Courtesy of Flamingo magazine.
Prior to 1940 , yards like Rybovich & Sons had begun to convert cabin cruisers, made by other manufacturers, into offshore fishing machines by building flybridges and cockpits onto existing vessels. Famous clients like Ernest Hemingway wanted to both cruise and do some serious fishing; Rybovich & Sons transformed his boat, Pilar, into a sportfishing craft with their angling add-ons. (This boat is on display at The Hemingway Museum at Finca Vigia in Cuba.)
Covered in hardware and cleats that snagged lines, the converted boats were heavy and not ideal for maneuvering while fighting acrobatic billfish and deep-diving bluefin tunas the size of Volkswagens. Fishermen needed something better. John Jr., Tommy and Emil, sons of the company’s founding boatbuilder, John Rybovich, had the solution.
Brimming with ideas after serving in World War II, they used modern-day materials like aluminum, acrylics and advanced adhesive technology to create the world’s first big-game fishing boat for General Motors dealer Charles Johnson of Ohio. Launched in 1947 and costing $30,000, Johnson’s Miss Chevy II was revolutionary.