July / August 2019

Doug Hylan

A journey to the effortless and unconflicted
Sardine carrier GRAYLING

The former sardine carrier GRAYLING steams along Eggomoggin Reach, Maine, soon after her restoration in 1997. Benjamin River Marine accomplished the vessel’s conversion to a yacht under the guidance of the yard’s then co-proprietor, Doug Hylan.

Artist: One who expresses or applies human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, to produce works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

In September 2003, the former sardine carrier GRAYLING made her annual autumn delivery trip from Brooklin, Maine, to Mystic, Connecticut. Aboard her were Maynard Bray, this magazine’s longtime technical editor and historian of wooden boats; Matt Murphy, editor of WoodenBoat; and Doug Hylan, who had recently led the rebuilding of the vessel and her conversion into a yacht.

GRAYLING had been built as a mackerel seiner in 1915 by Frank Rice of East Boothbay, Maine, for his brother, George. The tired vessel was still in workboat trim when her new owner, Ted Okie, hired Benjamin River Marine, where at the time Hylan was a partner, to do the upgrade and conversion.

Hylan measured the vessel and drew up her lines and construction, but for the interior redesign he suggested bringing in a more experienced naval architect. Okie, however, found the candidate designers too willing to depart from GRAYLING’s workboat essence, and so he asked Hylan to draw up the new accommodation plan. When that looked sensible, he ceded much control of the project to the yard, and from his home in New York he monitored progress and influenced the execution of details through lengthy phone calls with Hylan almost every day.

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