This story in from Fellow Woody Boater Mike from Lake Oswego Boat Company…
So, I was up early Saturday morning checking on woodyboater.com (no kidding, I really was) when the phone rang. It was 7AM and the lady on the other end introduced herself and told me that her late fathers boat had sunk yesterday (Friday), was raised and then hauled to a local public boat ramp. A truck was coming at 11AM to haul it to “the scrapyard”. I asked what kind of boat it was. She said it was a Hacker. I caught my breath, composed myself and asked what year and length it was. She said it was a 1947 48′ Cruiser. Her dad had lovingly restored it and it hadn’t been used since he passed. I had an 8AM commitment and was then scheduled to spend the whole day in Oregons beautiful wine country. I was torn but I was committed, so I called my two best woodyboater friends and asked for help. We had to save this boat.
Chris Finks and Chuck Kellogg were on the scene barely an hour later. My wife asked me what was wrong and I reluctantly told her about the boat. She looked me square in the eyes and said “go get the boat. You can meet us in wine country later and we’ll pick the car up tomorrow.” I reminded her that it was a ‘free’ 46 foot boat. She suggested I have it shipped to my shop.
In a strange turn of events, I declined her offer and decided to let Chris and Chuck check the boat over and report back. iPhones are a great thing. I called the daughter back and urged her to buy another day for the boat so I could get a look at it. In the meantime, Chris was e-mailing me photos of the sunken boat. She was at the public dock with the stem firmly planted in the sand and still full of water. The boat reeked of fuel and oil. The ceiling had oil dripping off of it. This boat had truly sank in its mooring.
I stuck to my plan and had a wonderful day wine tasting. As luck would have it, another guy came by and “claimed” the boat. He had it towed to a local marina and hauled out. I got a look at her Sunday morning and the following photos are what I saw. What an amazing boat, what and amazing designer, what an amazing history, but man, she was gone. I spent quite a bit of time in her just looking at the mess of soaked stuff. That was after I inspected the bottom and found virtually no good wood. This boat hadn’t been hauled out in a long time. While inside I was looking for some “tell tale” Hacker signs. I couldn’t find anything substantial except for a soaked Hacker burgee.
After a couple phone calls I got an estimate of about $35k for a new bottom from the waterline down, including keel, stem and chines. That’s just the beginning, though, and who knows how the side frames are and what it will take to re-power, re-plumb and re-wire this beauty. Needless to say, I have stepped away but would love to help this special boat find a proper home. If you’re interested in it please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will direct you to her current caretaker, who is also overwhelmed with the scope of the project. The boat is currently moored in Portland, Oregon.