For over 35 years, Seaward Yachts has been at the forefront of the industry bringing innovation and quality sailboats to its customers. As many loyal Seaward fans know, the RK series has changed the way we sail. With its retractable keel technology, we’ve introduced the idea of sailing without boundaries. Whether you want to bring your boat close to shore or sail through deep and rough waters, our yacht has proven to excel in performance, quality, and convenience.
Seaward has learned that it is only after customers test sail our yachts do they truly understand the RK significance, and it becomes a passion to be an owner. We continue to invest in the brand, the quality of our models, and new innovation.
Seaward Yachts has been looking for a new home to expand its business, and establish a nationwide dealer network to tell the Seaward story to more customers in more areas.
Ted Gelov, owner of Seaward Yachts, and Bob Johnson, founder and owner of Traditional Watercraft Inc. (TWI) maker of Island Packet and Blue Jacket Yachts, saw an opportunity to consolidate production that allows for Seaward to focus on building new models and to move from a direct sales model to dealerships.
Enter Island Packet Yachts (Traditional Watercraft, Inc.) with a 9-acre, 125,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Largo, Florida, with extra capacity to grow. Knowing that Island Packet is legendary for its fine build qualities and high standards, Ted wanted a partner who would carry on Seaward’s reputation for innovation, quality, and performance. Working together, they formed an agreement that would allow for an expanded model offering of Seaward Yachts.
“I am excited to enter into this relationship with Traditional Watercraft, Inc.,” said Ted Gelov in a press release earlier this week. “Bob Johnson’s reputation for building quality sailboats is unmatched in the industry, and we are confident that the tradition of quality and innovation that Seaward has maintained for over 35 years will continue to be enhanced by the high standards at Island Packet,” he said. TWI is considered one of the world’s premiere boat builders. Its success story and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities were featured in Ferenc Mate’s book, World’s Best Sailboats, Volume II.
In addition, Seaward will be moving from a factory-direct sales, distribution, and support model to a global dealer network. Customers will be able to take a trip to their local dealership to see or test sail a Seaward yacht. Nick Hake, founder and designer of Seaward, will continue in his role designing the new 19RK and a 40RK, in addition to Seaward’s current models – the 26RK, 32RK and flagship 46RK.
“We are delighted about the new partnership with Seaward Yachts and their range of retractable keel sailboats,” said Bill Bolin, long time VP of TWI. “These unique vessels have a loyal fan base and are well respected for their exceptional performance, shallow water capabilities and fine build qualities. We hope to continue those traditions and enhance both customer service and dealer support functions through our award-winning organization.”
Key personnel from Seaward, together with TWI staff, will be setting up a new dealership network to expand the presence of Seaward models throughout the U.S. and North America before turning their sights on the international market. Any questions can be answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.