Vanguard Sailboats - History

History

Vanguard Sailboats was founded in 1967 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA by Peter and Olaf Harken. The brothers started to gain attention after their sailing hardware was used on boats that won Olympic gold in 1968 and after Vanguard supplied the Finn class for several countries in the 1976 Olympics. The hardware segment was maintained somewhat separately, as it was marketed to competing boat builders. In 1986, the Harkens sold Vanguard to Stephen Clark, who moved the business to Rhode Island. The brothers focused their efforts on the performance sailing hardware business in Pewaukee, WI under the name Harken, Inc., while Vanguard continued in boat building.

In March 1997, Vanguard Sailboats, Inc., bought Sunfish Laser, Inc., which built the Laser, Sunfish and 49er sailboats.

In 2007 Vanguard Sailboats was acquired by Performance Sailcraft Europe. The combined company is known as LaserPerformance.

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