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Bruckmann Yachts: Abaco 40

Cross-border collaboration

By Ted Hugger

The Bruckmann Abaco 40s are built in Canada and commissioned in Maine. Photo by Billy Black Sometimes, three’s not a crowd. In this happy case, three is just the ticket for a successful cross-the-border partnership to build and market a cool downeast powerboat. The three players are builder Bruckmann Yachts (Mississauga, Ontario), U.S. importer Waters Edge Enterprises (Falmouth, Maine), and authorized commissioning and service center, Great Island Boat Yard (Harpswell, Maine).

The boat is the Bruckmann Abaco 40, a Mark Ellis design with a full-skeg pedigree that delivers elegance, style, performance, and maneuverability.

“Being in the great white north, we had found it difficult to have a presence in your [U.S.] neck of the woods,” explained Mark Bruckmann, owner of Bruckmann Yachts and second-generation boatbuilder. “We were looking for a good American yard to align ourselves with, a reliable partner who could both commission and provide service for our boats.” 

Bruckmann found Great Island Boat Yard through Dan Betty, a long-time customer. When Betty moved to Maine from Massachusetts, he brought his 50' Bruckmann sailboat with him to Great Island Boat Yard. “Other Bruckmann owners soon followed suit,” Bruckmann said. “Dan was instrumental in Great Island becoming our authorized service center, and through his company, Waters Edge, he became our U.S. importer.”

Great Island owner Steve Rowe said his yard is responsible for commissioning the new Abaco 40s when they arrive from Canada, including Awlgrip, installation of electronic and communications systems, canvas, cushions, launching, sea-trialing, and working through any post-delivery issues with the new owner.

The yard also serves as an aftermarket epicenter for Bruckmann sailboats and powerboats. Many owners return their yachts to Great Island for winter storage and maintenance; there are usually five to seven in winter residence at the yard. 

Photo by Billy Black

The Abaco 40 is ideal for New England cruising, according to Bruckmann. “Unique for several reasons: her single screw, speed, maneuverability, and running-gear-protecting skeg. The boat’s struck a chord with New England clients.”

There’s no shortage of enthusiasm in Betty’s voice when he discusses these boats: “I just brought hull No. 3 from Newport up to Harpswell following the Newport Boat Show. We were running in 15-25 knots of wind in three- to five-foot waves. There was no pounding. The boat was super stable at speed…I could actually walk away from the wheel.”

During that trip, Betty ran performance tests. At 1,200 rpm, the boat traveled at 10.6 knots and burned 6.03 gallons per hour. At 1,700 rpm (54% of total power), Betty saw 17.18 knots burning just 14.54 gph. Pushing the throttle forward to 2,300 rpm, she picked up her skirts and scooted along at nearly 28 knots at 27.78 gph. 

Powered by a single 670-hp Cummins diesel, the Abaco pops up on a plane at just 10-12 knots. “With variable-speed bow and stern thrusters, you can spin her on a dime,” Betty enthused. “She delivers everything you can do with a pod, but with a single-screw boat.”

Bruckmann Abaco 40 Specifications

LOA  39'3"
Beam  12'9" 
Draft  3'11"
Displ.  19,000 lbs.
Power  670-hp Cummins Diesel

Bruckmann Yachts
Mississauga, Ontario

Waters Edge Enterprises
Falmouth, ME

Great Island Boat Yard
Harpswell, ME

Ted Hugger owns and operates the Cod Cove Inn in Edgecomb, Maine, with his wife Jill.  

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