April 28th 2013. By Diane Byrne.

Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama Edition

The mahogany boatbuilder known for its classic-looking craft partners with an equally famous clothing company on a limited edition, to create the Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama.

If you’re an admirer of boats that count as wooden works of art, surely you’re familiar with classics like the Cherubini and the Raveau. (If not, read these posts on boats.com: Cherubini Classic 20: Baby Grand and Raveau Restoration: A Classic Runabout Returns.)

But when it comes to this genre, few names are as well known as Hacker-Craft.

Based in upstate New York, Hacker-Craft gives its boats retro good looks matched by a good turn of speed. They’re ideal for a relaxing day of cruising around and, of course, turning heads. So when clothier Tommy Bahama, known for its island-oriented patterns fit for a leisurely lifestyle, approached Hacker-Craft about a partnership, it made sense to say yes. The result is the Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama Edition, the first of which is a 27-footer. More are on the way, including 30- and 33-foot models.

Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama underway

The official name of the new Hacker-Craft model is Relax, by Tommy Bahama. The name was chosen to evoke Tommy Bahama’s philosophy that you can be stylish and sophisticated without being stiff or even stuffy. Terry Pillow, CEO of Tommy Bahama, feels it’s a good complement to Hacker-Craft’s own philosophy. He says that the builder knows how to ensure people relax out on the water.

Hacker-Craft says it takes more than 1,400 man-hours to make each one of its mahogany boats, including the 27-foot-long Tommy Bahama edition. The construction process includes 15 coats of varnish, to really make the rich tone of the mahogany wood stand out. Tommy Bahama representatives collaborated on the dark stain as well as trim and fabrics.

Each of the boats in the limited-edition series will bear this special logo on the side, alerting on-lookers to the two iconic brands involved in the creation. If you take a close look at the water, you’ll see a blue-ish hue. That’s from the custom bootstripe, a blue tone specific to Tommy Bahama.

The famed clothing company’s logo appears inside the Hacker-Craft, too. Besides being here on the dash, it’s featured on step cushions, glassware (standard, naturally), and seating. If you so wish, you can even have the official Relax, by Tommy Bahama name emblazoned on the boat’s transom.

While it may be tough to discern, the distinctive fish logo on the leather-wrapped steering wheel is that of Tommy Bahama. Even the dash gauges were custom-created for the Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama edition. What hasn’t changed, of course, is Hacker-Craft’s desire to give you quite an experience while seated at the helm. Top speed: 45 mph.

A single Ilmor MV8 6.2L 430-hp engine (CE compliant) sits in the engine compartment aboard the Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama edition, accessible via a lift-up hatch. While they’re not visible here, blue LEDs also adorn the inside of the compartment. Why blue? It’s in keeping with the color theme used elsewhere for the 27-footer.

Here’s more of the blue color theme aboard Relax, by Tommy Bahama. The “TB” initials are pretty self-explanatory. Hacker-Craft and Tommy Bahama are considering other colors for future models like the 30- and the 33-footers—colors that regularly appear on Tommy Bahama clothing and accessories, of course.

Here’s a nice close-up look at the embroidery on the Hacker-Craft’s upholstery. Other special trimmings aboard the boat include a bow burgee with the Tommy Bahama logo, surface-mounted stainless-steel cup holders, stainless-steel speaker grills, two-tone cabinetry and armrests, and a refrigerated drawer. There’s also a deeper cockpit floor with a recessed toe-kick.

Considering the Tommy Bahama edition comes with custom glassware, you’ll need a place aboard your Hacker-Craft to keep it, right? That’s why there’s this cocktail cabinet. Look carefully at the bottom portion of the cabinet and you’ll see a stainless-steel pull for a drawer that slides out to reveal three pre-cut holders.

Specifications: LOA: 27’0”   Beam: 7’3”   Draft: 2’2”   Displacement: 4,500 lbs.   Fuel capacity: 51 gallons

For more than 100 years, Hacker-Craft has been building classically styled mahogany motorboats near the shores of Lake George, New York. And even as its boats dot lakes and harbors around the United States, Hacker-Craft has also gone worldwide. In fact, Hacker-Craft clients come from as far away as Asia and the Middle East. It’s easy to understand the global appeal of boats like the Tommy Bahama edition, as well as the other series and custom creations from 26 to 35 feet, when you inspect the craftsmanship up close. Hacker-Craft marries timeless style and good old-fashioned workmanship with modern technology.

View Hacker-Craft listings on YachtWorld


For more information, visit Hacker-Craft.


Diane Byrne
Diane M. Byrne is the founder and editor of the daily updated website Megayacht News. A longtime yachting writer, she also contributes to Yachts International, Boat Exclusive, and other magazines. She is additionally a member of the International Superyacht Society Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association.