Vehicles | May 4, 2021 11:34 am

Inside the Restoration of a 1930 Huckins Cruiser, The Oldest in Existence

A storied boat gets back on the water

The restored Avocette III yacht from Huckins
The "Avocette III" after its restoration.
Billy Black

For almost a century, the Huckins Yacht Corporation has been building boats that have drawn a famous clientele and stood the test of time. One of the PT Boats commanded by John F. Kennedy during his time in the Navy was built by Huckins, for instance; some Huckins vessels have been charting new maritime territory for decades.

The oldest boat built by Huckins still in existence recently got an impressive upgrade. That would be the 48-foot Avocette III, which was first built in 1930. At Robb Report, Howard Walker has more details on the restoration — or, technically speaking, the restomod, which was handled by maritime architects Bill Prince Yacht Design.

The process of making Avocette III seaworthy again didn’t just involve bringing it back to the way it had been before. “Old gas motors were replaced with state-of-the-art Volvo IPS turbo-diesels with pod drives, gyro-stabilizers were added to calm any roll, and the latest in marine technology — from GPS chart-plotters to joystick controls — became part of the helm,” Walker writes.

The process of restoring Avocette III took several years. Bill Prince told Robb Report that he was initially contacted about the job in 2016. His firm worked with Maine’s Yachting Solutions to preserve the original design and sensibility while also modernizing certain elements of the boat. That process offered a number of challenges — especially the change in motors. But in the end, it was a success, and Avocette III is now back on the water, offering a memorable combination of vintage style and contemporary performance.