Johnson Boat Works

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Johnson Boat Works was a builder and developer of racing sailboats and scows in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Founded in 1896 by John O. Johnson, an emigrant from Norway, the builder started building A-Scows. As more classes were founded, Johnson moved on to B's, C's, D's, and E's. Johnson was commissioned to build the X-Boat for youth in the 1930's. Johnson designed the J-scow in the mid-50's which was converted to the MC. Through the years, the boat builder built Opti's and 420's. In 1994, the builder brought out the Johnson 18. In 1998, two years after JBW turned 100 years old, the family sold the company. The scow molds were sold to their competitor Melges Boat Works (now called Melges Performance Sailboats) in Wisconsin. The other molds, including the Johnson 18 mold, were sold to Catalina Yachts in California. The repair and storage part of the company was sold to one of Johnson's employees who renamed the company White Bear Boat Works.


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