In an era of modern technology wherein ‘newer is better’ and most ‘craftsmanship’ is completely automated, it’s liberating to disassociate from it all. Boating is liberating in and of itself, getting out on the open water to separate from the deadlines, meetings and phone calls. But there’s something about getting out on the open water in a classic wooden Chris Craft of Hackercraft taking it a step further; a step further from the go-go pace of modern society.
Wooden boat restoration takes plenty of time and effort. Disassembling every piece of hardware from the nose iron to the cleats and lights could take years. Then there’s the weeks long process of stripping, sanding and staining every piece of wood from the stern to the bow. Very few products of the information age would have the patience for the proper restoration of a classic beauty of the lake.
Since the 1950’s wooden boat building has taken a backseat to assembly line watercrafts built from much cheaper and easy-to-work-with fiberglass. Wooden boats were old hat while the sleek new fiberglass boats were all the rage. But lucky for those with the means to get their hands on wooden boats anytime over the past 20 years, they’re now high-in-demand collector’s item.
Classic wooden powerboats such as Gar, Chris Craft and Hackercraft are all the big names in the wooden powerboat world. Featuring meticulous mahogany accents and styling, these classics defined the classic wooden boat culture of the early to mid-twentieth century and the modern day renaissance of today.
Hackercraft are among the very few still producing wooden boats to this day. But a good find and making it shine like the day it rolled out of the shop could be just as good as any brand new boat out there. They don’t build much the way they used to, but restoring a wooden boat to its former splendor matches the quality craftsmanship of yesterday. And once you proudly launch that boat for the first time as your own, it was all worth it.