It is said that all good things begin with a dream, and so it was with John L. Hacker, creator of the Hacker-Craft handcrafted mahogany speedboat. He recognized that runabout motorboats of the day were slow and cumbersome and he set out to fix that, and thus, the Hacker-Craft was born near the turn of the century. Hacker conceived an innovative V-hull design which allowed achieving unheard of speeds without hydroplaning, by keeping the bow low to the water and with that, he caught the attention of the boat racing world. Hacker went on to become known as the king of the runabouts, and today is considered America’s greatest motorboat designer. After years of success building the fastest racing boats and winning dozens of awards, by the 1930’s the shiny mahogany Hacker-Craft had suddenly become the darling of Hollywood and the favorite toy of the rich and famous. The likes of Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Cary Grant all had Hacker-Craft at their docks. We’ve all seen them, these fancy vintage wooden speedboats, but they just don’t make boats like that anymore. Except they do – yes, they still do at Hacker Boat Company.
The Hacker-Craft flourished through the 50’s with private commissions, retail sales and government contracts. However, with the advent of fiberglass in the 1960’s, the desirability of solid wood hull boats began to fade, and so did the fortunes of Hacker Boat Company as the wealthy embraced the new materials. After a period of struggle, and going through a few different owners, Hacker is finally in good hands again and annual sales are escalating in the triple-digits. Original quality has been maintained while new technologies have been employed to make the boats safer, more powerful and with updated features. The boats are still being designed on original plans drawn up by John Hacker and orders for custom work have skyrocketed. It seems that every top level resort with lake access now has a Hacker-Craft. In 2010, Hacker released its first new model in 25 years and the public responded with a resounding Yes! Long gone are the concerns about wooden boats being difficult to care for. The Hacker’s hulls are coated with special epoxies formulated to withstand extreme climatic situations, and the boats are finished with 14 hand applied coats of varnish. The Hacker today comes with a 10 year guarantee on the hull, which is three to four times longer than metal or fiberglass boats.
We didn’t’ know this either:
- Hacker is the world’s oldest wooden speedboat manufacturer
- It is still constructed using mahogany, now 100% sustainable
- Hacker-Craft was named by Forbes as one of “50 of America’s Best” products
- It was first with the V-hull design which kept the bow low allowing visibility with racing speeds
- It takes over 1500 hours to build each boat, each still made 100% by hand
- Featured as the ultimate dream gift in the 2011 Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog at $250,000
- Two Hackers serve as tenders on the 325 ft. Onassis yacht the Christina O.
- Claims to be the world’s only boat that makes every single passenger smile after a ride.
After over 100 years in production, Hacker-Craft are still known for their amazing beauty, their craftsmanship, and their downright sexiness. There’s something special about the thought of getting into a 30-foot long vintage styled mahogany speed boat and screaming across a lake at 50 mph so fast that you lose your hat. The manufacturing plant in Silver Lake, NY is the place to be if you want to see your Hacker-Craft being built. They welcome visitors, dreamers and regular people too. Private Jets Charter lands just a few miles away.