We have long been loyal customers of our favorite chandler, Hamilton Marine, so we were thrilled when they agreed to support our voyage! Started as a small operation to outfit lobstermen in Downeast Maine, the company has grown to include all boaters and now has several stores along the Maine coast as well as selling everything online. It’s independently owned, has great service, and stocks anything you might need. As often as we could, we shopped at Hamilton Marine when outfitting for our circumnavigation, and, since we were doing the same for this voyage, we were very pleased that they agreed to help us out a bit!
Celeste had no electronics, really: she was built before GPS; radar has come a long way since the mid-80s; and depth sounders wear out after a while. Replacing her depth sounder was a trick, but Hamilton Marine was super helpful when we needed to return the first one we tried. We’ve decided to install a chart plotter to take away some of the inevitable stress of navigating in shallow, ice-strewn waters, and Hamilton specially ordered the charts we needed.
Celeste’s running rigging—halyards, sheets, reef lines—are equally old so we’re replacing it all with the appropriate rope.
We also need safety equipment, such as a life raft (Hamilton serviced it for us last year, before they were our supporters), immersion suits, flares, and a handheld VHF radio equipped with GPS and Digital Selective Calling to transmit an informative distress call. Then there’s the heater, a key component not only of comfort but safety—being too cold reduces your motor skills, reaction time, and eventually your judgment. Hamilton Marine is the only American retailer of the kerosene heater we wanted. (We can even cook on it!) And finally, there’s the ‘little details’: wiring, hose clamps, fasteners, spare parts, sail needles, extra fiberglass and epoxy, varnish, and a million more items. So a big thanks to Hamilton Marine!