Hacker Boat Co. has announced it will use a $600,000 grant from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council to move its operations from Ticonderoga to Queensbury, shutting down two local facilities and taking 38-40 jobs out of the community.
continued The new Queensbury facility will be constructed near Northway Exit 18.
The Ticonderoga plant opened in the fall of 2009.
“This is no reflection on Ticonderoga,” Rawley said. “We’ve enjoyed our time in Ticonderoga. This is simply a matter of expanding to a larger facility.”
Hacker announced last year plans to add larger models to its product line, a departure from a tradition of building boats that average 22-30 feet length overall.
For decades the company has built three models — Runabout, Sport and Racer — rarely longer than 30 feet. While larger custom boats have been built, almost all boats have been in the 22-30 foot range.
The decision to build larger boats is based on the company’s international expansion efforts. The new models will be 39 to 45 foot, suitable for coastal cruising.
Hacker Boat Co. has been making classic vessels for more than a century. Hacker makes hand-crafted, mahogany boats. Every board is cut, all 30,000 screws are placed by hand. Even the metal hardware is fabricated on site. Each boat gets up to 18 coats of varnish.
The Delano Road facility has the capacity to build 15-20 boats at a time. It takes six months — about 2,000 man hours — to construct one and the company completes 30-40 boats a year.
Prices start at $100,000 and go to $250,000 for standard models. Custom boats cost more.
Hacker Boats traces its history to 1908 when John Hacker took note of engines being designed for cars in Detroit and applied the technology to boats.
He designed a round about that became known as the “Steinway” of boats, a reference to the famed piano. He built boats for the rich and famous and helped the U.S. Navy during World War II.
When fiberglass boats were created in the 1950s, their limited maintenance and cheaper price made them more popular with the general public.
Hacker survived, though, by catering to high-end classic boat lovers.