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About Vanguard Sailboats

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Vanguard Sailboats History

Vanguard Sailboats have been sailing for over 50 years. Take a peek at our long, interesting history. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.


1952

The Sunfish is created by Alexander Bryan and Cortlandt Heyniger (the “Al” and “Cort” of Alcort). Fortune Magazine called it “One of the 25 best designed products in America” Along with the Porsche 911 and several other notable products. Over 250,000 boats have been built to date. The Sunfish is the most pop ular recreational sailboat in history.


~1967

Peter & Olaf Harken (present day owners of Harken, www.harken.com) start the boat building company Vanguard Sailboats in a 60 foot trailer in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. They begin production on the Flying Junior.


~1975

Vanguard boats 420 and Finn go into production.


~1976

Vanguard boats Finn tooling is provided to the Olympics. The Collegiate 420 is conceived. A group of sailors from Yale Corinthian Yacht Club ask Vanguard Sailboats to build a 'beefed up' version of the International 420 for their new fleet of collegiate boats. This innovation, in response to the demands of the collegiate sailor, starts the nationwide “Club boat” movement.


~1978

Vanguard Sailboats signs contract to provide tooling and training for the 1980 Olympic Games in Talinn, Estonia.


~1984

Vanguard Sailboats supplies Finns to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


~1986

Vanguard Sailboats moved from Pewaukee, WI to Bristol, Rhode Island when Steve Clark forms a partnership with Chip Johns to revitalize the small boat market.


~1992

Vanguard Sailboats supplies 45 Finns to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
The Vanguard 15 is developed by applying technology from Vanguard's extensive Olympic and Institutional experience. The result is a lightweight, simple, stable, and durable strict one-design dinghy.


~1993

The Vanguard 15 debuts as the boat of choice for the US Team Racing Championships for the Hinman Trophy at the Hyannis Yacht Club.


~1996

The Laser debuts at the Olympics. SunfishLaser supplies the boats for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Laser Class is the largest sailing event with a record number of countries participating.


~1997

Vanguard Sailboats purchases the Sunfish, Laser, 49er, and other product lines from SunfishLaser, Inc., creating Vanguard Sailboats and the strongest array of racing and recreational sailboats in North America. Vanguard Sailboats moves from Bristol, RI to the present day location in Portsmouth, RI.


~2000

The 49er debuts at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Vanguard boats introduces the newest edition to their line-up, the Vector in the fall. The Vector is named Best Performance Dinghy in Sailing World magazine's prestigious Boat of The Year contest for 2001.


~2001

Vanguard Sailboats purchases Seitech Marine Products. Seitech Products, a newly formed company, becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanguard Sailboats. Seitech Products is the leading North American manufacturer of launching dollies for small boats, multiple-boat trailer racks, and storage racks.


~2003

Vanguard Sailboats becomes the North American distributor of Magic Marine Sailing Gear, high performance sailing gear and accessories.


~2005

The Laser Radial is chosen as the newest Olympic Class for women. The Radial will debut at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Optimist

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Optimist

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Optimist
Length: 7 feet 7 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Bug

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Bug

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Bug
Length: 8 feet 5 inches
Location:
   
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Pico

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Pico

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Pico
Length: 11 feet 4 inches
Location:
   
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Funboat

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Funboat

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Funboat
Length: 12 feet 8 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Zuma

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Zuma

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Zuma
Length: 12 feet 9 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Club FJ

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Club FJ

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Club FJ
Length: 13 feet 3 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Laser
Length: 13 feet 7 inches
Location:
   
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser Radial

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser Radial

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Laser Radial
Length: 13 feet 7 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser 47

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser 47

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Laser 4.7
Length: 13 feet 7 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser Vago

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser Vago

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Laser Vago
Length: 13 feet 7 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Club 420

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Club 420

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Club 420
Length: 13 feet 9 inches
Location:
   
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Sunfish

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Sunfish

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Sunfish
Length: 13 feet 9 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser 2000

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Laser 2000

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Laser 2000
Length: 14 feet 5 inches
Location:
   
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Vanguard 15

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Vanguard 15

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Vanguard 15
Length: 15 feet 0 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Bahia

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Bahia

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Bahia
Length: 15 feet 1 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Dart 16

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Dart 16

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Dart 16
Length: 15 feet 7 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - 49er

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - 49er

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: 49er
Length: 16 feet 0 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Stratos Keel

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - Stratos Keel

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: Stratos Keel
Length: 16 feet 2 inches
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2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - SB3

2009 - Vanguard Sailboats - SB3

Year:
Make: Vanguard Sailboats
Model: SB3
Length: 20 feet 3 inches
Location:
   
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