New boats / Bayliner
Boating With Bayliner Since 1957
The story of Bayliner Boats began in the 1950s with Orin Edson, an impassioned boat racer and a born entrepreneur. Edson got his start selling his own racing boats from a parking lot in Seattle, Washington under the dealership name Advanced Outboard Marine (AOM). In 1957, AOM sold its first Bayliner, a wooden boat manufactured down the street in Tacoma, Washington, by Al Koffel and his brother. By 1958, Edson’s business had grown so much, he had opened a showroom. What started out as a used-boat lot, soon turned into a dealership for several brands of new powerboats and wooden boats. Alongside the boats, Edson sold outboard engines, eventually becoming an official dealer for Mercury Marine.
When selling boats got too competitive to be profitable, Edson got into boat building. He purchased the Bayliner name for $100 from his long-time supplier and friend, Al Koffel, and by 1966 had started Puget Plastics (doing business as “Bayliner”) with four other stockholders to start building the first fiberglass Bayliner boats. Production began in a barn at the Liefer Berry Farm in Marysville, Washington. Soon after, in 1968, Bayliner expanded production into a rented World War II hangar belonging to the city of Arlington, Washington. By this time, Bayliner had nearly a hundred dealers across the United States and Canada.
A year later, in 1969, the first Bayliner assembly plant was built on land purchased by Puget Plastics in Arlington. This land would become Bayliner’s manufacturing base for nearly 40 years.
Innovation in production and design
The economic circumstances of the late 1970s were hard on the boating industry. Like many other companies, Bayliner had to consider cuts in its operations. A Minnesota factory was to be shut down, when the Bayliner leadership team had come up with an innovative approach yet again. Instead of laying off a highly skilled workforce, they created a plan that optimized the boat building process. To work, the plan required not only the most efficient use of quality materials, but also the trust of the company's dealers and complete dedication from the employees. In return, workers kept their jobs and shared in the savings gained by this new approach. The incentive program was such a success, that over the next three years, Bayliner opened four more factories, all employing the same winning method.
Bayliner's commitment to quality and innovation continued. In 1982, the company introduced the Bayliner Total Package, the industry's first fully integrated boat, motor and trailer package, all from one manufacturer at one affordable price. That same year, Powerboat magazine named Bayliner Capri The Boat of the Year, calling it “a major breakthrough in boat manufacturing.”
In 1985, Powerboat magazine named the 1600 Cuddy “Best Value in America under $10,000” and in 1994 the 1700 Capri LS “Outstanding Compact Value.” The Capri continued to win the Powerboat Award for Product Excellence for nine years in a row, along with the Best Buy Award from Consumers Digest magazine in 1997. In 1998, the 2050 Capri LS got the Powerboat Award for Outstanding Runabout Value. Reaffirming the company's vision to build a high quality boat every family could afford, one in four cruisers sold between 1991 and 1995 was a Bayliner.
And as they say in the classics “the rest is history!”
Interesting facts about Bayliner:
Did You Know?
…founding visionary, J. Orin Edson began his success in marine as a boat dealer with Advanced Outboard Marine in 1955 in Seattle, Washington
…became a registered trademark of the United States of America in 1971
…sold more boats in 1998 than any other year in its history - 49,857 boats were sold and delivered
…pioneered the Beam Forward Design to ensure its owners have the roomiest cockpits in the industry
…added sailboats to its lineup in 1974. The Buccaneer sailboat brand was introduced at the Seattle Boat Show; a response to spiking gas prices.
….built two jet boats over the course of its history - The Jazz and the Reflexx
…added teal and tango colored boats to its line in 1993. The customers reacted so badly to the colors, they were changed midyear!
…the first president of Bayliner was J. Orin Edson.
… 285 cruiser is the widest single-engine cruisers available today
…produced its first fiberglass boats in a barn in Marysville, Washington in 1966
…moved production from a barn to a World War II airport hangar in 1968. The city of Arlington, Washington made Bayliner pay six months rent in advance because it was concerned it was a fly-by-night company. Bayliner maintained its headquarters in Arlington for 40 more years before moving production to Tennessee in 2008.
…was the first boat company to package the boat, motor and trailer together for sale in 1982. It was called “Total Value Package.” Prior to that time, most consumers bought the three products separately.
….Capri was named Powerboats Boat of the Year nine years in a row in the 1980’s from 1982 to 1990.
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