Leon Slikkers started at Chris-Craft in the joiner department making cabin tops in 1946. In the early 1950s, Slikkers began building 14’ runabouts in his garage after work. In 1954, he registered the Slickcraft name, and the following year he left a promising career at the age of 27 to open his own shop and fulfill his dream. He sold his house and started a small factory on Washington Avenue in Holland, Michigan. Slikkers began experimenting with a new material called fiberglass in 1955. Within three years, the company put a few of the boats into production and, in 1961, stopped building with wood completely. In 1969, Slikkers sold Slickcraft to the AMF Corporation. He stayed on as president to head up three AMF companies (including Slickcraft), but eventually realized that the large corporation’s business principles did not match his own and left after four years. He started over in February 1974 building sailboats under the name S2 Yachts, Inc. Within ten years, S2 was one of the top five sailboat manufacturers in the United States, known for building quality cruising vessels, as well as racing boats. Gradually, the company began producing high-quality powerboats called Tiara Yachts, and phasing out the sailboats. S2 Yachts then constructed a second facility in Ft. Pierce, Florida, and, in 1977, added Pursuit Fishing Boats to its product line up. In 1983, S2 Yachts purchased the Slickcraft brand name from AMF, and the following year, Leon Slikkers became chief executive officer and David Slikkers was named president. Today, the company is headed by son Thomas Slikkers. The collection includes Slick Craft Boat Company advertising materials, brochures, newspaper clippings, correspondence with sales staff, dealer agreement, employee manual, Grew Boats Limited history, list of models made between 1956-1970, photographs, newsletter publications, and a brochure for Thorobred Boat Trailers for SlickCraft. S2 Yachts’ materials include information on anniversaries, calendars, newspaper clippings, clothing and accessories, dealer sales literature, employee handbook, job classifications and hourly wage rates and benefits, memoranda, photographs, newsletter publications, Hazard Communication Training Guide, sailboat brochures, newspaper clippings, optional equipment list price list, and SlickCraft brochures and model review. Tiara Yachts’ materials include information on boat shows, brochures, newspaper clippings, dealers, newsletter publications, and sportswear & accessories information. Pursuit Fishing Boats materials include brochures, and newsletter publication.
Repository citation: Hope College, "H05-1564. S2 Yachts, Inc. Records, 1956-[ongoing]. 3.50 linear ft." (2013). Collection Registers and Abstracts. Paper 695.
July 9, 2013.