Clippercraft (Michigan)

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Clippercraft Co.

Cadillac, Michigan

According to a 1990 article in Lakeland Boating (Vol. 45), in 1962 George Spicer bought Clipper Craft, a company in Indiana and moved operations to Cadillac, MI. The name was changed four years later to Saf-T-Mate. In 1975, Spicer sold out and the company became Four Winns.

The Spicer's Boat City website has some additional details on the history of the Clippercraft Co. of Cadillac. Prior to getting into the boat business, George Spicer had a store "Spicer’s Furniture and Appliance" in Cadillac. He bought sites on Lake Cadillac and Houghton Lake which had lake access and were developed into a marina and retail location, respectively. After first selling Corl fiberglass boats, he went ahead and bought the indebted Corl Boat Company in Nappanee, Indiana and moved operations to Cadillac. Prior to acquisition, Corl had started branding some of their boats with the "Clipper" logo. He acquired the Saf-T-Mate name with the purchase of The Gunn Company, makers of Saf-T-Mate life preservers and boat cushions in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This company had registered the Saf-T-Mate trademark in 1959, stating the first use of the mark as April 7, 1958. The Saf-T-Mate trademark for boats was registered in 1968 with the first use given as Oct. 7, 1965. This was needed because the class of commercial product changed. The trademark registrant was listed as Saf-T-Mate, Inc. of East Boon Rd., Cadillac, Michigan, and listed as an assignee of Clipper Craft, Inc. who owned the trademark.

Clippercraft Boats in Use

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