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Hard work, but worth it

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

It’s been a grind since I got my first job in Maine. Literally. When I, a hot-shot new college graduate, joined the Hinckley Company to put my vast boating skills to work, I was handed a grinder, and told to remove the mold-release wax off the bottom of the newest Hinckley 49. This boat was a huge, high-volume motor-sailer with a lot of flat overhead sections. Almost 50 years later, my arms, shoulders, and neck still remember it well.

John and son Sam at work on their Moth.

I thought of this experience the other day while I was grinding of the excess epoxy and cloth from a rather sloppy job of fiberglassing that Sammy and I did on the Moth we are building. It was still hard work, but the hull is only 11 ' long; the job took just long enough for me to think of other grinding projects in my past. There was the Gerald S, a 44-foot wooden lobsterboat that I bought for $400 in the 1970s. I loved its lines, and although it needed a bit of work—that phrase, a bit of work, is very dangerous—I could see the boat’s potential. When people asked about my plans for the Gerald S., I would tell them, “I plan to live on it.” That never happened but the boat did lead to a home, indirectly. Three years later, I sold it and used the proceeds to buy my first house. I’d say that the many hours of grinding the old bottom of that boat were worth the time and effort.

For me, that has always been the case: hard work is worth it, although it doesn’t always feel that way at the time. As I ground off the fiberglass drips from our Moth, I reflected that writing, selling ads, and producing a magazine are a lot like grinding away at a boat bottom, painful at the time, but oh, so worth it in the end. This beautiful magazine is the result of a lot of hard work, by writers, photographers, editors, art directors, and the rest of our staff. We do it because we love Maine and the many businesses and people that we meet along the way, and whose work we promote.

Like our boat, with its newly smooth hull, the magazine sails forth into your hands. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings us.  


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