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Far East Yachts History

This page will focus on the history of Far East Yachts, it's creation, it's demise, the roles played by various players in all this and finally the creation of Fuji Yachts.
This new information, is the result of an inquiry about  Mr. Takao Sato.
Fuji Yacht owners have heard of his name and it was assumed that he was the person responsible for  creating Fuji Yachts.  That information was contradictory to what Mr. Oberly had told me and so, we've had  put all our resources in action to clear the facts. I had put together a number of questions for Mr.Sato and through Hideki Fukunaga (a Mariner 32 owner living in Japan) we were able to get a response from Mr. Takao Sato (Mr. Oberly's and FEY's chief engineer) and shortly thereafter from Mr. Hirokuni Ijuin (Chairman of the Kuroshio Yacht Club).

 Since both letters are not contradictory,  we are to believe the following:

1957:  Mr. Clair Oberly starts the production of wooden H-28.
           At that time there were two major boat builders in Japan.
            a) International Marine, headed by Mr. Omori and Mr. Mock (an American) engaged in the
                production of Samurai 28 (H28).
            b) Mr. Bill  Hardin co-operating with Okamoto Shipyard (later Tokyo Yachts) in building
                35 and 40 foot, Bill Garden designed ketches.

1958:  Mr. Clair Oberly creates Far East Yachts. Starts production of M31(wood), M40 (wood), S&S 40.

1960:  International Marine merges with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and does business as TOA Yachts.
            Far East Yachts merges with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and does business as Far East Yachts.
            Also in 1960, Bill Hardin moves his operations to Taiwan and connects with the Chen Family.
            He starts  building boats in Taiwan with  the Chen family, which later splits into three groups:
            a) the CC Chen Yard (Yankee Clipper, Sea Tiger ?)
            b) the CT Chen Yard (CT 41 ?)
            c) the Formosa Yard.

1971:  The re-evaluation  of the Japanese YEN, causes the fall of both Far East Yachts and TOA yachts.

            Around this  time, Mr.Makise (of TOA Yachts) and Mr. Nakazaki (FEY head carpenter),
            establish Fuji Yacht Builders and  started building the John G. Alden designed Fujis 35 & 45.
            By this time, half the staff of the now defunct Far East Yachts, works at Fuji Yacht Builders. The
            other half,  will join Clair Oberly at Clair & Kato Yachts in 1972.
1972:  Clair & Kato Yachts is formed by Mr.Clair Oberly (FEY) and  Mr.Takuji Kato (Tokiwa Group Co).
           This introduction is arranged by Mr. Hirokuni  Ijuin (founder of the Kuroshio Yacht Club).

           Clair & Kato Yachts folds shortly after.

            The fall of Clair & Kato Yachts results in the following:
            ---  Mr.Oberly takes  the molds of the M36 and M31/32
            (we know about the M31/32 molds, because we have seen M31/32's made in California)
            and brings operations to California (while he allows the Tayana Yard the purchase of M36 molds).
            ---  Mr. Kato sells  the M32 molds to Mr. Nakazaki and  Mr. Makise of Fuji Yacht Builders
            and hence the existence of the Fuji 32.

Here are the two letters send to the Mariner Owners Association:
The one by Mr. Takao Sato (Mr. Oberly's chief engineer)
and the one by Mr.Hirokuni Ijuin (founder of the Kirushio Yacht Club).

Thank you both,for your reply and setting the facts straight !!!

Bill Kranidis