November 16, 2019
Tom Flood of Cedarville, MI and Tavares, FL is nationally recognized as an authority on the Hacker Boat Company, formerly of Mount Clemens, MI. You might ask, “How did this come about?”
It started in the early 1920’s when his father, Leo Flood, a teacher in Canada came to Detroit where his brother was living. A forest fire had destroyed the town where he was teaching. Looking for work he stopped at the Hacker Boat Company where he met John Hacker. Mr. Hacker hired him as purchasing agent, a position he held until the company closed in 1957. During the summer of 1954, ’55, ’56, Tom worked at Hacker where he was exposed to the history and fine workmanship for which the Hacker Boat Company was known. Although the Flood family had always owned boats, Tom received his own first boat in 1957. It was a 1934 19 foot Hacker runabout which was used as a yacht tender by a noted New York entrepreneur. The boat is now on Lake Georgia, New York.
Tom’s first boat restoration was a 1934 23 foot Hacker, completed in 1973 in the garage of his home in Mount Clemens, MI. In 1964 he started working at Mears Marine. In 1969 he formed a partnership with LeRoy Mears to create Tom’s Marine Hardware. In 1980 he purchased Mr. Mears’ interest, continuing until selling the business and retiring in 1990.
Shortly after retiring, he and his wife, Mary, started to spend winters in Mount Dora. He started to restore boats in Dean Guy’s garage on Lakeshore Drive in Mount Dora. In 1996, he rented space from Bill Feikert to start a “hobby shop”. The late Otis Clayton, Jack Magri and Stan Petersen joined Tom in creating the “famous” Tempe of Reconstruction. Although member faces changed, Tom continues to spend his days at the Temple. In the fall of 2018 while visiting a friend in Georgia, a 1947 20 foot Chris Craft Custom runabout fell in love with Tom’s GMC tow vehicle and followed it home to the Temple. It is now undergoing a complete bottom up restoration.
Tom estimates he has restored 25 boats, he presently owns the following:
1947 31’ Hacker Custom Runabout, “Wuzz A Fuzz”
1951 26’ Hacker Utility, “Old Vibrations”
1956 23’ Hacker Utility, “Encore”
1954 16’ Hacker Outboard, “Little Hacker”
A Canoe, a 1900 16’ Belle Isle