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.

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