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Hull #: 448 Year Built: 2001 Location: Vero Beach, FL
Owner: John Scully Date: May, 2012

In the spring of 2012, Buddy and I visited with Huckins owner and friend John Scully in Vero Beach, where John’s Atlantic 44 (Five Stars, named for his five children) was docked behind his home. Though Buddy and I had boarded Five Stars many times, John took the opportunity to give us a tour and point out the boat’s immaculate condition. He told us he had grudgingly put his beloved yacht on the market for health reasons, and we understood this to be the only reason he would ever give her up.

More than a decade prior, back in the spring of 2000, John had walked into the Huckins front office and asked for Buddy or Cindy Purcell. Our secretary, assuming John was an old friend, sent him to the new-construction floor where Buddy and I were busily reviewing drawings with a supervisor. John didn’t introduce himself immediately; instead, he merely said over the din of the bandsaw, ”I want you to build a boat for me.”

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... he merely said over the din of the bandsaw, “I want you to build a boat for me.”

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To this day, I believe that was the fastest and easiest boat sale we ever completed...

At that point we took him to the nearest quiet office where we could make sure we heard him correctly. John then introduced himself and assured us he wasn’t some quack off the street. He had known about Huckins all his life, he was impressed with the design of the 44, and that’s the boat he wanted.

While I took notes, John outlined his preferences in detail. Buddy and I told him we’d soon be leaving for a Huckins Rendezvous in Newport, R.I., but we could draw up a contract in the meantime. John simply replied, “Great! I live in Rye, New York in the summertime, so I’ll meet you in Newport and sign it.” Being a man of his word, that’s exactly what John did.

To this day, I believe that was the fastest and easiest boat sale we ever completed.

John was like a kid in a candy shop every time he came to the Yard and saw the progress being made on his new boat. Then, in March of 2001, a smiling John Scully took the helm of his Huckins 44 and proceeded to put many, many happy hours on her between Florida and the New England coast.

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More recently, early in June of 2012, John and a friend were heading north on Five Stars when they were forced to leave the boat in St Augustine. Unfortunately, that was the last time John was able to spend time aboard his cherished Huckins. He passed away on Sept 2, 2012, leaving his wife Sue of 58 years, his five children and 10 grandchildren.

Though genuinely saddened by the news, Buddy and I will always have fond memories and a warm spot in our hearts for John Scully, a dear friend and wonderful member of the Huckins family.

We are also pleased to report that the dedicated ownership of Five Stars lives on in the hands of Mike Doble, John’s cousin. Mike decided to keep the boat’s original name in honor of John and, fittingly, because he is one of 5 siblings as well. In May of this year, a new adventure began when Mike and crew cruised the boat northward from Florida to her new home in Oxford, Michigan. Prior to departure, Mike set up a blog to detail and share their experiences at

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