Hacker Boat Company Has New Owner
George Badcock, a summer resident of Lake George, is officially the new owner of Hacker Boat Company.
The Silver Bay-based manufacturer of mahogany boats announced earlier this week that former owner Lynn Wagemann has sold his interests in the company to Erin Investments, LLC, a holding company owned by Badcock.
Founded by legendary naval architect John L. Hacker in Detroit in 1908, the company was later bought and moved to Silver Bay by Lake George resident Bill Morgan. Wagemann, a former speedboat racer who lives in Diamond Point, purchased the company in 2004.
Erin Investments first became an investor in the company in 2009. Badcock acquired a majority interest in Hacker-Craft in 2008 and became the company’s chairman. He will now also serve as chief executive officer.
“Lynn’s contributions to the company have been significant and he will be missed. We wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” said Badcock.
Earlier this month, the company opened a newly renovated 4,800 square-foot showroom in Silver Bay. New Hackers are displayed on two floors of the building, whose interior is decorated with company memorabilia, art and boat models.
“This new showroom is an example of the commitment I have to Hacker-Craft,” said Badcock.
“During Americade, bikers poured into the new digs and marveled at the boats on display,” said Ken Rawley, the company’s marketing director.
Built entirely by hand, the wood boats are crafted in Ticonderoga in a state of the art, 32,000 square foot production facility. Employing some 60 people, Hacker also has two storage facilities plus a full service marina as well as the new showroom in Silver Bay.
Badcock said he has assembled a team of professionals who will propel the company into international markets. “Ken Rawley came on board about 14 months ago. He is in charge of our marketing strategies. Twenty-three percent of our sales are now via the Internet. We’ve got a boat going to Finland, one to Canada, as well as several to the Long Island Sound,” he said.
“Not having a traditional dealer network is a challenge but, the traditional dealer agreements don’t work for us,” he explained. “Over the next five years we will register our name in the overseas markets. We have already had a visit from a boat dealer in mainland China,” he said.
According to Badcock, Kent O. Smith, Jr. now manages their production facility and 11,400 square-foot restoration shop. “Our business model has been revamped and revitalized. Our production process has been streamlined and, with the new Sterling and Sport series, we are poised to expand worldwide,” Badcock said.
Badcock said Hacker-Craft currently builds three models; the traditional Hacker-designed runabouts (including a sleek gentleman’s racer) and the newly designed Sterling and Sport boats. The boats range in length from 22 feet to 35 feet. “We’re working on ideas for new ‘green’ 22-foot and 24-foot planing hulls that will be powered by an electric motor,” Badcock said.