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smidgen too
02-18-2013, 11:21 AM
I was looking through my latest Boating magazine & I came upon a add for new wood Hacker Craft speedboats. After reading through the add I see that back in the day offshore Magnum & Flight cat racer [Mr Sheer Terror] Bobby Sheer is now selling the wood Hacker Craft boats in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. I guess I'm getting old as these new wood boats sure look cool & with today's power must really run nice. With all the interest now in Fino power boats there may be a market for these classic looking boats.

Just Say N20
02-18-2013, 12:29 PM
There was a company in Holland Michigan, Grand Craft, that made fabulous wooden runabouts. http://www.grandcraft.com/classic.htm

I don't know how long they were in business, perhaps 25 years. Some of their employees were people who had worked for Chris*Craft (also Holland Michigan) back in the day. One of the principal's was from the Sligh family, known for their grandfather clocks.

They had to close down the company in 2009. Not only did they build really nice new wooden runabouts, but they also had a decent amount of money coming in from rebuilding old woodies.

Their boats were made with all the benefits of current technologies, so they didn't require the high amount of upkeep associated with woodies, or things like "swelling" them up at the beginning of the season.

Even still, they were not able to sustain their business. Very sad.

Conquistador_del_mar
02-18-2013, 01:12 PM
There was a company in Holland Michigan, Grand Craft, that made fabulous wooden runabouts. http://www.grandcraft.com/classic.htm

I don't know how long they were in business, perhaps 25 years. Some of their employees were people who had worked for Chris*Craft (also Holland Michigan) back in the day. One of the principal's was from the Sligh family, known for their grandfather clocks.

They had to close down the company in 2009. Not only did they build really nice new wooden runabouts, but they also had a decent amount of money coming in from rebuilding old woodies.

Their boats were made with all the benefits of current technologies, so they didn't require the high amount of upkeep associated with woodies, or things like "swelling" them up at the beginning of the season.

Even still, they were not able to sustain their business. Very sad.

A good friend of mine recently bought one of the Grand Crafts, and he loves it. I will post a picture when I can take one. Bill

woobs
02-18-2013, 06:01 PM
There are many. many companies still building all wooden boats. However, the numbers are usually small as they are time intensive to construct and the cost of entry is so high. One builder I know builds 2 boats every winter and they are pre-sold (with a waiting list at a touch over $ 150,000.00 each). If you frequent www.woodyboater.com (http://www.woodyboater.com) you will see stories on the new wooden boats from time to time.

For those of us less affluent, you can still get quite a nice wooden boat without breaking the bank. I love my 18' woody (w/ 21' deadrise) it is fun to drive, extremely soft riding and planes quickly. Now that I am replacing the old 165 IL6/ pre alpha with a 4.3 (230 HP) V6 /alpha it should be even more so

74663

Ghost
02-18-2013, 08:00 PM
Was Chris in Holland? Algonac? Both? Other? I had Algonac in my head but I don't know.

smidgen too
02-18-2013, 08:35 PM
Yes they were in Algonac & in Holland, I believe they built the Roamers in Holland.

gcarter
02-18-2013, 09:22 PM
I think Chris Craft had the wood boat production line down!
Of course they built more than two boats a year, also, the boats were all the same.
I mean, they built a number of models almost simultaneously, but they'd build 100 or so at a time.
Obviously, that's the only way you can do it and keep prices down. In the '60's, there was essentially no difference in price between 'glass and wood where a MFGR was building both.
About 15 years ago, Huckins Yacht was celebrating some sort of anniversary and was offering a "new" Huckins 40 which was their mainstay for about 20-25 years, but had been out of production for 20 years probably.
Anyway, they were offering the boats in 'glass OR wood (which was the material of the originals).
The truly amazing thing was the wood version was about $5K cheaper than the glass version.

woobs
02-18-2013, 09:38 PM
Yes George, back in the day there were assembly lines...Dodge had a large operation too with hundreds of boats built in a year. But that scale has not been seen in a very long time.

My example of 2 boats per year is just a sample to illustrate that small builders still exist. There are others that build in greater numbers but, certainly not in the hundreds or, and I doubt, even in the dozens. At least not one that comes to mind...

In 1978 Greavette (a popular Canadian wooden boat manufacturer) built a pilot 6 fiberglass hulls to an existing model spec, and fitted them with wooden decks. This was supposed to be a cost/labour saving exercise but, the fiberglass boats were more expensive than the current wooden model and the pilot was cancelled. They virtually ceased all boat production and were closed by 1980.