Three Hacker-Craft boats from top, 27' Cockpit Race Boat, 30' Dolphin Triple Cockpit Runabout, 27' Sport
Courtesy Hacker-Craft

John Ludwig Hacker, acknowledged as one of the leading naval architects in the world, founded The Hacker Boat Company in 1908 in Detroit. He was not only one of the leading designers of the American runabout and the innovator of the revolutionary V-shaped hull, but he also had a hand in building the first airplane floats for the Wright brothers. Following that, he designed and built his very own Wright Flyer, the first hydroplane watercraft to reach the seemingly impossible speed of 50 mph. Hacker would go on to design some of the most spectacular wooden boats ever built. 

Gar Wood
Garfield Arthur Wood dreamed of setting every speed record on the water, but he never intended to launch a career in the boat-building business. The son of a ferryboat operator on Lake Osakis in Minnesota, Gar not only developed fine-tuned mechanical skills, he was an amazing inventor. With his invention of the hydraulic lift in 1911, Gar Wood sealed his fortune and turned his full attention to speedboat building and racing. In 1921, Gar Wood introduced the 33-foot Baby Gar, a three-cockpit runabout. In the 1930s, Gar introduced the Speedster, Utility, Express Cruiser, and the rear-engined Streamliner.

Century Boats
The Century Boat Company was founded in Milwaukee in 1926 building canoes, racers, and fishing boats. Two years later, Century relocated to Manistee, Michigan, where they began to build mahogany runabouts, utilities, and outboards. By the late 1930s, Century offered 28 models and held the world outboard speed record of 50.93 miles per hour. In the 1950s, Century launched the Resorter line, which served as one of the first towboats for a new sport called water skiing. 
1931 Gar Wood Dispatch

Christopher Columbus Smith (fitting name) was the first on the scene in the Americas to develop mass production with the launch of Smith Brothers Boat Builders in Algonac, Michigan, on the St. Clair River in 1884. By 1927, the company had not only become the first boat builder to standardize design for their motorboats, they were the world’s largest mahogany motorboat builder, producing nearly 1,000 watercraft each year. The boats were given a new nickname, Chris-Craft, and in 1930 the company name changed to the same.

Pietro Riva, a skilled young carpenter, began building boats in 1842 in Sarnico, Italy, on the shores of Lago d’Iseo, where he quickly became one of the most sought-after yacht builders of his time. As the company passed down through the generations, the Riva family continued to introduce technical innovations in the production process as well as to the yachts themselves. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the company shifted away from the larger transport-type vessels to pleasure boating. These wooden boats were not only known for being crafted with the highest-quality materials available but for the amazing attention to detail and commitment to perfection, creating yachts of unsurpassed elegance.