In addition to running interference, Ken invested in first-class advertising and owner rendezvous. “It had always bugged Dad that Henry Burger could check into Pier 66 during the season, walk the docks, and head north with a book full of orders,” said Ken. “Dad’s idea of marketing had always been to build the boats that Henry had no interest in…Henry had refused to build a three-stateroom 72-footer—Dad built a dozen of them.” Frank cringed at the thought of actually spending money on marketing. “On a bus packed with customers at the Nantucket rendezvous, Dad counted heads and said in a theater voice, Gertrude, why the hell is Ken throwing a party for people that have already bought a boat?”
Just as a perfect storm had filled Broward’s order book for a decade, another perfect storm would lead to the yard’s sale. Rejecting the calming hand of his wife and the youthful energy of his children, Frank built his last boat and sold the yard in 1999, having launched more than 220 Browards.
Fiberglass went on to compete with aluminum as the material of choice for series builders in the 80- to 125-foot market and aluminum and steel yachts would soar in size and numbers. And whether they welded aluminum, pushed pencils, or wrote the checks for the boats, many of the players that drove this boom in large yachts were graduates of “Broward-U.”