Trust, integrity, and support have been the core of our partnerships throughout our 50 years in business; looking at our 37-year relationship with Cruisers Yachts this is evident. Mark Pedersen, President of Cruisers Yachts, touches on the valuable relationship developed over the years and an insight into what the future holds.
The History of Cruisers Yachts dates back to 1904 when Peter and Chris Thompson co-founded the Thompson Bros Boat Manufacturer Company in Peshtigo, WI. This was the start of a family boat-building business that led to the second generation of Thompson’s starting Cruisers, Inc. in 1953.
The second-generation boat builders at Cruisers Inc. focused on building wood lapstrake outboard cabin cruisers. The first cabin-cruiser released from Cruisers Inc. in the Oconto factory was a 19-foot lapstrake boat that made a world debut at the 1954 New York Boat Show. The boat featured a sink, stove, water closet, cushioned bunks for four people, and a collapsible table.
Three years into the business, Cruisers Inc. was in full sail ahead with the release of their first catalog, showcasing 12 different models ranging from 14-20 feet. The companys growth continued and by 1959, the company was producing 3000 boats annually with nearly 300 employees.
In addition, that same year, three family branches were distinguished between the second generation of Thompsons. Thompsons Bros became the property of Ray Thompson and family. The former branch and Cortland, NY became Thompson Boat Company of NY, ran by brothers Bob and Ted Thompson Jr, and their cousin Glenn Thompson. Brothers Roy and G. Grant Thompson gained sole ownership of Cruisers Inc. at Oconto.
1965 was a difficult year for Cruisers due to the invention of fiberglass boat models. The brothers resisted building fiberglass with thoughts that wooden boats would altogether make a better product and outlast any fiberglass model. The consumer market, however, did not agree. Many buyers turned away from buying wood pleasure boats and instead took to the new technology of fiberglass models. Cruisers sold less than 800 boats that year which caused sales to plummet drastically.
To turn things around, Cruisers slowly began the switch to Fiberglass models. With some great relationships formed over the years, the company was able to score some licensing deals with other fiberglass builders that helped ease the pain. By 1967, Cruisers dropped all of their wooden boats from their product line. Although this was a great start for the company, their financial status said otherwise. The toll of rebuilding the company nearly cost the Thompson brothers their business.
In 1971 Cruisers Inc. was sold to Mirro Aluminum Company of Manitowoc, WI. This company was widely known for making aluminum cooking utensils, military products, and toys. They also produced a line of 16-foot aluminum boats in 1958, under the Mirro-Craft name. Even through the sale of Cruisers Inc., Roy Thompson continued to run the company until his retirement in 1979. It was not until 1979 that the Cruisers company was ran by someone other than a Thompson.
Fast forward to the early 1990s, K.C. Stock who was a native of Oconto, WI, saw an opportunity for something great and purchased the company; officially changing the name to Cruisers Yachts. Luckily, the marine industry saw a positive swing in boat sales in the early 90s, increasing demand and paving the path for Cruisers Yachts.
Today, Cruisers Yachts is a premier brand of modern luxurious American-made yachts ranging in size from 31-60 feet. The brand is recognized by the marine industry for producing affordably priced, well-engineered motor yachts and family cruisers. Cruisers Yachts continues to maintain their integrity, beauty, and function throughout the years due to the use of quality materials and master craftsmen. They invest heavily in their employees and hone their craft. This allows them to create some of the finest models in the cruising market. Cruisers Yachts include the Cantius, Flybridge, Express, and Express Coupe models. In 2021, MarineMax acquired Cruisers Yachts, with no plans to re-badge the Cruisers’ products.
Being an authorized Cruisers Yacht Dealer since 1983, there is no one better certified to help you with your quest to find your next Cruisers Yacht. Galati Yachts’ Cruisers Yacht Specialists go through countless hours of product training at the Cruisers factory each year. Learning the ins and outs of new models and retaining old model information. This ongoing training benefits our Cruisers yacht buyers in many ways. You can rest assured that your Galati sales professional understands the product, performance, and build process. Our Cruisers Specialists can help you determine the best features and options for your boating needs. Whether you are looking to purchase a new or pre-owned Cruiser Yacht, our Galati Specialists will be able to help you find the boat of your dreams.