We Request Your Help In Designing The Ultimate Woody Boater Skipper Hat!

Lancaster patch 2

The Ebay Lancaster hat that started it all

If you have been a long time reader, you know we had some amazing Lancaster hats made years ago and Lancaster went out of business, so, so did the Woody Boater Hat business. Well, there is good news, all the templates and stuff were sold to another company and they get it! Big time get it and make the coolest stuff on the planet. What’s even cooler is that we get to design the coolest hat ever. A special exclusive Woody Boater hat. Now, times have changed and so has money.

lancaster patch

The Woody Boater Lancaster hat made years ago with real gold braid. If you own one, keep it.

These hats are going to cost around $325. They are not cheap to build, nor are they cheaply constructed. With Tropical Wool and all custom sized. The design takes the quality of a Lancaster hat and we made a couple design tweeks to make them look cooler on. A little wider and taller.

Bancroft Hat

Vintage Bancroft hat found. Taller and wider.

Army Navy Hat

Love the natural leather bill. Is that an option or should it be patent Leather?

Army Navy Hats

The crusher on the left is to tall, but a very cool look.

Picking up design elements from the Army Pilot Crusher, and a Bancroft hat. All these were hats of the day. We will need to make an order of 20, to make it affordable and so the Hat Co can make it worth it. One offs aint gonna happen. Here is the big question. Is $355 to much? There is not much margin on this and we would need to pony up a huge amount of coin to buy them. Let us know your thoughts.

49 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Matt, I like the hat, but the $355 is probably to rich for this old skippers blood.
    An alternate suggestion would be to duplicate one of your original WoodyBoater caps. The white one with the yacht hat patch on the front and black brim. I cherished that cap for many years but just lost it over the weekend. A strong blast of wind over the windshield of Tiger Lily and it is now at the bottom of Lobdell Lake with several others I have lost over the years. That would be a great addition to your store inventory.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I don’t see myself owning one for $355.

    It sounds like it would require about a 6K investment from WoodyBoater to stock what could end up being some wrong sizes. The up side would seem to be breaking even, since there will probably be some leftover stock.

    Your call, but it seems like the potential for gain is not worth the potential loss.

  3. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    due to my natural hair style I love hats in the summer to keep my head safe from the sun. I don’t mind spending money on a nice hat. Yup but. I have ordered hats on line and they never fit. The size is always different from what they say. So I don’t know how your going to keep everyone happy even if you had the size ahead of time. It’s somthing you need to put on your head before you purchase it.

  4. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    I’m in! I missed out on the earlier ones and can’t stand the cheapies you find elsewhere. I’m horrible at losing hats and I’ve never paid that kind of money for a hat, don’t want to but I’d find a way! I’ve got a real hatter here in my town and I’d go and get measured there and then if the size didn’t quite feel right I’d have him size it. He can work miracles!!

    I’d go with the slightly lower profile and with the nice braid on the front not that wimping looking 2 strand on the last one on the right. And I like the real leather bill but it’d be very hard to keep nice so probably the patent leather. I too like the slightly wider, slightly taller version.

  5. Sean
    Sean says:

    My company actually looked into producing a “Captains” cap. From limited research said that a formal military style cap looked too out of place and a nautical fiddler style cap was more to the liking of “yachtsmen”. In the end, the most popular choice was a version of the simple ball cap.

    As for price, fiddler caps seem to retail from about $ 30 and go to about $ 90. A custom ball cap can be had for $ 20. We decided not to move forward as we were uncompetitive at the low end of the scale and felt that at the high end sales would not support the product. With price points like that I can’t ever see paying over $ 100 anything.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    This is the most expensive hat I think I have ever had.

    I LOVE it! Custom made by Linda Nagle at woodycaps. What is really nice is that as the hat wears out I can move the visor to another, as long as it has the same bill.

  7. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I bought a Lancaster back when the order was made. After thinking about it I set it in a cabinet. I, like Greg, seem to lose a couple hats a year. Lost the first one on the St. Johns in March. Can lose a dozen or so regular hats for the same cost as a Lancaster.

  8. Michael Stevens
    Michael Stevens says:

    While I enjoy the almost daily Woody Boater news letters and articles and the painstaking lengths folks will go to perfectly preserve or restore a boat, this hat estimate is crazy. I’m working on a 1956 Correct Craft boat and trailer that I hope to complete and get in the water this summer. The ‘project’ only cost me $400 to obtain!
    Only a bit more than the hat.
    Your offer is crazy by the ‘left coast’ standards we have in Oregon.

    • Tom H
      Tom H says:

      I haven’t seen you with a hat other than your motorcycle helmet so your vote doesn’t count.
      I have a Lancaster I bought about 8 years ago. Based on personal experience they will float for about 3 minutes. I think I may have to put some Styrofoam in the inside to keep it afloat based on Murphy’s law and the cost of replacement. The $ 355.00 would be out for me if I needed to replace it.

  9. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    My wife and kids have already accused me of totally nerding out on this Woody Boating thing. If I showed up in one of those hats, it would be all over. Sorry, Matt.

  10. John Stolte
    John Stolte says:

    Nice hat. Too nice. I’m also out on $355 hat.

    Oh, by the way, I’m allergic to wool. My brother bought me a nice Greek Captains hat from his trip to Greece, but in about a half an hour my head was all broken out in hives.

    Nice idea, but not for me.

