One of the newer technicians at Hodgdon Yacht Services is also one of the youngest, but Kyle Murphy has had some amazing experiences despite his youth.
Kyle came to HYS in January 2019 and works on customers’ electronic systems with Don Oakman (our lead electronics technician at HYS). He also works on other systems and is excited by the all-around experience he’s getting from “all the other great technicians.”
He grew up in Harpswell, Maine, and on leaving school considered various options, but in the end it was the Marine Corps that called him. He was just 18 when he joined up and at 19 he qualified as a helicopter crew chief, described online as “besides the pilot, the person with the most important job on a Marine helicopter.” According to Kyle, the crew chief is the “in-flight troubleshooter, there to determine if systems are working properly, fight fires, and work on anything mechanical.”
When he talks of his time in the Corps he does so with pride, and with good reason: By the time he was 21, Kyle Murphy was flying the President. “I was Marine One Crew Chief, one of four crew chiefs allowed to fly the President. The other three were all much older than me so I was the low man on the totem pole. I had a lot of work to do!” Plus, he says, “you get voted into the position by your peers in the squadron. It’s a big deal.”
Going from Marine One to a boatyard in Maine might seem like a big shift, but Kyle says "the work is very fulfilling. I love working with my hands, so being able to fix customers’ boats and see the results of my work is very satisfying.”
Together with Don Oakman, Kyle both repairs and installs anything to do with electronics and electrics. In winter the work is mostly new installations and upgrades. In summer it’s more troubleshooting and repair. “People come in off the water with broken electronics and we get them fixed and send them back out.” And, he says he’s learning every day. “We have a vast amount of knowledge and capability here. It’s pretty amazing. For such a small group of people, the talent that every individual has is pretty incredible.”
When he’s not working, Kyle and his wife like to get out and go hiking with their two dogs, a yellow lab and a golden retriever. They explore, find new places, and discover good beers.