Hinckley Yacht Services

Brand new Hinckley Talaria 34 burns due to incompetent design and build.

The brand new Hinckley Talaria 34 was in the middle of three days of sea trials when it was destroyed in a fire.

Founded in 1928 by Henry Hinckley, the brand is on it’s 9th owner. [recently resold in 1979, 1982, 1997,  2001 and 2011].   With each change in ownership, the quality of their work seems to have diminished. 

The Hinckley name, once synonymous with excellence, is now nothing more than a distant memory.

Sadly, the company’s current poor workmanship not only diminishes the brand but also poses a significant danger, with increased risks of fire, explosion, electrocution, injury, and loss of life. The very viability of the company is at stake.

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a boat tied up at Dysart’s Marina in Southwest Harbor Monday evening. Credit: Mark Good

Crews raised the Hinckley picnic boat on Tuesday. Credit: Edna Martin

From Warfare to Watercraft: The Dark Legacy of a Weapon Designer turned Boat Company Owner

Hinckley Yacht Services: A failure of trust and skill

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The craftsman’s have left.  Focused on accounting, the quality of work is life threatening.  Project management is incapable of making decisions. Their approach is inconsistent, neglected, and incompatible with achieving a satisfactory result on a reasonable schedule and budget.

Do you want your boating experience to be “Man Rescued, Forced To Abandon Burning Sailboat”

“Preventing problems is easier than coping with a 0300 AM catastrophe “.  “It’s much easier to discover and remedy problems in the boatyard than while at sea.  Before every voyage is another chance to prevent potential trouble…Things can go from an easy to fix scenario to an abandon ship crisis in surprisingly short period time.

Hinckley Yacht Services may be the most dishonest boatyard in the USA

It’s always wise to get a second opinion when you have doubts about the honesty of the workmen. We did just that and sought out opinions from some of the most reputable professionals in the marine industry. It likely saved our lives.

With 35 years of service records from the same owner and the same boatyard, as well as professional opinions from experts in the marine business, it’s clear that honesty is an issue at Hinckley Yachts.

In this case, Hinckley Yacht Services failed to take the necessary steps to address the problems presented to them, including developing a plan, setting a direction and establishing priorities.

“The Galley: Fixing what isn’t broken”

During the pre-purchase survey, it was noted that the woodwork in the galley “showed its age,” indicating normal wear and tear for a frequently used boat. However, no wood rot was detected.

Despite this, the General Manager of Hinckley Yacht Service, Daniel Vullemier, insisted that the entire galley of a Hinckley Bermuda 40 needed to be replaced, claiming it was “rotten.” This was not the case, and it seems that Daniel Vullemier’s intentions were driven by greed.

A second independent specialist flown in from a famous New England boatyard, found no wood rot.

A boat builder known for expertise in woodworking should recognize regular wood, unless they were being dishonest.

Example 2: Engine: fraud.

Writing a fictional narrative to support deception can be challenging when faced with 35 years of service records from the same owner and boatyard. The boat had undergone routine maintenance, including winterization in 2019, before its sale in 2020. Over $38,456 of work during 2018-2019, demonstrating love for this vessel.
The repair records from 2019 clearly show that the engine was in good condition when it was winterized that fall. However, the claim that the engine “has not been run in years” is false, as Dan Vullemier {Hinckley Easton Manager} was informed of a working engine with the presentation of decades of service records from Marblehead. It is likely that a compression test was not performed, as we have documented statements to this effect. Dan Vullemier is a liar. 
The engine is clearly listed as the # 1 Priority; safety of the crew is of paramount importance.
Against best industry practices, avoiding scientific analysis and without bothering to fully exam the 1995 Westerbeke engine, Hinckley Yacht Services suggested the engine needed  $36, 212 in repairs. 


It is not legal for Hinckley Yacht Service to bill for fake tests they only pretended to have done. 

This is one of many cases where documentation by independent inspectors suggests General Manager Daniel Vullemier and Hinckley Yacht service are dishonest.

The Engine Hoses May Be New With No Evidence Of Leaks, But It Is More Profitable To Lie

Engine hoses: “The molded hoses … appeared to be new …. The sea strainer and the raw water intake hose were also nearly new and free from signs of past leaks.”
Survey: 7/24/2020Marblehead, MA
General Manager Daniel Vullemier “Hoses dryed out and leaking at clamps.”  
Engine ran or did not run
General Manager Dan Vullemier,
“We put her in the water to see if the engine would run. It ran for a few seconds, we shut it down and hauled her back out.” Told to two different people.
What he wrote on invoice “Boat was splashed to establish condition of engine.
UPDATE – Engine will not start,…”
This is why you hire independent experts.  In writing we formally requested a qualified Westerbeke mechanic; we wanted someone trained and certified by Westerbeke.  Dan Vullemier lied that Hinckley employees were trained by Westerbeke. Westerbeke engine companies states that is not true.  Fraud and liar Dan Vullemier is a stupid crook.
Focusing on fraud and ripping off customers is how you lose the critical elements for future success.

