Hinckley Pilot 35 History

Sparkman & Stephens unveiled the design for the first Pilot class in Yachting’s October 1945 issue. Aage Neilson, a freelance designer working with S&S at the time, drew the first Pilot class lines. In 1955 Hinckley purchased the design and created what was known as the “New Pilot” and “the ultimate in combining livability, seaworthiness and speed”. Constructed in wood, eight boats following these lines came off the production line, only one a yawl. Hinckley wanted to build the boat for the “out-and-out cruising man and long distant racer”.

In later years, around 1962, the dimensions were increased to 35’9″; DWL 25’0″; Beam 9’6″ Draft 5’0″ SA 554 sq. ft. and Displacement 13,000 lbs. The boats were now constructed in fiberglass and it was this design that became known as the Hinckley “Pilot 35” built exclusively by Henry R. Hinckley & Co. Of the 117 fiberglass Pilots built, 25 were yawls. Construction was top grade and included hand crafted furniture quality interiors made from Philippine mahogany with bronze fasteners. Some models had coal burning stoves to keep down below warm in the cold climate.

The “Custom” Pilot

Several layouts were offered for the interior space. The “custom” Pilot, of which there were only five built, has a raised cabin top (dog house) and a galley that runs the length of the starboard main cabin. Many options were offered to insure that the new owners would “love their….your Pilot almost as much as the Maine men who built her on the shores of the North Atlantic Ocean”.

TARA is one of the five “custom” Pilot 35’s. Built in 1964 she is the 25th fiberglass Pilot 35 built by Henry R. Hinckley and Co. in Southwest Harbor Maine. Her first owner sailed her for 15 years and gave her the name TARA after the film Gone with the Wind. Her second owner sailed her for 30 years, her 4th for 5 years and I have owned her since 2013. She has visited many ports on the eastern seaboard from the Chesapeake to Maine. Her former owners cruised with her heavily and she also participated in many regattas as her speed is legendary. In the 1990’s TARA went through a complete refit of her topsides, bottom and interior. In 2012 TARA was blessed with a new diesel engine.

Currently TARA is a daily charter vessel taking passengers for two hour excursions from North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, to the Statue of Liberty. Since Tribeca Sailing has been in business she has had over 7,000 people cross her decks. If you pass by North Cove Marina in Brookfield Place you won’t have to look hard to find the prettiest girl in NY Harbor.

One fun note, her mast was pulled for replacement December 2014 where I found a 1921 silver dollar placed at the base for good luck. It was put back where I found it when her mast was re-stepped back in the spring of 2015.




Updates

2018 Update: Tara has just had a major refit of her toe rail. Jagger’s Boatworks just installed a new teak toe rail replacing the old rotting mahogany rail. I was sorry to see the beautiful mahogany rail go but mahogany is not the best choice for a marine environment and kept rotting away in sections. Dave Jagger’s found some old growth teak from the 1960’s which has a tighter grain then the teak available today. This tighter grain will allow this wood to last forever with proper care. Using Allwood MA, we gave the rail 9 coats of varnish. Allwood MA has excellent UV protection and will allow the varnish to last up to 5 years when it will be necessary to put two more coats to keep the shine. David Jagger is a true artist with wood and the end result is museum quality.

2019 Update: As my carpenter David Jaggers is retiring his business to Florida, I decided to have all the Mahogany trim replaced. This includes the forward hatch, main sliding hatch, propane locker, aft lazarette, forward handrails, doghouse handrails, cockpit locker handrails and both seat backs. You can imagine the amount of time and effort that went into this project. Just installing the seat backs took four people eight hours to install. Ten coats of Allwood-MA and the shine is a sight to behold. If you look at the seat backs you can see David Jaggers cut a single teak board in half to mirror each other on opposite sides. He is an artist with wood! As the original handrails were marked on the underside, I asked him to do the same with the teak replacements.  Tara is one of a kind and has had the most extensive refit compared to all others.

2021 update.  Tara is fitted with a new Mainsail.  Thank you Jim Reikel at Sailors Choice for making me a truly one off custom sail that perfectly meets my needs!

Our Reviews

Morgan Gundrum
Morgan Gundrum
2021-04-20
10/10 experience with Captain David onboard the beautiful boat Tara! HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Frank McDonald
Frank McDonald
2021-04-20
Captain Dave, a native New Yorker, was extremely professional, friendly and knowledgeable in regard to our magnificent “once in a lifetime” New York harbor cruise. In his easy-going manner he shared with us the history of this tremendous New York waterway and the city. He and his mate, his teakwood trimmed sailboat Tara, gave us a wonderful relaxing cruise and views of New York we will never forget!
Brett Donohue
Brett Donohue
2021-04-12
WOW! I can't thank Captain Dave & Levi enough for their help in making our engagement an experience we'll never forget! A beautiful boat, incredible views, and top-notch service! Also, Cpt Dave took some wonderful photos for us while popping the question! 2 hours on the water with close up views of Lady Liberty and the iconic FiDi skyline were totally worth it. We felt very safe - my fiancee gets seasick from time to time, but was totally unaffected by it on this boat. We definitely want to go back with a small group of friends to share the experience again! If you're a local New Yorker, this is an amazing way to see your city in a way you never have before. Don't overthink it - Tribeca Sailing is the way to go!
Karin Chan
Karin Chan
2021-04-10
Perfect Staycation During COVID We had an amazing 2+ hour private sail on Tara with Captain Dave. Weather was gorgeous and we had such a great time. It is the perfect way to see NYC and spend time on the water as a staycation during COVID. Captain Dave was responsive and personalized our sailing time to our needs. We can't wait to sail on the Tara again . . .
Brendan McNamara
Brendan McNamara
2021-04-08
Our group had a phenomenal experience with Tribeca Sailing - planning the reservation and directions to the marina were seamless with David’s help, making the sunset charter a memorable experience. Having this charter for our group of six made the experience intimidate, personable, and covid-conscious. After this sailing we plan to rebook, for family and friends visiting New York. Thank you again, this was a great way to celebrate a birthday!
Jeena Joy
Jeena Joy
2020-12-19
Captain David is amazing! I booked the Tara for my boyfriend's birthday, and it was such a delight! It was just us two and Captain David and he made us feel so comfortable throughout the whole ride. He was so much fun to talk to and get to know, and he allowed us to see NYC in such a great way. There is no better way to see the skyline!! Thank you so much for an amazing birthday weekend.
Camerin Spahn
Camerin Spahn
2020-11-14
Such a great way to safely celebrate with friends! Captain Dave was kind and made everyone on board feel safe and welcome. Even though the weather wasn't perfectly clear or warm (there was even a light mist at some points), we had an incredible time taking in the views of the city. We comfortably sat at the bow of the ship to chat and enjoy music, drinks, and snacks during our nighttime sail. We brought extra layers and blankets, which was a smart move. Would definitely recommend and would love to do again!
Dana Svendsen
Dana Svendsen
2020-11-13
We had an amazing sailing experience! Could not have asked for better weather to enjoy a lovely evening on the Hudson. David was a wonderful captain and showed us incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and city at sunset. We could not have asked for a better way to celebrate our engagement than this!
Alexey Levkov
Alexey Levkov
2020-11-13
We had a terrific time with Captain David. Great boat and remarkable views. Kids had a blast. It was definitely worth every penny.
Andres Ruiz
Andres Ruiz
2020-11-12
Amazing experience . Really recommend. I live in New York for 22 year but I still experiencing all tourism activities like my first day . And this is a good one to recommend . Don’t forget to read the email about the rules before you get there ! Because I didn’t 🤣. And bring a nice camera .