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Down East

The Down East express cruiser is anything but a converted lobster boat. Sure they have a traditional, classic profile, but these boats are built with modern materials and methods—resin infusion, cored decks and hulls - and are powered with the latest propulsion systems, including pod drives, and joystick controls.

Simple and clean, the Down East express has a proud bow and a tall rail surrounding a foredeck with a raised trunk cabin. A windshield and side windows join a hardtop, and wide side decks lead to a cockpit that’s usually large and elegantly appointed. Varnished wood - perhaps a faux wood material - dominates the interior, and the cockpit and cabin soles usually are teak and holly. Hinckley, Hunt, Sabre, Back Cove, and Palm Beach Yachts are good examples.

“The technology over the past 30 years has changed dramatically,” Hunt Yachts president Peter Van Lancker says. “The standard of everything built has increased in that regard.”

Despite the significant evolution that has taken place from lobster boat to lobster yacht, contemporary Down Easters still harken back to their workboat roots, if only in certain design and styling clues. “People really respond to that feeling, emotionally, of themselves going to sea,” says Michael Arieta, executive vice president of The Hinckley Company.

Down East express builders don’t sacrifice rough-water capability for overly commodious interiors. These boats are designed to get the crew and passengers to their destination comfortably and, if need be, quickly. Once the boat’s tied up, everyone on board can enjoy the creature comforts of a modern cruiser.

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