38 years and 2600 boats later: Sabre past and present, side-by-each


We had a very special photo opportunity here in Raymond, ME recently. A few years ago, Sabre was able to take ownership of our original Hull #1 Sabre 28 – the very boat that Roger Hewson designed and built at our current facility back in 1970. PATIENCE has returned to Sabre for some TLC so she can once again be launched for sailing in Casco Bay this summer. She was ready to roll into our shop for prep work just as our Completion Team for production line 2 rolled out the newest Sabre Spirit, Hull #282 – getting ready to get on a hydraulic truck and be shipped off to her ‘patient’ owners in Marblehead, MA.
SABRE has a rich history and to date, has built over 2100 sailboats and over 500 motor yachts between PATIENCE and this latest vessel out the door.

I spoke with the owner this morning as his boat was heading down the road and asked him what he will be naming his new girl. She will be VIM, which is defined as: Power; force; energy; spirit; activity; vigor. [thank you, Webster’s Dictionary]. Its a nice couplet in this picture then…. our charming PATIENCE and the newest VIM. I think it also reflects something that has changed in the world of sailing and sailors over the past 4 decades that these boats span. Sailing used to be an activity that people embraced as spending a lot of time slowly enjoying. As the market has dictacted in its trends of boatbuilding for sailboats these past few years – there has been a burgeoning of ‘daysailers’, or our own ‘weekender’, Sabre Spirit. Sure, it still takes time to get away from a hectic life ashore and really enjoy any boat – but people want something they don’t need such a committment of time and patience to. The demands are more for an active and lively experience.

I used to have the luxury of doing a lot more offshore distance sailing, deliveries mostly. My friends and family that didn’t sail always thought I was going on a great exhilarating adventure – exciting every second. I used to describe it to them as the most patient adventure possible. There are always moments at sea when it feels exhilarating – but generally, it is a slow rythym of waves and rocking and ticking off the the miles. It takes a lot of calm patience to be at sea for 5 weeks without sight of land!

I’ve never asked Roger why he named the first Sabre 28 PATIENCE. Perhaps it had nothing to do with an attitude about the pastime of sailing. In fact Roger is a racer, so I think it had more to do with starting a company and a definition of patience as: ‘the ability to wait calmly for something to happen without complaining or giving up’. [Collins English]. Roger lives right down the road and it must be incredible for him to see how today we continue to build and ship so many beautiful vessels right from where it all started. We have certianly grown and expanded our lines from those strong, but patient beginnings. The fine motor yachts we have developed are a testament to that expansion. Right before this picture was taken, we had put the latest 34 Express on a truck on its way to Cape Cod. Up the street, we’ll ship our first pod-driven 42 Express for sea trials next week! (more on that tomorrow). Its always nice to look back as we move forward – and sometimes a picture of those ‘two ships passing’ collects that perspective.

blogged by, ~Sarah

PS – The side by each title of this post is my attempt to come across as a ‘real Maine-ah’ (which I am, regrettably at times, not). It took a while moving up from more southern New England roots to get used to some of these local sayings, but I particularly like side-by-each… it gets the point across like no other 3 words or preposition could.

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3 Responses to 38 years and 2600 boats later: Sabre past and present, side-by-each

  1. Bentley: Congratulations on having PATIENCE!
    With regard to “Side By Each,” I don’t think it’s as much as a Maine term as it is a way of good-naturedly poking fun at the French Canadians who live in Maine.
    In your blog post you say you are from Southern New England but I thought you were from Montreal!
    Therefore, I would think that you would be familiar with this way of expressing what others might call ‘side by side.’
    Anyway, regardless, looks like things are thriving at Sabre. That’s great.

  2. Bentley says:

    “Side by each” is indeed a great expresion offered by my fellow francophones. (yes I grew up english in Quebec but consider myself a quebecois not anglo or franco. This allows one to make fun of oneself) The expression is rarely used when referring to boats and is more often heard when ordering breakfast, “two eggs side by each and a pair of toast” is the way we order breakfast dans la belle province du Quebec.

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