Did You Know That Rinker Is America’s Oldest Boat Brand?
February 1, 2012
As the oldest American boat brand in continuous production, the Rinker Boat Company has quite a story to tell. From our humble beginnings out of Lossie Rinker’s workshop on the White River in Indiana to today when we’re exporting boats to more than 40 countries, we build with pride, craftsmanship and the desire to be the best value in the industry.
At the request of many of our loyal customers and dealers across the country and around the globe, here’s a look back at some of the Rinker Boat Company milestones through the years. We are proud to remain true to our Midwestern heritage, and we are thankful for all of our Rinker owners throughout the years who have chosen to share some of their family’s most treasured memories with us.
• In the 1930s, dairy farmer Lossie “L.E.” Rinker starts building fishing — and, later, racing boats —out of his workshop on the White River in Indiana. His sons, Jan and John, soon joined their father to build and race their own boats. After serving their country during the Korean War, the boys returned to Indiana to resume their boat-building careers, eventually founding the company Rinkerbuilt in Syracuse, Indiana. Rinkers are still built in Syracuse today.
• In 1945, the company’s first racing brand called Famous Craft is born.
• In 1958, Rinkerbuilt introduces fiberglass in the manufacturing process – long before most competitors — along with innovations such as multiple gelcoat colors and back-to-back seating.
• A classic 1968 Rinkerbuilt brochure of the ROAMER 16. Also in 1968, Rinkerbuilt goes international, shipping 14 boats to Sweden.
• Throughout the 1970s, Rinkerbuilt rolls out new runabout designs. The signature 20-degree Deep-V runabout hulls grow to 20 feet.
• The most popular of all 1970-era designs is the 15- & 17-foot tri-hull. Every fiberglass manufacturer had a tri-hull, and Rinkerbuilt was one of the first! The boats were offered with both outboard and the new automotive-inspired inboard/outboard.
• The 1980s bring a new name (“built” is dropped as the suffix), new logo, and new designs, as the now-40-year old company continues to grow. The first Rinker Fiesta Vee 255 Cruiser is introduced in 1988, which establishes Rinker as a cruiser builder.
• Rinker turns 50 years old in 1995, and the Rinker Fiesta Vee line includes some of the most popular express cruisers in the world. The Rinker Captiva line is expanded and some models, such as the Captiva 232 and 236 become popular “go-fast” boats with big-block motors and exhilarating performance.
• Nautic Global Group becomes the parent company of Rinker in 2005, providing the capital, purchasing power and manufacturing efficiencies to take the company into the future. An entirely new generation of cruisers is introduced, and Rinker becomes the first sterndrive boat builder to offer a wake tower and watersports packages on its sportboats.
• In 2012, Rinker continues to roll out the next generation of Captiva Sportboats and Express Cruisers. Beginning with the Captiva 216 bowrider in 2011 and now with the incredible all-new Rinker 290 Express Cruiser, you see more innovative designs and a renewed focus on offering the unquestioned best-value and highest quality in the industry.
Throughout the years, Rinker has always had focused on performance, rugged construction, and giving you the best value on the water. Here’s to another 67 years of pursuing our dream of helping you enjoy the precious time you have with your family on the water. From our family to yours…thank you.