Maine Company Revives Tradition of Puffin Dinghy

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Hamlin's Marina returns New England boating icon to the coast, home.

A local company here has founded a new business to return a treasured maritime icon to the New England coast.

In the process, they are bringing the tradition to the home as well.

Hamlin's Marina started Puffin Boats, LLC, to reestablish the manufacture of Puffin Dinghies. Since the early '80s, Puffin Dinghies have been nearly synonymous with boating. The white hulled, bright-orange-logoed boats ferried owners to and from their larger vessels.

Sales of the durable boats began to decline in later years, however, after the original founder left the business. At the end, what was once a 300 unit a year business had slowly dwindled from the market.

That changed when Josh Cottrell, the son of Puffin's original founder, went to work as a salesman at Hamlin's Marina in 2012. After learning from Cottrell that Puffin's rights and molds were for sale, Hamlin's General Manager Dan Higgins seized the opportunity.

"I had memories of Puffin from my childhood," said Higgins, "and so did a lot of our customers. I saw this as a way to bring back a really quality product to the market."

Today, production of Puffin Dinghies has resumed in a small workshop at Hamlin's Marina as Puffin Boats, LLC. The company employs two full-time boat builders with plans to expand.

In addition to the standard dinghies people have come to love, Puffin also produces hulls in different wraps and colors.

They are also experimenting with housewares. One such example is a childrens' bed built into a Puffin boat. When the child outgrows the bed, it can be converted into a fully-functional Puffin boat.

Other items include a bookshelf and a monogrammed sign.

"My daughter was having trouble sleeping at night, and we thought, 'Maybe if she had a bed she liked…'," said Higgins. "The Puffin dinghy lends itself very well to being a child's bed. It made us realize that the same quality process that we use for the boats can be used for premium housewares as well."

Puffin Dinghies can be found online at, or by calling (888) 738-5008.

Interviews and press kits are available upon request.

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