A full-keel, inboard-powered traditionalist utilizes outboards and a deep-V hull in the company’s latest launch.

The variety of Down East vessels—both workboats and cruisers—built on Mount Desert Island, Maine, is astounding. The island is a supercluster of boatyards, from Hinckley to a smattering of well-known, family-owned outfits who have built lobster boats and pleasure craft for generations.

Wilbur Yachts sits in the Seawall section of the island in Southwest Harbor, about a mile from its namesake—the massive, naturally occurring granite barrier in Acadia National Park. For 46 years they’ve built recreational craft alongside full keel lobster boats “meant to fish the North Atlantic and bring you home safely,” said John Kachmar, who is co-owner with his wife Ingrid. They purchased Wilbur Yachts from her parents and company founders, Lee and Heidi Wilbur, nearly 20 years ago.

The 37 Weekender is a departure for Wilbur, their first vessel with a deep-V hull and outboard power. It’s spec’d with twin, 425-hp Yamaha XTOs—but as a custom yard, power is buyer’s choice. Kachmar mentioned a pair of 627-hp Seven Marine engines as well as a trio of Cox Marine 300-hp diesel outboards as viable options. “Take a look at the market: the power and reliability are there,” he said of the powerplants.

Wilbur tapped Dickes Yacht Design studio to produce plans and specs, a fine choice as principal Geoff Dickes has penned both hardy workboats for Westmac and handsome cruisers for Black Horse Yachts, to name a couple. The renderings for the 37 maintain the time-honored New England topside architecture, with a teak toerail and transom and oval ports in the coach roof. “We’re not going to walk away from traditional design,” Kachmar remarked.

Access to the cockpit is provided by a transom door or from the pair of side-entry doors that open inward and tuck under the gunwale. A single-level deck extends from the transom to the windshield. The standard layout has a C-shaped settee to port, aft of a pair of helm seats with access belowdecks via a centerline companionway. Teak and holly soles are featured in both areas. The standard layout also includes a galley down to port, with a forward queen island berth.

Kachmar mentioned adding a side door at the helm for easy side deck access and an alternate layout for a galley up, or perhaps a summer galley hard against the aft bulkhead. “We’re a semi-custom builder. The sky’s the limit—within reason.” Many buyers will likely want a Seakeeper, and with the space saved under the cockpit sole, sans inboards, there will be plenty of room.

As with all of Wilbur’s new builds, carbon fiber is generally incorporated into the pilothouse construction. The 37 hull and superstructure will be fully resin infused off site, with the builder doing the remainder of the work.

With her standard Yamaha 425s, the 37 is expected to cruise at 38 knots and top out at 46 knots. That’s about two-and-a-half hours from Southwest Harbor to Portland, Maine’s culinary and cultural capital, a much faster clip than fighting the summer traffic on the interstate. Consider the island’s lobster roll shack fare a tasty appetizer for the journey ahead. 

This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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