Maine Coast Discoveries: Trust, Integrity, and Family Fun

Military families maintain a strong set of values, and they carry those values with them when they ponder the care of their yachts and even the decision of where to do their boating. Two of those values, trust and integrity, are what drew Air Force veteran Vic Thuotte and his wife, Connie, to Yankee Marina and Boatyard a half-dozen years ago when they were looking for a yard to care for their 36’ Albin trawler, Contrails.

Sailors for many years, the Thuottes had heard of Yankee Marina’s reputation for maintaining both power and sail yachts. They knew that their circa-1987 trawler would have special needs of its own and decided that Curt Mildrum, general manager at Yankee Marina and Boatyard, and his crew were the right people to keep Contrails in tip-top shape. The decision has proven to be a sound one, whether it’s the full window-replacement project that Project Manager Mike Day completed this past winter or smaller projects that crop up during the season. “During the summer, if anything goes wrong we can give Curt and the people at Yankee a call — they’re our maintenance point,” Vic says. “Nobody touches that boat but Yankee.”

The yard’s location, on the protected Royal River near the head of Casco Bay, was another key factor in the couple’s decision to keep Contrails there. First, Yarmouth represented an easy drive from their Massachusetts home along the I-495 corridor. And with family living nearby, Vic and Connie rely on Yankee’s proximity to their summer mooring in South Portland as well as the prime cruising grounds around Boothbay Harbor, Penobscot Bay, and points farther Downeast. “There are so many islands here, so it’s such a great cruising area,” Connie remarks. “Massachusetts doesn’t have all the islands and just doesn’t seem as perfect for cruising.”

Indeed, most summer weekends find the couple and their extended family, which now includes three active-duty Air Force officers, plus their children, venturing aboard Contrails to Quohog Bay in Harpswell, out to Seguin Light, and enjoying the bustling activity in Boothbay Harbor. Longer cruises have included Camden and North Haven, and this year the couple plans to take Contrails as far as Bar Harbor. Traveling so far afield can be stressful in a yacht whose maintenance is anything less than rock-solid, but Vic says he has absolute confidence in the work that the Yankee crew has performed for him. “You wouldn’t believe the stories that we hear during the summer, of what happens on other boats,” Vic says. “It’s so different when we go into Yankee. The same people are there all the time, year after year, and we get to know them and they know us. I can call them up and get a straight answer right away.”

“The biggest thing for me is trust — trust and integrity. And I’ve found it at Yankee Marina and Boatyard.”