By LOHR McKINSTRY
TICONDEROGA — Hacker Boat Co. is using a $600,000 state grant to move from Ticonderoga to Queensbury for a facility expansion.
The move means the loss of 38 jobs in Ticonderoga, although workers will be offered a chance to transfer to the Queensbury plant expected to be built this year, Hacker spokesman Kenneth J. Rawley said Wednesday.
“We expect that most of them are going to work in Queensbury,” said Rawley, who is in charge of sales and marketing for Hacker. “We’re working on a number of ways to make that happen.”
Hacker Boat is making the move to Queensbury in Warren County to meet demands for manufacturing larger boats, company officials said. The firm says it will invest $5.4 million and create 31 new jobs at a 116,400-square-foot facility there.
A press release from the Capital Region Economic Development Council had said the $600,000 grant awarded to Hacker was so the boatbuilder could expand its current facilities in Ticonderoga, but it turned out the release was referring to the relocation to Queensbury, PRIDE of Ticonderoga Executive Director Sharon Reynolds said.
“We tried to convince Hacker to stay in Ticonderoga. They were committed to moving.”
FORMER NEWBERRY STORE
The company is presently manufacturing Hacker-Craft boats in the former Delmar Box plant on Delano Road in Ticonderoga and has another facility in Hague’s Silver Bay hamlet on Lake George. There are no plans, at this point, to close the Hacker facility in Silver Bay, Rawley said.
Company offices, the showroom and a marina are located there.
The 32,000-square-foot plant on Delano Road is used for construction of the firm’s luxury mahogany motorboats.
Hacker already appears to be winding down use of its 11,400-square-foot Montcalm Street facility in Ticonderoga, the former J.J. Newberry Store, which was used for repairs and restorations, Reynolds said.
“We have asked them to turn that back over to PRIDE, at some point. We haven’t received an answer yet.”
PRIDE took ownership of the building after Newberry’s closed in the 1990s and later transferred it to Hacker. Rawley said they still have work going on at the Montcalm Street site.
Hacker Boat Co. had initially announced it was asking for $1.1 million in state funding toward its proposed relocation to a vacant building on Carey Road in Queensbury, west of Adirondack Northway Exit 18.
Made a priority project by the Capital Region Council, it was awarded a little more half the requested sum when the state made its announcement of funding to councils around the state in December.
Rawley said they were very pleased with the funding they received.
The timetable for getting the new facility up and running in Queensbury hasn’t been hammered down yet, he said, though they expect it to happen sometime this year.
“The rationale (for closing shop in Ticonderoga) is we’re expanding internationally and building bigger boats — that’s the goal,” Rawley said.
At present, the company is constructing a tender for a mega-yacht in Europe, he said. The firm hopes to build coastal cruisers in the 30-to-45-foot range, as well, he said.
Many Hacker-Craft customers fly into Albany International Airport and travel from there to the plant to select and order construction of a boat.
Rawley said it isn’t convenient for clients, some of whom come from Europe, to travel the extra distance to Ticonderoga.
“It’s a long way.”
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.