Dear Mr. Bill Kranidis and MOA members,I am pleased to be able to contact you. It’s been more than 20 years since I left Far East Yacht Ltd in Long Beach to go back to Japan. This time, I came to know your activities through Mr. Hideki Fukunaga. My deepest condolences to the news of Mr. Oberly.
I’d like to tell you about the molds of Mariner Yachts and Fuji Yachts as following:The answer to the questions from Mr. Bill Kranidis.
There were the molds of Mariner Yacht’s M31, M32, M36, M40 when Mr. Oberly left Japan. Mr. Oberly brought the M36 mold to the United States and left all other. I will explain why molds went to Fuji Yachts in order.
-- Mr. Oberly ordered 3 – 4 of H-28 (wooden boat) to Okamura Marine in Zushi City and began exporting to the States.
--Established Far East Yacht Ltd. in Hemi, Yokosuka. Renting a factory, began the production of H-28 (1 boat/month).
By this time, I began to work for Mr. Oberly officially as a "Chief Engineer"
-- About 2 years later, the factory had a fire, everything burnt to the ground and it was closed.
-- About the same time(1958), Mr. Albert Mock(American) established International Marine and began the production of "Samurai 28".
-- Two years later, International Marine merged with Kawasaki Heavy Industries(KHI ) and DBA as "TOA Yacht".
-- Mr. Oberly also merged with KHI and re-established as Far East Boat Ltd.(I was working as a chief engineer here also).
Began the production of wooden Mariner M31, M40 and S&S 40.
-- Made FRP mold (only hull) for M31 and M40. Adding clipper bow to M31 and changing the structure of cockpit, M32 was born and M36 later.
All the Mariner yachts after H28 was designed by me to the request of Mr. Oberly (S&S40 is not).
-- Due to the so-called Dollar shock (before this, the JapaneseYen rate was fixed as \360=US$1 but it became fluctuated and the Yen revaluated drastically), both Far East Boat Ltd. and Toa Yacht couldn’t make it and KHI decided to close the companies down.
-- According to the contract between Mr. Oberly and KHI, KHI was responsible all the expenses in Japan and Mr. Oberly on the American side. Therefore Mr. Oberly couldn’t control the molds existed in Japan.
-- Later, Mr. Oberly and I, looked for a partner in Japan.
By the introduction of Mr. Ijuin of Kuroshio Yacht, Mr. Takuji Kato of Leisure Tokiwa Co. and
Mr. Oberly established Clair & Kato Yacht newly.
(Mr. Ijuin of Kuroshio Yacht loved the boats from when he was a student and he loves Mariner Yachts even now.
Not only he helped us very much to find a partner, he made a yacht out of the wooden model for M40 FRP mold. He is now the owner of British 118’ yacht.)
FRP molds (Hull only) for M32 & M36 were made newly here. At that time, half of employees in Far East Boats came to Clair and me.
The rest began working in Fuji Yachts established by Mr. Nakazaki (head carpenter).
(By the way, since 1959, I brought up more than 100 Yacht building craftsmen out of the people who had experience of making only fishing boats.)
Fuji Yachts started building Alden design yachts with the co-operation of Mr. Makise and Peterson who were related to TOA Yachts and then started to use the Mariner molds.
About the transfer of Mariner molds, I heard it later that was the result of discussion between Mr. Oberly and Mr. Fumino (the representative from KHI).
-- In Clair & Kato Yacht Co., they made hull mold for M32 & M36 also.
Mr. Oberly brought only M36 hull back to Long beach and I heard that M32 mold and several completed M32 & M36 were entrusted to Mr. Fumino.
I spent my life with Mr. Oberly from 1957 to 1976, I respect him as a teacher and a brother and learned yaching from him.
Just before Long Beach factory started, designed Mariner 45 under Mr. Oberly but regretfully it was never made.
I explained about Mr. Oberly and the Mariner history from memory because Mr. Fumino had passed away, Mr. Nakazaki retired to Hiroshima and couldn’t get contact with the related people in Fuji Yachts.
I apologize if there are any uncertain points. I wish all the best to Mariners and to you all.