This photo by W.H. Ballard of a new Hinckley being launched is one 1,400 Hinckley related photographs recently added to the Southwest Harbor Public Library Digital Archive. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST HARBOR PUBLIC LIBRARY

Historic Hinckley photos digitized

SOUTHWEST HARBOR This past summer Hinckley Yachts awarded a $2,500 grant to the Southwest Harbor Public Library in celebration of the company’s 90th anniversary. The library used the funds to add 1,400 Hinckley-related photographs to its digital archive.

The images are of sail and motor yachts, working boats, and vessels Hinckley built for the military during World War II. Many of the photos show boats under construction and under sail off the waters of Mount Desert Island.

“We are very pleased to have partnered with the Southwest Harbor Public Library to fund an effort to make more of the library’s collection of historical Hinckley photographs available online,” said Hinckley chief marketing officer Pete Saladino. “Visitors to the library’s digital archive can now see more images of our yachts, the people who built them, and the waters that shaped their design.”

The digital archive contains more than 10,000 historical photographs, documents, maps, and research material given to and shared with the library since about 1900. The collection illustrates the way people, businesses, vessels, places, structures, organizations and events relate to one another. It tells the story of how islanders and “people from away” lived on and visited Mount Desert Island in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

The library has a backlog of some 30,000 items still to go into the digital archive. Thanks to dozens of volunteers who spent thousands of hours scanning, most of the items have been digitized, but are not yet cataloged. “Hinckley not only helped us catalog more items, their financial assistance serves as an affirmation of the importance of the tireless effort of library volunteers who have given so much time to preserve our rich history” said George Soules, a library trustee and software designer who created the software for the digital archive.

Founded to build and care for the boats of the local lobstermen in Southwest Harbor, Hinckley has been building and servicing yachts since 1928. The years that followed saw the company building classics of American yachting from the Bermuda 40 to the Picnic Boat. Today, Hinckley builds owner-driven power and sailing yachts from 29 to 55 feet. Nine yacht care centers from Maine to Florida complete the Hinckley offering by providing service, refits, transportation and storage.

To learn more about the digital archive, visit or call the library at 244-7065. The Hinckley-related images can be seen online at


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