Two longtime Florida boat builders that joined forces last year for production purposes have further consolidated operations with the purchase by Hake Marine of Island Packet Yachts, which also builds the Blue Jacket line of performance cruising sailboats.
Hake Marine is the parent company of Seaward Yachts, which last year closed its Stuart, Florida, production facility and moved its molds to the Island Packet yard in Largo.
Island Packet, founded by designer Bob Johnson, launched its first model, a 26-footer, in 1980. Johnson followed with a long line of full-keeled cruisers, most of which sported the company’s off-white hulls and rigs that incorporated a Hoyt Jib Boom. In 2013, Johnson collaborated with longtime Tartan Yachts designer Tim Jackett to debut the Blue Jacket 40, which was named Cruising World’s 2014 Domestic Boat of the Year.
Seaward Yachts, designed by Nick Hake, include three models, all with lifting keels, the 26RK, 32RK, and 46RK. The two smaller sailboats are intended to fit on a trailer.
“When we met with the staff at Island Packet, I was moved by the loyalty and longevity of the team,” said Jessica Lynch, director of Hake Marine, in announcing the purchase via Facebook. “Some of them have been with the company for more than 30 years, bringing with them an enormous amount of talent and dedication for fine American craftsmanship”, she said. “Our plan is to further develop each brand with new designs, streamline manufacturing processes, and organize for efficient and effective boat production.”
Hake Marine plans to offer all three sailboat brands — Blue Jacket, Island Packet and Seaward — through select dealers, along with factory direct sales.