Hornets Hit Lake George

Date: 8/12/2011


One of Nation's First Hornets is Now Making Waves on Lake George

Lake George Mirror

August 12, 2011

By Anthony F. Hall

A Connecticut couple has bought the first Hornet 17 on Lake George.

The classic deep-vee hull speedboat was purchased from Yankee Marine, the area’s dealer for Hornet Marine, the new company based in Bristol, Connecticut that is manufacturing the 1960s inspired boats.

The boat was delivered to Lake George last weekend.

According to Yankee’s Jon Brodie, every Hornet is customized to fit the boater’s needs and tastes, and can be delivered in two to three weeks.

This particular boat was given a hull the color of seafoam with matching upholstery and gauges.

“It’s really the color of a Tiffany box,” said David Hartmann, the President of Hornet Marine.

“We love this boat,” said Hartmann.  “We spent a lot of time with the owners making certain they got precisely what they wanted.”

Hartmann, who grew up boating on Lake George and who keeps a boat in Bolton Landing, says the Hornet 17 is perfectly suited to Lake George, despite its relatively small size.

“It can handle the chop even on a busy Saturday afternoon,” said Hartmann. “That’s a function of its design. There’s a reason why boat-builders have been using this hull design for forty years.”

The Hornet 17 is based on the designs of Jim Wynne and Walt Walters, who designed boats for Don Aronow, the father of Donzi and Formula.

Hartmann traces the inspiration for Hornet Marine to those designers and his father, Hal Hartmann, who together were responsible for the Thunderbird, the world’s first offshore powerboat built with jet engines.

According to Hartmann, his father was an engineer for United Technologies whose job it was to prove that jet engines could function in extreme environments.  The Thunderbird, which won the 172-mile Sam Griffith Memorial Race from Miami to Bimini and back in 1966, proved that successfully. Hal Hartmann was one of three crew members during the race.

Hornet Marine began exhibiting its Hornet 17 at 2010 boat shows around the country, including the annual spring show at the Dome in Queensbury.

The company expects to produce and sell at least 25 boats this year, and to increase production in the near future, said Hartmann. 

Prices range from $28,000 to $38,000, said Hartmann.

“It’s not a boat for everyone, but it is a boat for people who like the style, the performance and the speed of a sport runabout,” said Brodie.


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