The handcrafted perfection found in every Hacker-Craft boat is unmatched. Beyond bespoke, whether custom outfitted or standard, the Hacker-Craft boat is built from traditional designs by expert carpenters, finishers and engineers with premium materials and fittings. Modifications to the designs first built by founder John Ludwig Hacker in the 1908 are only dictated by material innovations that improve the life and durability of the boat. That is not say its purely business as usual. The Hacker Crafts can also be fully customizable with materials, outfitting and technology to enhance performance, comfort and power. Designed for speed with a sleek V-bottom, which lifts the boat above the water, the Hacker-Craft enduring appeal is founded in tradition and respect for the exclusivity inherent in the handcrafting and timely process it takes to produce each boat.
When we were offered the opportunity to drive a finely crafted Buick Avenir to the upstate New York Hacker-Craft factory we were intrigued. Located in Ticonderoga, New York, the factory also houses offices, storage and finishing facilities. Aside from brief buzz of power tools the assembly facility is quiet with a reverence to the boats. Balanced upside down, the framework shell sets, nearby siding panels are cut then hand sanded to tightly adhere to the previous panel, bent and then affixed to the frame. Other boats remain elevated while finishes and varnish cure and set. Making the finest mahogany boats takes time. Since the 1930’s these celebrated boats have been aptly named “the Steinway of Runabouts” Jeff Brown, Naval Architect & Director of Special Projects of Hacker Boat Co. informed us.
He went on to show us that many of the boat resemble the early Hacker-Craft designs above the waterline, and then to point out the technological improvements that have improved boat building with techniques and material. The addition of fiberglass hull option, available on request, widens the usage options to include salt water and shallow water docks. The Hacker Boat Company standard models include Runabouts, Sport Motor Boats, Gentlemen’s Racers and they are all floating works of art. In seeing the custom designed boats, including the must-have yacht tenders that we witnessed being assembled that we further understood what having the best of the best truly means. Our ride on beautiful Lake George in a Hacker-Craft was a thrilling adventure. Hacker-Craft
Photography by David Lewis Taylor.
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