Elmer Klapmeier initiated Bluewater Yachts in the early 1950's because of his love of the outdoors and desire to sleep in a bed rather than a bedroll. The first craft he developed was used to transport the sportsman to a base camp many miles by water from a landing in northwestern Ontario. Due to high quality manufacturing, some of these boats are still in service.
Elmer Klapmeier copyrighted the name "Boatel" and brought his engineer son into the business on a part-time basis by way of an outing on the craft. Jim Klapmeier then brought a friend into a venture named Northernaire Floating Lodges. They had the idea to rent the Klapmeier-built boats on Rainy Lake on the U.S. and Canadian border. By 1958, the company was renamed "Boatel Company" and Jim joined his father full-time to increase service to Northernaire and offer Boatels throughout the US.
By the mid-1960's Boatel's market had expanded throughout North America and the company built a larger facility to serve the growing demand. Boatel capitalized on its success by introducing a full hull steel boat with inboard/outboard power rather than outboard power. In 1967, Boatel added a full hull model made of fiberglass.
Boatel also capitalized on their welding and boat building expertise by bidding on navy contracts for landing barges.
The continued success of the boats provided an ample international base on which to grow similar but distinct products with appeal to the moneyed yachtperson's desire for more living space than a traditional motor yacht configuration. The result was a highly-demanded line of yachts from 35 to 45 feet in length, which appealed to a niche customer that no other design could satisfy.
Originally offered in the houseboat markets, the target was redefined as intercoastal waterways and larger inland bodies of water in 1973. In 1979, the yacht division became so popular it was given its own identity - "Bluewater."
In 1982, another new boat was debuted. This revolutionary craft incorporated the best features of the Bluewater yacht and the Boatel boat-a merger of the two. The result is a large and luxurious living area but with a shallow draft capability to operate in only 23 inches of water.
The Cruiser's copyrighted "Guardian Power" hull design provides the craft with superior performance capabilities via the reduced angle of the propeller shaft and the protection the semi-conical hull indentations provide to both the propeller and shaft.
The company's Bluewater Yacht is now produced at lengths up to 70 feet. The product is equipped with copyrighted unique Guardian Power hull design that provides protection for the propeller shaft. The product provides full and comfortable living space for several people, and can be used for both inland and coastal waterways.
The third generation of Klapmeiers is now entering the yacht business. Each member brings new expertise to the table in the areas of engineering and design, finance, management and marketing.