Hacker-Craft, a US builder of classic mahogany motorboats and hand-built runabouts, sportsboats, yacht tenders, launches and utilities, has reported a significant resurgence in sales, with turnover for 2017 up a staggering 68% compared to the previous year.

The news comes after the US builder was forced to lay off staff in 2016 during what it says was an “unusual slowdown” in sales.

According to a company statement, 2018 is looking similarly promising, with a new US$900,000 superyacht tender currently in build at its New York facility in Lake George. Hacker-Craft’s restoration and repair operation also booked sales growth in 2017 and expects continued growth in 2018, says the company.

A key factor in 2018’s positive outlook is the addition of Classic Boats Lifestyle (CBL) as a new stocking dealer based in Bangkok, Thailand. CBL will market Hacker-Craft throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Burma/Myanmar. As part of their commitment, CBL has purchased five Hacker-Craft as an initial investment.

“The sales growth is comforting and the addition of CBL is a major plus both for sales and the expansion of our brand,” says Hacker-Craft CEO George Badcock. “CBL has the resources and drive to introduce Hacker-Craft throughout SE Asia. And if the European representation gels, we are really in a new ballgame.”

Negotiations are also continuing with a Luxembourg-based investment group that hopes to represent the Hacker-Craft brand throughout Europe starting this year. Meanwhile, Hacker-Craft is firming up plans to move the bulk of the company to a larger production and restoration/repair facility in the Glen Falls area of New York.