The Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show is held each year
in Hessel, Michigan.
Hessel is in the beautiful Upper Peninsula and can be reached by car, plane or boat. The Albert Lindberg Airport has a paved 3,700 foot runway. If traveling via highway, take Exit 359 off I-75 and drive east on M-134 just 16 miles.
Some of the country's finest boats call the beautiful
Les Cheneaux Islands home.
Entries arrive each August from as far away as
California and Florida.
Vessels include dinghies, rowboats, canoes, launches, sailboats, utilities, runabouts, large cruisers, racers and classic glass.
“2015 Showcasing The Hackercraft Model”
The 2015 Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show will be showcasing the Hacker Craft. John Hacker, a Detroit native, founded the Hacker Boat Company in 1914 and in 1923 moved the company from Detroit to Mt. Clemens, Michigan where in 1925 he partnered with S.D. McCready who became treasurer of the company
Pleasure boats of the 1900 era were all narrow, round bottomed launches which plowed through the water instead of planning over it. John Hacker was an accredited marine designer and his first major task in boat design was to try and solve the problem of “squatting” which occurred with all the canoe-stern shaped powerboats of the 1900’s. He reasoned if his boats were going to go fast, they would have to “plane” rather than plow through the water. As a test craft to prove his new theories, he built one 30’ runabout which pioneered quite a few new innovations. The boat had its prop mounted under the transom as well as its rudder and a strut was used to position the shaft into place. In 1904 he designed “Au Revoir”, the fastest boat of the time. In 1914 Hacker returned to Detroit and founded the Hacker Boat Company. His runabout designs for Gregory’s Belle Isle Boat & Engine Company were soon to bring great success to the firm.
The “golden years” of the Hacker Craft Boat Company ran from 1930 through 1948 or so. Hacker Crafts were always quality through and through. Only the best Honduras mahogany, leather upholstery and copper riveted and screwed planking were just a few. That is why they are named “the Steinway of Runabouts”. A Hacker Craft in the 1930’s, especially the bigger models, could always be spotted by their long front decks, three-piece sectionalized windshield and lots of shiny chrome.
During the mid 1930’s the Hacker Boat Co. offered a new type of boat called a “utility” runabout. This new “utility” found the motor to be mounted amidships and was enclosed by a motor box.
The rear area of the boat was left open in order to allow for more passenger room and was not decked over. Hacker was a superb designer who made a significant impact on the development and design of pleasure boats built during this era.
Hacker closed in 1957 and production was halted. Hacker Craft produced only about 10,000 custom boats over the course of the company’s existence
Although no longer associated with the Hacker Boat Company, John continued to design boats including patrol boats, air sea rescue boats, race boats, runabouts and cruisers.
His designs have led to many advances that today’s boat owners take for granted.
We will have a special award for these boats; so if you have a Hackercraft, please consider bringing it to Hessel this year. .
Mt. Clemens Public Library, Local History Sketches, 2008
"John Hacker – the designer by Tom Flood, 2008."
The Les Cheneaux Historical Association sponsors the
Antique Wooden Boat Show.
The Les Cheneaux Historical Association sponsors the Antique Wooden Boat Show.
Proceeeds from the event go to maintain and enhance the Historical Museum and the Maritime Museum,
which are located in nearby Cedarville.
Boat Show Registration Form
Click here for Boat Show Registration Form
and Brochure (pdf)