The History of and Story Behind The Boston Whaler Logo

Boston Whaler

Consistency in business is vital if you want to have loyal customers, and Boston Whaler has provided boating enthusiasts with value for their money for over 60 years. The boat manufacturing company was born from the need of one man, Dick Fisher, to have an ideal boat, and today Boston Whaler markets itself as the “Unsinkable Legend.” For the six decades it has existed, it has changed for the better, although the Boston Whaler logo has remained almost the same. Here is how the company came to be, and the logo designs we know so far.

The Birth of Boston Whaler

Dick Fisher, Ray Hunt, and Bob Pierce enjoyed sailing, but there was more to having fun in their friendship. Therefore Bob and Dick partnered to start making electrical products using the little money they could get, and Dick’s backyard served as the business premises. Since Dick, a Harvard graduate, always thought outside the box and Bob had a keen interest in machines, in 1938, they founded the Fisher-Pierce manufacturing company. The friends invented photo controls, telegraph relays, stepper motors, and high voltage sensors, among other products, according to Continuous Wave. To this day, the business still stands and still deals with electrical controls and fixtures.

However, Fisher’s love for ingenuity and desire to push the boundaries made him relentless in improving the Sea Sled, a boat by Albert Hickman, which had a few faults despite looking impeccable. Consequently, Fisher started experimenting with Styrofoam, combining it with epoxy resin and fiberglass to build a small boat. Being friends with Ray Hunt, a yacht designer, proved to be beneficial to Fisher. When he showed off his creation to Ray, the designer suggested that Fisher use the Styrofoam on a small outpowered boat.

Fisher paid attention to the improvements Ray recommended. Before long, the two began collaborating on the projects such that Ray would draw the designs, and Fisher created the prototypes. They continued experimenting with Styrofoam and fiberglass and later came up with Unibond, a construction method in which boats had two walls of fiberglass, sandwiching a high-density closed-cell Styrofoam, thus making the boat unsinkable.

Their persistence paid off when they built a 13-foot unsinkable, small outpowered boat which they flaunted during the 1958 New York Boat Show. It attracted a lot of attention such that they had to set up a manufacturing facility in Braintree, Massachusetts, to meet the high demand. Fisher referred to his boats as “Boston Whalers,” and with that brand name, Boston Whaler was born. They stuck to producing 13-feet hulls for three years before introducing 16-feet models in 1961.

What About the Logo?

From the many boat pictures published courtesy of Boston Whaler, you will notice that the boats have maintained a particular logo. Logolynx.com has ranked them according to popularity, but there is hardly any change regarding their appearance except for maybe two images that depart from the standard designs. Mainly the logo comprises the company name in full and in capital letters.

“BOSTON,” however, is usually on top of “WHALER,” with the latter being thicker and larger such that “BOSTON” only falls above the first two letters of “WHALER.” Next to “BOSTON” is a line that starts thick and ends up thinner. At the tip are two fletches such that the line resembles an arrow cut in half lengthwise. Below “WHALER” is a thick line that curves upwards to the right to look like the bottom of a boat. The color of the logo has remained primarily red or black, but it can change to white depending on the color of the products.

As per some sources, most of the designs were hand-drawn by Bob Dougherty, who had been promoted to chief designer, but others were artists’ renderings. Regardless of the minimal changes, the company has continued to have a loyal following. The brand enthusiasts even created a forum and searched intensely for a logo. As revealed on Crowdspring three years ago, when designing the forum logo, there was a $250 award for the winning logo.

Evolution of The Company’s Ownership

Although Fisher’s first boat displayed during the New York show helped him establish a company, what made his boats a hit in the market is the stunt he pulled off in May 1961. Desperately trying to prove that his boats were unsinkable, Fisher calmly sat on one of his 13-foot long Montauk boats with his arms crossed as a lumberjack split it into two halves. Of course, the public could not believe it when Fisher took off in the remaining half, and with that display, sales hit the roof. At last, there was a boat that could be trusted to provide safety to sailors.

Fisher, however, did not remain the owner of the company for long. In 1968, he sold it to CML Group but stayed in the shadows as a consultant until 1972. CML did not hold on to Boston Whaler for long because, in 1989, it was sold to Reebok, which makes you wonder what an athletic shoe manufacturing company would want with boats. The deal was too sweet for Reebok to forego because besides getting Boston Whaler, they would be given warrants in CML stock. The decision to purchase the boat manufacturing company proved worthwhile; three years later, Reebok got $30 million in profits when they exercised their rights to the stock. Still, in 1993, Reebok sold the company to Meridian Sports, which held on to Boston Whaler for two years before selling it to Brunswick Corporation, the current owner.

No matter how many times the company has changed hands, it remains a reputable brand because it has never compromised the quality of the products. Soundings Online explained that being unsinkable is its main selling point because safety, especially in turbulent seas, is a major concern for boating fans. Even though other companies have tried making their boats unsinkable using the Unibond Construction, none has succeeded in taking the crown from Boston Whaler.



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