The ranks of American boat builders just got reshuffled. Hinckley Yachts started the new year off by announcing it has purchased Morris Yachts, its Mount Desert Island, Maine, neighbor. In a release, Hinckley says it plans to continue the Morris boatbuilding and service operations under the Morris Yachts name.
Morris was founded by Tom Morris in 1972, and the company built some 300 sailboats over the ensuing years. For much of that time, Morris worked closely with designer Chuck Paine, starting with the Francis 26, and eventually broadening the range to include a number of bluewater voyaging craft. In 2001, Tom’s son, Cuyler, took over as company president, and in 2004, Morris introduced the M Series in collaboration with Sparkman & Stephens, helping to define the daysailer genre. More recently the company took on the task of building eight Leadership 44s for the U. S. Coast Guard Academy.
In its release, Hinckley notes, “Both companies build fine quality yachts within a quarter mile of each other in Trenton, Maine, and with the new arrangement about 380 craftsmen, engineers and technicians will provide a deep pool of talent for the building of world-class yachts.”
Morris owners will also be able to tap into Hinckley’s East Coast service yards that stretch from Maine to Florida.
Like Hinckley, Morris has earned a reputation for high quality craftsmanship. Several of its models have taken home Cruising World Boat of the Year honors, the most recent of which was the M52, which won the judge’s Bristol Award.