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First Build, First Love?

by Norris Comer

Hacker-21The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (NWSWB) announced the first build of a very unique boat, the Hacker-21 all-wood runabout designed by legendary naval architect John L. Hacker (1877-1961). The build was designed long ago but never completed, and the success of this gorgeous, vintage-looking boat is thanks to the contributions of five maritime businesses: Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op, Coastwise marine Design, Walt Trisdale, Mystery Bay Sails and Canvas, LAW Enterprise, and Edensaw Woods. The collaboration between NWSWB and the local businesses is a textbook example of the kinds of partnerships the school strives to cultivate. NWSWB focuses on core boatbuilding techniques such as lofting, backbone, framing, and planking, and tends to rely upon its partners to supply materials or specialized trades labor.

The school’s Executive Director, Betsy Davis, noted in a press release that “Hackers are known to some as the ‘Steinways of Runabouts’ and this boat lives up to that tradition. It’s a beautiful, seaworthy boat – built by people who know, love, and understand traditional wooden boats.”

The hull of the Hacker-21 is made of khaya, AKA African mahogany, and the bott om planking is in the double diagonal style. The exterior is finished with 15 coats of varnish and the inside is sealed with traditional oil finish. One only has to look at the boat to understand. Learn more about the Hacker-21 runabout and the boatbuilding school at nwswb.edu.

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