Meanwhile In Thailand.
One of the fantastic parts of doing WoodyBoater is being able to see our little universe all over..well.. the universe. Today we travel to Thailand thanks to fellow Woody Boater Sponsors Hacker-Craft who has a long history there. In 1930 King Rama VII, the ruler of Siam (now Thailand) commissioned a 38 foot Hacker-Craft custom commuter. The interior cabin was outfitted with gold fixtures and the boat was paid for in gold bullion. It is still owned by the royal family and is housed in the royal boathouse in Bangkok.
And if you need a fix of real Basel Chicken, you can also enjoy some real Woody Boating in Southeast Asia. Yup. There is a dealer there, and they also lease boats. Here is a quote from the Hacker -Craft Press release
Classic Boats Lifestyle, Ltd. (CBL) as an official stocking dealer. A family-owned and operated business, CBL will exclusively represent Hacker-Craft in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Burma/Myanmar.
As part of their commitment they have purchased five Hacker-Craft as an initial investment. Potential clients include individuals, luxury hotels and clubs and other commercial ventures.
Now, if for some reason you need a Hacker Craft fix, and don’t want to drive from , well lets say Cleveland, you can. The Hacker Craft factory is in Silver Bay NY. USA, And it’s amazing. With full restoration services, new and used boats, and full service.
I can see it now. A WoodyBoater poker run in Thailand. Matt could set the whole thing up and design a complimentary Tshirt with Stinky on it. How do we sign up?
I am a LOT closer to the NY operations, but I think the extra travel to Thailand is worth it for the food alone.
Let’s all ship our boats over for a cruise. I think Phil has that shipping thing down pat.
They dropped their fenders when they found out that an American boater was nearby!
In 1955 King Rama was given a Chris Craft, 21 ft Capri. I responded to a e mail last fall from Gary Villard, he is representing and restoring the boat for the New King, Rama’s son. Maha Vajiralongkorn.
McCall Boat Works had the privilege of re building the Chris Craft Tri-carb KBL motor for them. That’s right, shipped from Bangkok to McCall Idaho. We have two customers from Thailand who summer here in McCall, on Payette Lake. No connections.
That amazing backdrop to the Hacker is a Buddhist temple, Wat Arun. Built in 1809 made up of 5 pillars. Four smaller pillars squarely surrounding a 66 meter center pillar. All of which you can climb.
Apparently the porcelain that decorates Wat Arun came from ballast in old Chinese boats from the era of high trade between the two countries. Restoration completed in 2017, if you think a woody restoration is a task, I can’t imagine this one with all the details to have to work around.
25+ years ago there was a great article in Classic Boating mag detailing the restoration of that original ’30’s HackerCraft. I think it was done by a Sierra Boat restorer….in country.
That was Todd Jeffery. He spent two years leading a team on the Royal fleet. There is a 1929 28’ Gar Wood limousine there too. Todd is a great friend, he had a shop in Grass Valley, CA for awhile after he came home. Then took a job building a marina in Abu Dhabi, now he lives with his wife and daughter in Hong Kong.