Bluewater 6000 Custom Series
— By Capt. Ken Kreisler
— October 2003
Out of the Ordinary
Family Behind the Boat
Mora, Minnesota, population about 3,200, is nestled alongside the Snake River in the east central portion of the state. It’s the home of Bluewater Yachts and the Klapmeier family, who for the past 60 years has owned the company.
“While we build a durable boat, there’s more to it than our hand-laid hulls that utilize Kevlar, Knytex, and Kledgecell for strength,” says Steve Klapmeier, the latest family member to helm the business. “We also build our own energy into every one of the 36 Bluewaters we can produce each year.”
Klapmeier, a physician who gave up his practice to enter the business, and his wife Jolie, a successful lawyer and Bluewater’s executive vice president and general counsel, decided to get into boatbuilding when Steve’s father, Jim Klapmeier, an MIT engineering major who founded the company along with his father, chose to sell. At the time no one in the family was interested. When Steve and Jolie found out that the prospective new owners wanted to “clean house” and get rid of employees that began their careers with Bluewater, they stepped in, put aside their own professions, and along with family members, raised the capital to purchase the company.
Do they feel they did the right thing? “We had people there almost 30 years working alongside their own sons and daughters,” says Jolie with a broad smile and an affirmative nod. “What else could we do?”
After spending some time with the Klapmeiers, I have to agree with Steve: There’s more to these boats than just the materials. —K.K.
This article originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.