How can Hinckley hope to compete against  honest craftsman and superior technologies 

Hinckley Yacht Services: Incompetence of repair work

70 critically important safety issues involving failures on one boat 

Hinckley Yacht Services is unable to prepare, the boat that made them famous, a Hinckley Bermuda 40 for ocean racing.

Independent experts counted over 70 problems that Hinckley Yacht Service caused or ignored.


Critical safety items, that pose a direct risk of fire, explosion, electrocution, injury, or loss of life.


Important safety issues that may compromise safe operation, the vessel may lose power, lose control or flood as a result of this problem.


Not immediately serious, that may lead to substantial failures and/or repair costs in the future.

Engine: Fraudulent examination followed by incompetent repairs

 3 decades of love by a single owner summed up the B40’s recent history. Maintained by the same yard and supported with decades of records, which Hinckley had no interest in. The boat had an active season prior to it’s sale.

Against best industry practices, avoiding scientific analysis and without bothering to fully exam the engine. Hinckley Yacht services billed for engine compression tests, they just did not perform them, nor did they send out oil for analysis.

Based on pretty much nothing except greed, Hinckley Yacht Services suggested the engine needed $ 36, 212 in repairs.

A scoop hull strainer is installed on the main engine intake. This will drive water into the engine’s exhaust system, and potentially into the engine while under sail. Stainless steel fasteners have been used for this and the round strainer on the Starboard side, these will crevice corrode
Motor mounts are over-extended. This could lead to their failure. "Motor mounts absorbs vibration and torque...Commonly, the cause of motor failure is related to installation". Hinckley Yacht Services does not understand engines.
• Vented loop, Starboard forward sail locker, outboard, this will not be far enough above the waterline to operate properly when heeling to stbd. Ideally, this should be on the centerline.
"Jacketed exhaust riser is leaking at the aft end. The exhaust system in the lazarette, is secured using a Spanish windlass. This is a jury rig and unreliable, it is placing stress on the system. "

Exhaust System:Burn/Fire Hazard.

Neglecting the vitals of the boat to bill on the easy and expensive.  

Independent surveyor:  “The exhaust system is rigidly attached to the engine, while the engine is flexibly mounted. The non-jacketed interface at the exhaust manifold lacks insulation, this is a burn/fire hazard. The exhaust system is jacketed, should the inner jacket leak, seawater will infiltrate the engine’s cylinders. ” 

This system should have been “modernized using a dry riser and water lift muffler”. 

In the lazarette, hose clamps used for the exhaust system are corroded, hose used is not rated for exhaust raw water use
• In the lazarette, hose clamps used for the exhaust system are corroded, hose used is not rated for exhaust raw water use
• Insufficient S bend will cause engine to flood requiring emergency repairs.

Waiting for the masts to fall in the ocean: Just how bad is Hinckley Yacht Service ?

Most catastrophic failures in sailing can be prevented through proper maintenance and inspection. A well-maintained sailboat should not experience a broken mast, except in extreme weather conditions or when rigging is found to be defective. Sailing can be a safe and enjoyable activity when proper precautions are taken.

The yacht’s chainplates are ferrous steel and rusting; these are known to be a weak point of the Hinckley Bermuda 40s of this era. Hinckley Yacht Services ignored specific written requests to address this issue.  Chain plate below deck armature should have been removed, cleaned, dye checked and inspected. 

Rigging is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

This boat was forced to withdraw from the Annapolis Bermuda race due to the suspect quality of Hinckley Yacht Services work.  

It is important to always ensure that all equipment is in proper working condition before participating in any race, otherwise you are putting myself and others at risk of injury or death.

It’s time to sell Hinckley Yachts

Ignoring rust on the chainplates and bolts can suggest deck leaks, loose bolts and nuts causing a water leak and/or, total destruction of the plate itself.
The headstay and backstay are pulling the bow and stern upward, and the conflicting forces on the entire structure are enormous. Ignoring obvious problems puts your life at risk.
For safety and peace of mind, sailboat chainplates require attention and possibly upgrading.
There is no isolation between the back of the AC and DC panels.

Electrical fires or failure? Simply a question of when.

“Throughout the yacht, DC wiring is oversized and installed in such a manner as to make ongoing maintenance exceedingly difficult.

Branch circuits appear to have been wired with no overall plan

No schematic drawings were evident”

Pressure Drop Refit Review. Conducted at Hinckley Yacht facility in Easton, Maryland

The Shore power wiring is not installed with main shore power breaker, was not installed with galvanic isolator, AC and DC was not separated on the panel with a nonconductive barrier and there were exposed AC terminal strips. VERY DANGEROUS
Remote oil pressure senders on the main engine are not secure, they will chafe and could fail.

Jerry Lundquist, did you buy Hinckley Yachts and Hunt Yachts with blood money ?