Atomic Runabouts

By Kevin Mueller
Published: October/November 2013

Finding a rare boat with a unique design launched a decades-long love affair.

Photo of a 1958 red Glastron Seaflite trailered by a 1957 red Chevy

The thing that first addicted me to boats with fins was a car. I had a '57 Chevy sedan, inherited from my grandmother as a high-school graduation present in 1980. That car was my pride and joy, or at least it was until I happened upon a 1958 Glastron Seaflite. It looked to me as if my Chevy had met its soulmate! Well, I bought the boat immediately, and began matching the colors and interior, embellishing the design a bit. I was in love!

Photo of boat literature from 1957
Boat literature from the time, plus a Newsweek cover from 1957, celebrates
the revolution that fiberglass brought to boatbuilding.

During this restoration, I networked with other collectors and did some research on these quirky boats. It turned out they were fairly unusual, and that rarity made the boat even more interesting to me. But I was also surprised they were so rare, given that there were literally hundreds of builders at the peak of a fad in the early 1950s, when a new material, fiberglass, was introduced to boatbuilding.

1 | 2 | Next


 Recommended Articles
Gray rule

Thumbnail photo of gelcoat blisteringBuying A Boat Fixer-Upper?

Besides knowing a boat’s age and engine hours, here's what to consider before refitting or restoring a fiberglass boat

Thumbnail photo of a surveyor checking a boat hullBuying A Used Boat?

How to hire the best marine surveyor to protect you interests

Thumbnail photo of replacement boat partsAnother Man's Treasure

Nine thoughts on the search and the research for replacement boat parts that can't be found.


BoatUS Magazine Is A Benefit Of BoatUS Membership

Membership Also Provides:

  • Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine
  • 4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at
  • Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,000 businesses
  • Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and much more ...
  • All For Only $24 A Year!

Join Today!