The Tin Man Page 2
However the name came to be, the campaign worked and in its heyday the company was building 44-footers at a rate of about one every six weeks. Dick says that from a price standpoint, his dad’s aluminum boats were on par with the fiberglass boats of the day (circa 1970’s). But by the 1980’s, Strikers started to cost a bit more. Dick adds that to build an aluminum boat of the same quality today would be impractical. Taking into account the expense of materials and labor, he says “[an aluminum] boat under 100 feet is almost [cost-] prohibitive,” and adds that a Striker client recently inquired about the possibility of building a new 70-footer. The original 70 (mid-1990’s) came in right around $1 million. To build the same boat today, according to Dick, would run somwehere in the neighborhood of $5 million.
While a recreational Striker hasn’t been splashed in 14 years, the hull design lives on in many pilotboats and other commercial applications. Maybe someday, someone with a passion for metal boatbuilding equal to the one Herb Phillips possessed will again find a way to bring these tough-as-nails, built-for-the-ocean mid-size boats back into vogue. In the meantime, Strikers enjoy a healthy life on the used-boat market. (You can find one in almost any East Coast marina.) And many have been refit and repowered and still ply the oceans of the world—just like Phillips planned it on that living room floor more than 50 years ago.
This article originally appeared in the August 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.