The Hinckley Company Re-Hiring Workers 

A Maine boatyard is expecting to hire up to 100 people back in the coming months after a period of layoffs last year.The Hinckley Company watched their business peak in 2003 but like many others, the struggling economy eventually caught up with them. Phil Bennett is the Vice President of Sales at the Hinckley Company and he’s been there through the rough times. “We saw the tough economic times coming about a year and a half ago and just like when you’re in a boat, you shorten the sail when you see a squall coming,” he days, “so we had to make some difficult decisions and believe me they were very painful for all of us.”Now Hinckley appears to be on their way back. “I wouldn’t say the flood gates have opened,” says Bennett, “but we’ve seen people in the last 3 or 4 months realize, my goodness they’ve missed the summer and if they’re waiting for world peace you know they thought that would be another 2000 years if they waited for the world to be perfect, they were gonna be waiting for a long time.”Hinckley has sold three boats in the past four weeks and nine boats overall in recent months. The folks here were able to call a good portion of those laid off workers back in. “It’s pretty thrilling,” says bennett, “it’s one of those times where it’s awful hard to make the other calls but when you get a chance to make the other calls and say, gee we’d like you to come back, it’s a nice warm feeling.”Leading the way for Hinckley is a picnic boat called the Mark 3, which comes fully equipped with a flat screen television and surround sound system. “Last year about this time, we introduced the picnic boat Mark 3, which is a twin engine boat a foot longer and a foot wider and that boat has really become our most popular,” Bennett says, “we’ve sold 28 of those boats since the boat was introduced. that’s made it the most successful product launch the company has had in 80 years.”Now they’re just hoping sales will continue to launch so they can produce even more jobs.