In 1976, the company now known as Offshore Spars was opened for business in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. At the time the sailing market in the United States was booming with numerous production sailboat manufacturers, such as S2 Yachts, C&C Yachts, Tartan Yachts, and Saga Yachts, all located within a short distance to the Offshore Spars facility. In it’s infancy the company focused high quality fully welded production aluminum masts and booms for boats under 40 ft (12 m). With the production mast business booming Offshore Spars started to branch out into larger yachts built around the United States. In the mid 80’s to early 90’s Offshore Spars produced numerous aluminum packages for large sailing yachts up to 110ft for companies such as Palmer Johnson, Derecktor Shipyards, and many more.
The 1992 Americas Cup brought a major shake up to the sailboat mast industry as it was known. It was the first time in long history of the sport that Carbon Fiber was allowed to to be used in the production of the masts. Realizing this as a great opportunity, Offshore Spars teamed up with Bill Koch’s America Cubed syndicate as the primary mast supplier. Having no composite experience, production machinery, or tooling this switch in manufacturing materials brought some major challenges to both Offshore Spars and the America Cubed syndicate. To help tackle these challenges the duo teamed up with Hercules Aerospace who had been well versed in composite manufacturing for many years. Through that collaboration the Offshore Spars process of Male Molded, Autoclave Cured carbon sailboat spars was born. With the Americas cup spars being the first carbon spars the company produced the Autoclave curing of the masts had to be outsourced. After seeing that process and the quality of the mast section it produced, Offshore Spars quickly invested in the technology and purchased a 70ft Autoclave of their own; which at the time was the longest Autoclave in the United States. Since the purchase of the Autoclave Offshore Spars has invested heavily in the male molded composite production process with in house designed tooling, mandrel turning stations, and de-bulk tape wrapping machines. Staying apprised to composite manufacturing process in an effort to build on the companies existing knowledge ensures that Offshore Spars is always at the forefront of composite spar construction.
Manufacturing In Europe
In 2002 Offshore Spars purchased the Nautor Mast Company which was a subsidiary of Nautor Swan, a Finnish Boat building company known for producing some of the worlds most durable and prestigious performance sailboats. At the time of purchase Nautor Mast was producing aluminum masts and booms for all of the Nautor Swan range, a manufacturing method and attention to detail which Offshore Spars adapted and continued to build to. In 2008 Offshore Spars invested in installing carbon fiber producing technology in the Finland plant which was adjacent to the Nautor Swan Boatbuilding Technology Complex (BTC). The investment in carbon fiber included a new 33m (110ft) Autoclave, mandrel turning stations, automated tape wrapping machines and training of a composite team to layup the spars. Oy Offshore Spars AB produced carbon and aluminum spars side by side from that day forward until the facility was closed in 2010 due to the worldwide economic slow down.
Expansion of US Facility
In 2010 Offshore Spars broke ground on a factory expansion at the Chesterfield, Michigan manufacturing location. This expansion was a purpose built a 16,000 square foot addition to the manufacturing floor. Accompanying the expansion was a 40ft Autoclave extension taking it to 110ft (33m) long, two state of the art paint spray booths, a waterjet cutting machine, and a CNC carbon fiber pattern cutting machine.
Sale of Company
On December 31, 2012 company founder Michael J. Feldman, President and sole stock holder of Offshore Spars Co. sold 100% of his shares of the company to close colleague and Vice President, Steven L. King. Steven is the present day owner and committed to running the company based on the building blocks of product quality, customer service, and innovation which Michael had made a staple of the brand.
Company Logo History
The history of the Offshore Spars logo from left to right.