Hart left the war with the title of Colonel. He was cleared of any wartime crimes and allowed to resume his tourist industry. He used his boats to also help transport United States Government men and supplies in the winter of 1865-66, proving his allegiance to the unified government.
His business grew. He eventually had to design a new type of boat to navigate the narrow river filled with obstacles that would sink most rear-paddle boats. Hubbard Hart invented the first inboard-paddle boat in 1866 with the launching of the Griffin. This new design of boat was featured in the 1892 Chicago World Fair. In the following three years Hart Lines also added the Ocklawaha and Pansoffkee to the fleet. The James Burt had been sunk in the Civil War and the Silver Springs was decommissioned with the new boats. While the new boats were described as ugly, the trips on them had nothing but positive reviews. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was first afraid to board the boats, wrote nothing but praise for the Hart Line. Attractions along the way included touring Hart’s world famous orange groves, and even picking some of the oranges yourself, shooting the wildlife (including alligators), watching the rustic Florida beauty, and swimming in Silver Springs.
Hart’s success with the Hart Line continued until a gradual downturn in business starting in 1889. Through Hart’s hard work and dedication, he managed to keep the fleet running. He attempted strategies such as building luxury hotels along the way, renovating the boats to have bigger cabins, and performing cruises down other rivers, such as the Indian river in 1883. Sadly, his hotel, Putnam House, burnt down in 1884 after only being open a short time.
On December 12, 1895, Hubbard Hart died in a Street Car accident in Atlanta, Georgia where he was attending a business meeting. It is not clear if he fell from the street car or was hit by one, but he did sustain fatal injuries. Hart Lines was taken over by his brother-in-law where it would thrive for many more years.