62nd annual Windjammer Days

Boatbuilder: Robbie Ham

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 8:45am

    Growing up in the Boothbay region meant there was no escaping the water. From sailing lessons at the local yacht clubs, exploring all the coves of Linekin Bay and Ocean Point, snooping around in the local shipyards, Luke’s, Goudy and Stevens, as well as some afternoons in the scrap pile of Sonny Hodgdon’s second floor shop. Building scale model boats in grammar school was my first boat building experience. Overall, just a love for water and building things has kept me at it. This led me into high school and trade school for building construction, working as a sub-contractor in our family construction business. Residential and commercial construction gave me some invaluable experience in the business world as well as work ethic.  

    My wife of 32 years, Margaret, and my two daughters, Robyn and Elizabeth, have been huge supporters throughout all of this. 

    Working with Tim and the crew at Hodgdon Yachts on a couple residential projects pulled me back closer to the marine world again. Along with working with my father doing construction, there have been a long line of people that have taught me and provided me with the experience and possibly just a swift kick when needed to get where I am. I have been surrounded by many great people over my career, Tim Hodgdon, Bruce Kinsey, Tom Brownell is just a small group. 

    I have worked for Tim at Hodgdon Yachts for 29 years; through this time, I have been completely humbled by the work we all at Hodgdon’s have completed. The talented people I have worked with over the years have been just incredible. Working closely with naval architects, designers, engineers, and owners who have entrusted all of us to create incredible works of art.  

    The responsibility I have had throughout some of the Hodgdon projects has been terrifying as well as exhilarating. The trust and opportunities presented to me are well beyond humbling. From the opportunity to build the tank test model for the 154-foot Bruce King sailing yacht Scheherazade, to leading the production floor with Jon Keyes to build the 98-foot Ted Fontain sailing yacht Windcrest. I think the Windcrest build has been my single most gratifying project, from working with the owners and naval architects from start to finish. 

    Managing the production of the Hodgdon tenders facility is my most recent assignment. We are building tenders from 6.5m to 12m to the highest of superyacht standards for some of the largest yachts. Hodgdon just recently launched its first fully electric boat, this is a 10.5m day boat. I look forward to building on my knowledge as new materials and techniques emerge into the industry.