|Allied Boat Company began as a partnership between Lunn Laminates (FG boat builder and owner of the molds for the SEAWIND 30), the yacht brokerage firm of Northrop & Johnson, and Thor Ramsing, a well known racing sailor. |
The company established its building site on Catskill Creek in Catskill, N.Y., just off the Hudson river where it remained for the entire time it was in business.
Howard Foster, from Northrop & Johnson was named president.
From the beginning, the company could barely keep up with the demand for the SEAWIND 30. (Early SEAWIND's were completed by Lunn Laminates and F.L. Tripp & Sons in Massachusetts.)
Ramsing, who provided most of the initial capital, retained the design firm of MacLear & Harris to design a new model, the SEABREEZE 35. The company built 135 of these over a nine-year period. This was followed with the LUDERS 33, which also sold well.
In 1964 Northam Warren bought out the other principals and acquired a controlling interest in the company.
During the remainder of the '60s, Foster maintained control of production and sales at the factory while Warren went "on the road" attending boat shows and entering races with his SEAWIND 30.
At it's peak, the company employed 130 workers and orders continued to roll in. In a very few years, Allied developed a strong reputation and provided a warranty that few other builders could match.
At one point, the company sold their products directly to customers, bypassing the traditional dealer network.
The fleet was expanded to include a 39-footer and the 42 foot XL-2, a Sparkman & Stephens design. The GREENWICH 24, the smallest boat, didn't prove to be as popular as the larger models.
But beneath the surface, all was not well.
Some time after 1969 Allied began to have financial problems when the price of materials, such as resin, began to escalate.
In addition, disagreement within the management of the company caused a number of key people to resign.
In 1969, the company officers filed a mortgage foreclosure on the factory buildings and a number of unpaid suppliers were filing judgments against the firm.
In 1971 Northam Warren became the sole unencumbered owner of Allied Boat Company.
In 1974 he sold the company to Robert Wright and 2 other investors. Wright changed the name to the Wright Yacht Company and provided the funds to keep the business afloat and fulfill the orders that were still coming in.
During this time, Wright commissioned Thomas Gillmer to create another Seawind, slightly larger than the original. This became the SEAWIND II. A ketch-rigged 32-footer, it had the same hull as the previous Seawind. Other new boats included the PRINCESS 36, MISTRESS 39, and the MISTRESS Mark III.
The faltering US economy and major downturns in the stock market caused Wright's partners to withdraw all financial support. The first of several liens against the company was filed in the summer of 1978.
The Wright Yacht Company was closed and the Job Development Authority (JDA) of Moore County, NY became owner of the companies assets. The future of maintaining any type of boat building enterprise at the this location seemed in doubt.
A reprieve was provided by Stuart Miller, an attorney from New York City, who owned an Allied PRINCESS 36. He was familiar with the company's reputation and apparently convinced the JDA he could save jobs for Greene County and make the business profitable once more. He also planned, coincidentally, to build a 50-foot sailboat for himself.
Miller assumed control of the company in early 1979. A report in a SEAWIND II newsletter claimed the 100th SEAWIND II was completed and delivered to Florida around the same time.
But, for whatever reason, Miller wasn't able to keep the business afloat and once again the JDA was looking for a buyer. The next rescue attempt was headed by Brax Freeman, a former yacht dealer. Freeman's tenure lasted until late 1981, when the company folded yet again when unpaid creditors and tax collectors began to form a line at the door.
In the end, the efforts on the part of the JDA to save jobs for Greene county and keep the land developers at bay had failed.
In 1984, all remaining molds and equipment were auctioned off. The land was sold, the buildings were torn down and were replaced with waterfront condominiums.