History Needed. Please contact us to contribute to or edit this section.
Bee Boat Company, Inc.
Piper City, Illinois
Relocated to Paxton, IL in Sept '59
History by Andreas Jordahl Rhude
Melvin Redeker started at Crownline Mfg. Co. at Onarga, IL after high school graduation in 1956. He worked in the glass department, molding decks. He built the deck mold for their one finned model, based on a Chrysler auto. In late 1958 he and two other co-workers departed and formed Bee Boat Company, which was incorporated in January 1959. Their first shop was at his father's farm in a shed. Then they moved to the other partner's parent's farm north of Piper City, IL. Paxton, IL was their third and final home. Bee was making their own line of glass boats. They also started making boats for Sea Sprite which was based at North Webster, IN and an Indianapolis firm called Jayhawk.
They got overworked, so Sea Sprite had some of their molds moved to Monmouth, IL to be built there. In 1968 the owner of Sea Sprite was ready to retire. He sold the firm to Melvin Redeker. Redeker sold out his share in Bee, obtained space in Crescent City, IL, and started making Sea Sprite boats.