June 6, 2017

At Splinter Creek, Quiet Lakes, Quiet Boats

Sonia Thompson

Exploring the unspoiled beauty of Splinter Creek is one of the joys of living on the property. Since more than 400 acres are maintained as a natural preserve of pristine lakes, forests and wetlands, nature is literally at your doorstep or just beyond your boat dock. To better enjoy this quiet show, Splinter Creek recently acquired a handcrafted Budsin electric boat.

Meticulously made in the coastal town of Marshallberg, North Carolina, by Tom Hesselink, Budsin electric boats are inspired by vessels built in the early 1900s to reflect a bygone time when life moved at a slower pace.

Hesselink first learned the trade 30 years ago building sailboats in his native Wisconsin. He then got his own start in the business making sport fishing boats, but found he longed to create something more special.

The aft deck is installed and then will be sanded.

"When we were building sport fishing boats, it was all about how to make it bigger, how to make it faster and how do you make it more expensive than the other guys’ for bragging rights," Hesselink says.

The name of each Budsin boat is hand painted in gold leaf lettering on the transom.

Hesselink says boats are typically divided into two categories: power boats and sailboats, but his electric boats defy both labels. "This is a power boat, but it’s the antithesis of a power boat," he says.

Three of the most popular Budsin boat styles are the 22' Phantom, the 19' Trouvé, and the 15' Lightning Bug (pictured).

Hesselink has a small workshop near his home on the North Carolina coast, and he builds boats with a team of four to five employees. Each boat takes them around 6 months to build, and they build five or six boats at one time.

The Splinter Creek Budsin boat, a Lightning Bug style, is launched on the North Lake.

"They’re very quiet, they’re environmentally friendly," Hesselink says. "As soon as you hop in the boat and push the lever forward, you just cruise off silently. It’s too nice, too easy. Just peacefulness and tranquility. I can’t think of a more rewarding product to build."

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