annual cruise.

As his captain, Ken Bracewell, tells it, the boat got a dinged prop, putting them back a day. They lost more time in the Chesapeake thanks to clogged fuel injectors. Then around Ocean City, New Jersey, Corisande VII popped a fuel line. They missed the yacht club cruise and decided to head back for a Huckins rendezvous in Jacksonville, Florida. On the way a cable attached itself to a prop.

Next page > Part 2: Corisande VII’s hull was consistent. Unfortunately, it turned out to be consistently ruined. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the July 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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