  11. Kerry
    Kerry says:

    Matt, I too bought one of the Lancaster hats when you made the initial purchase. It is a great hat and I use it from time to time but mostly at boat shows. I love the hat but for daily boating I think it is a bit stiff and formal. I would prefer that the brim not be patent leather but instead have a matt finish. Also the hat holds great shape but maybe a little to great. It would be better if it were a bit softer and not so stiff. Sure wearing it will break it in more but mine is going to take several more years of wear to make it truly a comfortable hat.

  12. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If a boating hat costs north of $30, it needs built in flotation. North of $300 and it should have an auto activating rescue beacon.

  13. Lymehouse
    Lymehouse says:

    My vote is for lower and narrower, when it get’s too big it starts to scream for a uniform underneath.
    Yep, the $355 is steep, though I get what goes into the traditional construction. Already spent that much trying to find the perfect vintage yacht hat on ebay. Is there a price break with a larger order?
    However, if the hat made us look this cool, price is of little concern.

  14. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I had buyers remorse after, when after a little too much imbibing in Vegas last year, fellow Woody Boater Tyson Konecncy and his boatress took me to their favorite haberdashery. I bought a hand-made Panama from Ecuador for about $130. I was incredulous with myself, though it is a very nice hat. This is WAAYYYY too much dough – sorry, I’m out.

      • Paul H.
        Paul H. says:

        Yep – Goorin Brothers, hand made in Ecuador. Better there than in China, I suppose.

        I just looked it up online and I correct my earlier estimate – it actually cost $160.00, so only half as much as the captains hat. My memory was a bit fuzzy.

        The moral of the story is not too buy anything on the Vegas strip, least of all at a haberdasher, after spending 5 hours in a steakhouse having dinner, drinking whiskey and wine.

  15. rob
    rob says:

    I do find it odd that Woodyboater will ramble on with great participation about how to attract the “younger generation” to the joys of classic boating while promoting $325 skipper hats. Is there a disconnected here?

  16. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    I bought a navy Lancaster hat, which is superb quality, love it! And I bought a white one from the second place? Not as nice a fit and quality isn’t as good, but they were cheaper, as I remember, so I’m good!

  17. Matt
    Matt says:

    Yikes, we had been concerned that over $300 for a hat like this would be tough. Thanks so much to the peanut gallery for your opinions.

  18. Jason
    Jason says:

    I wouldn’t say no, but the amount is a real stretch. The hat would have to be spot-on perfect in size and manufacturing. So this means:
    * Wool gabardine cover
    * Navy blue or black
    * Wicker frame
    * Real leather sweatband
    * Heavy rope chinstrap (like the WB Lancaster pictured, not the eBay find).
    * Gold bullion insignia embroidered directly to the hat.

    The flat visor of the Bancrofts aren’t swanky enough.

  19. Scott
    Scott says:

    I’m in. Warning to decision makers: too soft and round and it doesn’t represent the icon, too big in any direction and its tacky. Get it right, like the last one, and I’ll subscribe for two. C’mon, y’all, who among you can afford a woody boat but not to support this initiative?? Mr. Woodyboater deserves our whole-hearted support for his Herculean efforts on our behalf — Thank You, Sir!

  20. Mark Christensen
    Mark Christensen says:

    I love the idea of a high quality heirloom hat, but that is a lot of cash. I can’t believe they can’t do it for ~$100. For that much I’d buy 2. I really want one of these, but I’ll have to wait for a father’s day. For now the $300+ is going to Jim Staib for marine plywood for the bottom of the boat.

  21. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    check with Baron Hats of Hollywood they make hats of any kind. if you send them a copy of your yacht hat they can make it may be at cheaper cost

  22. Donald Thomas
    Donald Thomas says:

    Your last Lancaster woody boater hat made years ago is the Holy Grail of yachting Caps! Anyone wanting to change the style or quality should be stockaded in the public square with bushel baskets of rotten tomatoes for spectators to toss. Somebody needs to spend some time researching obtaining a manufacture to duplicate this cap to exact specsifications, just like the military offerings of some company’s. The thought just to offer these to a group of 25 wood boaters is absurd. There are thousands of marinas across the country that they can be sold. Any skipper of any boat is entitled to wear this hat if he or her so chooses. They are not just for the wealthy and famous, or select group of boaters. They are a nautical hat for the public. Anyone wanting to put a class distinction to these caps, they can have the option for gabardine vs a heavy cotton material removable cover in black, navy, or white. I would put a fair price of $175.00 for the gabardine, and $115.00 for the cotton. This can be done by some wealthy person bored out of their mind. Hong Kong is the place to manufacture, the specs are at Lancaster! The two most sought after hats today by collectors are the Lancaster Yachting Cap and the Stetson Open Road. Leave the originals for the collectors, but bring new ones back to the public domain. And if you are considered filthy rich, they could be made in the good old USA ( you remember that country don’t you) for old time class and memories. If you like contact me. I’m 67 yrs old, a veteran, and have seen and worn a few hats in my days. Best regards, Don

  23. John Rushing
    John Rushing says:

    The price is a bit high. 250 is about right. Go traditional with the patent bill. Black and white cover with stitching to the hat– no patch. I’m in.

  24. Richard Wright
    Richard Wright says:

    I’m not a member but want a new one. My eBay version is nice but ‘old’ and half worn out. It n=must be perfect for this price, but I really do think you can get it for MUCH CHEAPER. I’m not in your club and want one. There will be a LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE LIKE ME. Talk to the manufacturer and figure out prices on varying, lagging quantities. Put it on kickstarter. Market it well. I’ll assist idd you need it. You will get your hats for $175 I bet and have a business that the club can own. Annuity business from orders…..

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