Bayliner Marine History

1981 Bayliner / US Yachts 30
1981 Bayliner / US Yachts 30

A brief history of Bayliner Marine Corp’s founder and entrepreneur, J. Orin Edson.

Mr. Edson was born in 1932. His father was an engineer. Edson’s first boat was 12ft and built out of plywood. He joined the Army and spent three years in the Signal Corps. In 1955, he started in the marine business. He opened an outboard engine repair shop in Puget Sound, Seattle, WA called Advanced Outboard Marine. He began dabbling with building boats in 1961. The next big move was in 1965, when he acquired a few hull molds from a company called Bayliner. He then purchased the Bayliner name for $100 from Al Koffel. Bayliner went on to be the world’s largest boat manufacturing company. Bayliner began building sailboats in 1974 when gas prices soared. In 1986, Bayliner had pumped out over 43,000 boats! Bayliner was sold to the Brunswick corporation in 1986 for around $470 million. Later, Mr. Edson owned 96 percent of Wesport Shipyards in Port Angeles, Westpot, and Hoquiam, WA. He has also been on Forbes 400 richest Americans list and is rumored to have a 165′ boat and flies helicopters as a hobby.