“We were interested in a family cruising boat we could take offshore and the Little Harbor at 32,000 lbs is very stable in heavy seas and high wind conditions.”
INTERVIEW WITH THE CAPTAIN— Hill Danforth
Why did you choose to buy a Little Harbor 44′?
We have always admired the lines of this particular boat, previously named Manticore, and have a history with the Hood design as we owned a Bristol 35.5. That boat was one of Ted Hood’s Robins that my wife’s parents purchased from him in 1978.
How did you come to find / locate her before purchasing?
The previous owners were friends and we happened to be having dinner with the owner’s sister, and were made aware that the boat was going to be listed for sale. The next day we began the process of buying the boat.
Who first introduced you to boating?
My wife and I have been sailing since we were very young. I grew up with the sport on Long Island Sound starting with Dyer dinghies, and my wife with Widgeons at Pleon. We have cruised for many years on the original Redstart since we were married in 1981, and spent many early summers on a Tartan 36′ we took from Annapolis to Rogue Island in Maine.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
We were interested in a family cruising boat we could take offshore and the Little Harbor at 32,000 lbs is very stable in heavy seas and high wind conditions. We have been up and down the East Coast from Mystic to Frenchman’s Bay and to Bermuda and back. We are planning on doing the Marion/Bermuda race again this year in June.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
We added numerous safety improvements to comply with race requirements and everything else from soda blasting the bottom to new awlgrip, electronics, sails, painted spars, nonskid and an aft holding tank. We have replaced most of the original hoses and both heads are new as well. We currently keep the boat at Great Island Boatyard in Maine and enjoy the round trip as a way to extend our season with a little distance sailing at both ends from May until September.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
As an avid birder, my mother in law’s favorite species was the American Redstart and ornithologists at the time classified them as cousins to the American Robin. As family friends to the Hoods, that became the boat’s name which we kept when we bought the Little Harbor in 2012.
Check it Out
To see more photos of Redstart in the Harbor Directory, click the gallery below!