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Builder

American Fiberglass Corp.

Overview

American Fiberglass Corporation, originally based in Norwalk, CT USA, was the builder of the AQUA CAT catamaran, one of the most successful small boats of it’s day. The AQUA CAT, because of it’s ingenuity of design, it’s exciting performance and reasonable cost, brought large numbers of people to the sport of sailing who may never have had inclination or means do so. The company began with Art Javes, the boats designer, and Billy Mills, whose faith in the project, provided the financing that allowed it to go forward. In 1962, Mills offered to invest $200,000 for a 75 percent stake. He said his goal was to sell the business in 10 years for $1 million. Nine years, 11 months and 14 days later, the company was sold for $1.5 million. During that time, about 1,000 AQUA CATS were built a year. It is thought that nearly 25,000 AQUA CATs have been sold. The Aqua Cat was the first boat that Hobie Alter sailed before he brought out his own line of catamarans in the late 1960’s. Art Javes said of Alter. “I met him at a boat show in Anaheim, California. He had the neighboring booth, selling his surfboards. I introduced him to the AQUA CAT. A while later he called me and said, ‘You’re going to hate me,’ and said he was going into the catamaran business. I said I didn’t mind. Having another catamaran around would only help people get the idea that sitting on a boat is better than sitting in it.” American Fiberglass became a division of General Recreation Corp. In 1976, David Stanton, who had been president of the company, purchased some of the assetts to form American Sail, Inc. American Sail Inc. 7350 Pepperdam Avenue Charleston SC 29418


9 sailboats built by American Fiberglass Corp.

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