On Saturday April 20th, 2019 Hacker Boat Company, owned by George Badcock, generously opened their doors to our Chapter allowing us to see their magnificent boats being constructed. There were about 20 attendees, and we were all impressed by the quality of workmanship and materials that go into each boat, as well as the number of boats being built. On this Saturday there were about 5 craftspeople working, keeping up with a production line of about 16-20 new custom boats being built each year as well as many restorations, repairs and retrofits.
Our tour was guided by very knowledgeable staff, John Skinner, Restoration Manager and Sales Associate, and Sam Bowman, who has worked on these boats for 15 years and humbly regards himself as an apprentice. The discussion of how the runabout hull designs have changed from generation to generation was interesting, the smooth and slower ride the original Hacker runabout offered, and how now most customers want the faster design. The mahogany used is top of the line, nearing the quality used for musical instruments, and it is used for every stage of construction starting with the frame, the ribs made of laminating mahogany with 3M-5200, to the finish planking. Every boat is custom built to the owner’s desires using the expertise of their Naval Architect, Jeff Brown, their Master Boat Builder, Tim Gautreau, and the craftsmen numbering about 28.
The first half of the enormous shop had around 10 boats under various stages of construction. The second half held boats being restored. There was a machine shop building with fantastic tools, and a finish shop building, holding several more eye popping crafts. Below are pictures of the different stages of construction and the other parts of our tour: