Legendary boat builder John Ludwig Hacker might be surprised that his designs live on in newly crafted vessels in high demand. Forming the company in Detroit in 1908, Hacker enjoyed great success through the 1920s, being well known for the speed and level ride of his runabouts. He also raced his own boat, the Kitty Hawk II, which was hailed as the fastest 26-foot boat in the country at a blistering 50 mph. (This was 1912, remember.)
It’s said that over a six-decade-long career Hacker designed and built more successes in speed-craft than all of his contemporary builders combined. Though he later experienced hard times, others continued with his designs and methods of fine boat building.
Today, the artisans of Hacker Boat Company of Silver Bay, N.Y., ply their trade in a modern 32,000-square-foot production facility opened several years ago in Ticonderoga, just north of Lake George. Last year, a new combination showroom and corporate office complex with a memorabilia exhibit opened. The company has prospered as the country’s largest manufacturer of classic-styled mahogany motorboats, including tenders, from 22 to 35 feet. The current lineup includes Sport, Runabout and Racer models, all fitting tributes to the late designer.
The stunning 27-foot Hacker-Craft Sport is the latest addition to the fleet. An ideal family boat that can be customized if desired, it’s meticulously constructed of sustainable mahogany in the wide beam Hacker tradition with more freeboard for dryness (perfect for bay conditions). The contemporary transom with built-in steps and swim platform make boarding easy after swimming, waterskiing or tubing. A choice of MerCruiser propulsion will more than satisfy anyone’s need for speed. And this sleek beauty does one more thing: turn heads, for sure. www.hackerboat.com