By East Coast standards, Maine’s a pretty big state. But Governor John Baldacci doesn’t have a problem finding his way to the Morris Yachts office in Trenton. Heck, he even has his own sign on the building to reserve his parking space.
For the second time in as many years, the governor paid a visit to the shop floor in early February to congratulate the Morris team, builders of the M 42 daysailer that was named Best Special-Purpose Cruiser in Cruising World’s 2007 Boat of the Year contest. The company won the 2006 Domestic Boat of the Year award for its Ocean Series Morris 42.
The 2007 award was presented to Morris Yachts general manager Will Ratcliff as a large group of employees looked on. Just moments before, ventilation fans had been humming and tools whirring as work progressed on several hulls in the shop. But all was quiet as the governor congratulated the workers and noted the importance of the marine industry to the Maine economy, adding that he believes Morris is the “gold standard” for boat building.
Following the awards presentation, employees eagerly led visitors through several sailboats in different stages of construction, pointing with pride to some of the details that go into the fiberglass hulls and interior woodwork of a Morris sailboat. After brief refreshments, the team seemed eager to get back to what they clearly enjoy doing: building boats.
During Boat of the Year deliberations last fall in Annapolis, Maryland, BOTY judge Ed Sherman summed up his thoughts on the M42: “It’s another classic Morris, which in my opinion is the finest example of American boatbuilding that exits.”
To view photos of the event, click here