50 Years of Inspired Luxury
Since 1974, there has been a single theme in all the boats we craft: that only the finest will do, from materials to quality standards, all the way through to the customer buying experience. This passion and drive instilled by Tiara Yachts founder Leon Slikkers is still alive today in the second and third generations of Slikkers family boat builders, as well as the employees at Tiara Yachts.
From humble beginnings to masters of boat building. Take a look at the history and drive that lives in the DNA of Tiara Yachts and the Slikkers family.
Leon Slikkers begins building boats at Chris-Craft
Leon leaves Chris-Craft to start building boats for himself under the SlickCraft name; SlickCraft builds wooden runabouts during its first official model year
Leon begins experimenting with fiberglass hull construction
Original home of SlickCraft
SlickCraft eliminates wooden hulls from its lineup, offering only fiberglass
Production moves to former skating rink on South Washington in Holland
Leon and Dolores sell SlickCraft to AMF Corporation, Leon remains as president of the SlickCraft division
February 18, S2 Yachts, Inc. is founded by Leon Slikkers, joined by his sons David and Robert, with a focus on building sailboats; Construction on a 72,000 square foot plant at 725 E. 40th begins later that year.
Tiara Powerboats are introduced, starting with 20’ Overnighter and 25’ Vacationer (pictured)
S2 Yachts adds the Pursuit Fishing Boat series to its portfolio
Slikkers family purchase SlickCraft name back from AMF; Leon becomes CEO of S2 Yachts; son David named president
A 72,000 square foot plant is built in Fort Pierce, Florida. Production of the Pursuit line would be concentrated in Fort Pierce, leaving the Holland plant to focus on Tiara.
Sailboat production ends in 1987, but due to popularity, S2 7.9 meter sailboat re-enters production on a limited edition basis
Leon Slikkers named Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young (’96); inducted into the Michigan Boating Hall of Fame (’98) and NMMA Hall of Fame (’99)
David named CEO of S2 Yachts; Tom, Leon’s youngest son, takes over as president of Pursuit; Bob elevated to president of Tiara; Leon becomes Chairman of the Board
Tiara Yachts becomes one of the first boat builders in the world to use Volvo Penta’s revolutionary new propulsion system, the Volvo Penta IPS on the 38 Open.
Tom named CEO and President of S2 Yachts; Coupe lineup is released
38 LS, the first outboard-powered Tiara, makes its debut at the Corporate Yachting Center in Holland, Mich.
S2 Yachts, Inc. divests Pursuit Boats
September 8, Leon Slikkers officially retires at the age of 93, capping a 75-year career in the marine industry
In partnership with Mercury Marine, Tiara Yachts launches the 48 LS, the first model by any manufacturer designed specifically for Mercury’s new 7.6-liter V12 600hp Verado® outboard engine.
Leon awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by International Boat Industry and Metstrade; son Tom accepts on his behalf
Tiara Yachts launches the EX 60, their largest and most innovative model to date.
Tiara Yachts celebrates its 50th Anniversary on February 18, marking half a century as a family-owned boat manufacturer in Holland, Michigan. To commemorate the anniversary year, an oil painting by local artist James Brandess was commissioned, representing Tiara’s heritage and history in the Holland area.
IT’S NOT MERELY OUR CRAFT. IT’S OUR CALLING
Experience the unique craftsmanship found in Holland, Michigan, and witness the pride we carry in manufacturing an American made product. Our craft, calling and passion are the common threads woven throughout not only the products we build, but also our relationships with our dealer network, vendors partners and ultimately, our customers. Just like our yachts, our story is based around friends, family and the water.
A legacy of excellence
Over 60 years ago, Leon Slikkers embarked on a voyage to create the finest yachts in the world, made in the U.S.A. It all began when he founded Slick Craft in 1955. In 1974, he went on to establish S2 Yachts, Inc., later known as Tiara Yachts. Since then, the evolution of our designs, technology and manufacturing have evolved with the needs and desires of our customers.