A legend and a leader for 60 years: 1958 - 2018
Boston Whaler is proud to celebrate 60 years as the “Unsinkable Legend” and a leader in the marine industry. Since its inception, Whaler has crafted peerless designs that meet boaters’ diverse and changing needs, ensuring safety, comfort, ease of use and enjoyment of use.
It began back in 1958 with founder Richard Fisher’s inspired new construction method for injecting foam into the hull of a boat. This became known as Unibond™ construction, and it remains at the heart of every Boston Whaler. Not only does this proprietary method create Whaler’s famed unsinkability, it also contributes greatly to the ride quality and overall boating experience.
Boston Whaler has always challenged the limits of possibility and, in doing so, has empowered its owners to do the same. For our team and for our customers alike, “unsinkable” has always meant more than staying afloat; it means surpassing expectations — and delighting in the process — with a confidence that comes from the very core.
Our 60th year is a valuable opportunity to reflect on how we got here and where the future may take us. The following are just a few highlights from six decades of unsinkable history:
Before the company officially began, founder Richard “Dick” Fisher filed a series of patents for a foam-injected hull process. The 1957 patent reveals the revolutionary steps taken by Fisher to ensure the durability of his boats through a series of shear braces laid into the hull’s outer shell that would work in tandem with his precise ratio of foam.
The 13’ Whaler makes its debut at the New York Boat Show. Sold under the brand name Boston Whaler and built by the Fisher-Pierce manufacturing company in Braintree, Massachusetts, the boat is met with critical acclaim for its exceptional stability and carrying capacity.
Dick Fisher secures a 20,000-square-foot facility located on Hingham Street in Rockland, Massachusetts, and by 1960 is using the new address in print advertisements for Whaler boats. The space would house operations for the next 25 years.
May 19, 1961
Fisher’s now-famous photograph appears in Life magazine. The image captures the founder — wearing his preferred tweed jacket, bow tie and hat — seated calmly in the stern of a Whaler as a saw slices through its hull, providing incontrovertible proof of the boat’s unsinkability.
The Boston Whaler Nauset®, the first-ever center console model, is introduced.
Whaler begins producing government and military workboats, some of which are used in the Vietnam War. Demand for commercialized Boston Whaler boats grows steadily.
Boston Whaler’s distribution is expanded coast-to-coast.
Whaler introduces its first Outrage® model.
The first Montauk® enters the marketplace.
Whalers head farther offshore with the debut of the 1979 Outrage V20.
Whaler celebrates the opening of a new 33,000-square-foot facility in Norwell, Massachusetts.
As government and military use of Boston Whalers continues to grow, a dedicated branch of the business is established to produce boats for the commercial and government sector.
The 27’ Full Cabin is introduced, marking the largest Whaler model to date.
Whaler partners with Volusia County and the state of Florida to open a factory in the coastal community of Edgewater, where it resides fully today. Production of the Whaler 25, 27 and 31 Walkaround models moves to the Florida facility.
The 15’ Mischief is unveiled in time for the company’s 30th anniversary.
The 1992 Rage® kicks off the jet boat craze.
The first Boston Whaler Dauntless® arrives on the scene, offering families a versatile new option for day boating.
Boston Whaler is acquired by parent company Brunswick Corporation for $26.6 million.
The Conquest® family launches, bringing rugged sophistication to new generations of anglers and pleasure boaters.
The new 13’ Sport reignites Whaler’s small boat business.
Demand for commercial and government boats becomes so overwhelming that the business is incorporated as Brunswick Commercial & Government Products (BCGP).
A group of owners and Whaler staff members embark on the first annual Bimini Rendezvous, a weeklong excursion to the Bahamas where beach games, conch feasts and island rhythms heighten a shared appreciation for the Whaler life.
Boaters Maria and David Russell and their dog, Joe, embark on The Unsinkable Legend Tour, visiting nearly every boat show on the East Coast in the back half of a 17’ Dauntless. Whaler and the Russells would go on to launch subsequent versions, touring the Midwest in 2004 and the West Coast in 2005.
Boston Whaler earns its first Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Since then, the company has received a CSI Award for 14 consecutive years, the result of scoring 90 percent or higher in independent customer surveys.
The Montauk family grows with the addition of the 150 Montauk.
Further proving its boats’ unsinkability, Boston Whaler conducts a demonstration during which a 19’ Guardian (BCGP model) is shot with 7.62mm rounds from an M60 machine gun. The Guardian stays afloat despite being riddled with holes.
The largest Unibond™ Whaler to date, the 345 Conquest, is introduced. (A future iteration of this offshore champ will go on to earn an Innovation Award from the NMMA for its ingeniously convertible Dynamic Cabin System.) 2008 also marked an Innovation Award win for the 230 Dauntless.
The new 370 Outrage is selected as an Innovation Award winner in the Cruisers category and named 2010 European Powerboat of the Year.
The Vantage family bursts onto the scene, presenting a bold new view on the possible with its user-friendly dual-console layout and best-in-class amenities. One of the two initial models, the 230 Vantage, is chosen as an Innovation Award winner. The family will be joined in 2015 by the 320 Vantage, also a recipient of an Innovation Award.
Boston Whaler unveils the flagship 420 Outrage, a highly capable offshore performer and a brilliant entertaining platform featuring innovations including Mercury® Joystick Piloting and Dynamic Running Surface hull technology. Shortly after its debut, the 420 is named Boating magazine’s Boat of the Year.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to commemorate the addition of nearly 60,000 square feet of under-roof manufacturing space at Whaler’s Edgewater facility. The expansion helps Whaler meet the unprecedented demand for its large-boat models and results in the creation of more than 120 new jobs.
Whaler announces the acquisition of 60 additional acres of land adjacent to its Edgewater headquarters, marking the next phase of expansion possibilities. Says President Nick Stickler, “The opportunities for growth in terms of manufacturing, job creation and product innovation are now exponentially greater. We couldn’t be more thrilled to begin this next chapter.”
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