NEW Sportsman 38
River House Intro image
shadow image


River house article 2 intro image
Hull #: 376 Year Built: 1964 Location: Sanford, FL
Owners: John and Joy Thompson Date: May 4, 2012

Wow! John and his family must have been very busy sanding and painting, because Kyma looked years younger when we returned for a second visit. Buddy was truly impressed with John's work and admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the progress he had made. "I have been working hard just about every weekend," John said. "I'm trying to get it summer-ready and want to ensure that every crack is repaired."

continued below

River house article 2 image 2

I spent several months searching for the perfect boat. I knew exactly what I was looking for, and once I came upon this boat I knew I had found my match.


As promised, Buddy and I brought a whole box of supplies including epoxy, extra sandpaper, our signature Huckins stain, spare rags and Petitt marine enamel.

Bare Spot and Crack Tips:

When treating these areas, be sure to use a marine-grade epoxy. West System epoxy is a versatile, two-part epoxy that bonds and coats fiberglass, wood, metal, fabrics and other composite materials to provide superior strength and moisture resistance. When using epoxy, the surface should always be clean and dry. Always brush out even, wet coats of epoxy. To learn more about applications and use of epoxies go to

Marine Enamel Tips:

For the do-it-yourself boat owner, marine enamels are much easier to apply than two-part polyurethanes. They clean up easily and they come in many different colors that allow you to fully customize the look of your boat. Marine enamels often have UV protectorates and special thinners that give them an extra sleek look. They are convenient, because they can be applied over almost any kind of surface. When applying enamel yourself, remember that enamels dry very quickly when it is hot outside. Using paint thinner slows down this process and can keep your enamel workable.


River house article 2 image 5

As we finished up with the day's projects, John recalled his first encounter with Kyma. "I spent several months searching for the perfect boat. I knew exactly what I was looking for, and once I came upon this boat I knew I had found my match. I really fell in love with the layout, and to this day I wouldn't have it any other way."

John then shared his ultimate dream: to travel with his family to the Caribbean and make Belize their new permanent home. "Until it's time for that move though," John told us, "I've been trying to run the yacht as much as possible." After all, Huckins boats weren't made to sit, they were made to go. And Kyma, in particular, has seen her fair share of miles on the open water.

Because of my late father's friendship (and our continued friendship) with Kyma's original owner—Calvin Houghland, who has owned five of our yachts, all of which he called Bright Hour—Buddy and I are in possession of a magazine article written by her former captain, detailing her legendary year-long voyage. During our previous visit, we pored over the photos from the Huckins Archives; this time, we spent time reading and discussing the article.

We told John and his family that the Fort Lauderdale yachtsman, like them, had subscribed to the keep the boat running philosophy as well. His captain, Tommy Byrne, wrote:

When you own a boat like this, you don't keep her tied on to the dock. I suppose that's the main reason why Mr. Houghland decided to put her through one of the most memorable shake-down cruises any American power yacht has ever enjoyed. Calvin Houghland and I embarked on a 6,000-mile voyage through the Caribbean, encompassing the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Leeward and Windward Islands, the northern coast of South America, the Canal Zone and the eastern edge of Central America.

John and his family were intrigued with the tales of the 355-day voyage their Huckins experienced and we shared several more passages from Captain Tommy Byrne's journal with them. One of the most interesting places Captain Tommy Bryne remembered visiting was Saba, an extinct volcano, with a town called Bottom at the top, built right in the middle of the main crater. He wrote:

Saba drives a sailor crazy. It's really nothing more than a big rock, sticking some 2800 feet out of he ocean. You can pick it up 50 or 60 miles out at sea and it seems like it takes forever to reach it. And, the only way to land on the island is to wait for a native surf boat to come out and get you. The guide will paddle in close to the rocky shore, wait for the right wave, then zip…slide you and the boat up onto a rocky shelf.

His account of their voyage truly embodies the Huckins legacy, and although every one of our yachts partakes in their own distinct journey, they each remain an integral member of the Huckins family. Buddy and I left the Thompson family with huge smiles and, I have to admit, we were smiling as well, as Kyma was in much better shape after we visited. We are confident that our legacy will continue with Kyma as she embarks on more summer adventures and maybe even makes her way down to Belize.

River house article 2 intro image 6