HOWB 087 – Interview | Doug Hylan, Wooden Boat Designer & Builder, Brooklin, ME

by admin on May 16, 2013

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Today’s interview is with Doug Hylan, owner of D.N. Hylan & Associates in Brooklin, Maine.  Doug grew up north of Boston  with the allure of a small lake in his neighborhood.  He was fascinated by boats and at an early age finished building a skiff that his dad and brother had only partially completed.  Being on a small budget Doug got creative and made sails out of fabric he found at the local dump.  With that small skiff he learned to sail on the local lake (even though he couldn’t swim and there were no life jackets).

As an adolescent, Hylan spotted catamaran plans in a Popular Mechanics magazine and built her in the family’s cellar.  This boat was a disappointing design for Doug, but he used her anyway and enhanced his boatbuilding skills.  After attending college to study bio chemistry while dabbling in hippie homesteading, he moved to Maine and took  a job with Jimmy Steele.  Jim was a residential contractor who built peapod boats on the side.  Doug was intrigued by the peapod design, and Jim allowed him to make the sailing rigs as the orders came in.

Next Doug took a job with Joel White (founder of Brookin Boat Yard) for a couple winters,  then became a partner at Benjamin River Marine, where he worked on restoration and construction of wooden vessels.  In 1998 started D.N. Hylan & Associates where he specializes in the construction, restoration, and design of wooden boats.  Check out his website – his boats are beautiful!

Doug has studied the designs of, and has refurbished boats by the late Herreshoffs (N.G. and his son L. Francis).  Doug incorporates Herreshoff principles into the designs of his own boats.

Click on the green player button above to listen to the full interview.

Here’s some pics to enjoy (click to enlarge):

1923 N.G. Herreshoff 15' Watch Hill restored by Doug. Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

1923 N.G. Herreshoff 15′ Watch Hill restored by Doug. Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

Doug's cold molded reproduction of a classic Beals Island Lobsterboat.   Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

Doug’s cold molded reproduction of a classic Beals Island Lobsterboat. Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

Traditional plank on frame boat being built at Doug's shop.  Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

Traditional plank on frame boat being built at Doug’s shop. Photo courtesy of Doug Hylan.

 

 

Thanks Doug for taking time out of you busy schedule to do the interview.  Best to you and everyone at your boatshop!

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