1934 Hutchinson is 28 feet long, so it might not fit in your garage

This Pick of the Day is designed for lakes, not highways

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Pick of the Day is a 28-foot, triple-cockpit vintage wooden runabout

The Pick of the Day is a 1934 Hutchinson, and don’t feel poorly if you don’t recognize the Hutchinson brand. That’s likely because the Pick of the Day for today is not a collector car but a vintage 28-foot triple-cockpit Gentleman’s Runabout boat. 

The craft is being offered by a museum with a sales showroom in St. Louis and is being advertised on ClassicCars.com for $89,900. According to the seller, the boat — a 1934 Hutchinson 28’ Triple Cockpit Gentleman’s Runabout named “Saving Grace” — is one of only seven designed by Hacker-Craft and built by Hutchinson.

Naval architect and boat designer John Hacker founded The Hacker Boat Company (later known as Hacker-Craft) in Detroit in 1908 (in 1911 he put floats beneath a Wright Brothers biplane and created the seaplane). He also is credited with the creation of the hydroplane, not an aircraft but a high-speed racing boat. 

The Hutchinson’s Boat Works of Alexandria Bay, New York, dates to 1902. The Hacker-designed runabout on offer was restored in the late 1990s. According to the advertisement, the work was done by Doug Nichols and Nichols Marine & Restoration in Branchport, New York, and afterward the boat was displayed in various shows and cruises in the Northeast. 

Nichols freshened the restoration and the show was offered for sale in 2013. 

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: Resto-monster 1964 Corvette

At the time, the Society of American Marine Surveyors reported, “The vessel, Saving Grace, is a well-appointed and well-powered vessel with sharp lines and profile. It is the surveyor’s opinion that the vessel is suitable for its intended use as a recreation vessel.”

According to the advertisement, the mahogany and ash wooden vessel has undergone recent service, including a rebuild of its 318cid Chrysler engine and the installation of a new ignition module, fuel pump, battery cables and propeller. The boat went through sea trials in May 2019 and, with four people aboard, achieved 42 mph. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Hey! Haven’t you heard, that there are only two happy days in a boat owners life ? The day that he buys it, and the day that he sells it.

  2. I guess you can’t please everyone Larry . But a true car person would appreciate the effort it took to restore this boat ,and imagine what type of cars pulled it to the lake. Maybe a woody wagon or a Packard roadster . I’d personally love to see this at a car show behind a vintage car. Also you don’t see very many boats on this site, and YOU didn’t have to click on the boat !
    Keep up the good job you do Larry bringing these articles to appreciative readers.

  3. I agree with Robert – the boat is fabulous!
    As a boat owner and builder – I appreciate the time and craftsmanship it takes to restore the old wooden boats! 2 thumbs up from me!!

  4. Keels and Wheels Concours in Houston features both restored cars and boats. It is a terrific show.
    Anyone should appreciate the workmanship that went into this boat!

  5. Beautiful boat. Regarding the discussion of cars versus boats, I remember in the old Car Life magazine in around ’67 or so they did a dual test of a Dodge Dart sedan with a 225 slant six and some nice inboard boat with a Chrysler marine version of the 225 slant six. Chrysler was apparently very active in marine motors both inboard and outboard during that era ( as they were in the field of air conditioners – Chrysler Airtemp )

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