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FORMULA BOATS


2200 W Monroe Street
Decatur, IN, United States 46733
Phone: (260) 724-9111
Model year 2015 marked Thunderbird?s 59th anniversary in the production of fiberglass powerboats. A progressive, family-owned company located in Decatur, Indiana, Thunderbird produces boats that are world renowned for beautiful styling, advanced engineering and exciting performance on the water. With a long-established philosophy of uncompromising quality in every detail, Formula is recognized as today?s premier powerboat. Company history reflects the constant evolution of forward-looking product in the FAS?TECH? hull, trendsetting Super Sports and Sun Sports, and also in luxurious Performance Cruiser models. The guiding force behind Formula?s vision of excellence is the Victor B. Porter family, with Chairman Vic Porter and four sons and a daughter actively managing the business. Scott Porter serves as knowledgeable, energetic president while executive vice president Grant Porter directs all product development and manufacturing. Wayne Porter is vice president of sales, Jean Porter Brune is vice president of marketing and Ted Porter is vice president of human resources. The eldest son, John, also a company shareholder, is a medical doctor and is not involved in daily business activities. Vic?s wife Kris aids in personnel records and also in special projects promoting Formula. Scott?s wife Shelley is active in the MIS department and is also involved in various Formula promotions. Third-generation Porters work in the business as well. Wayne?s three children, Adam, Jeremy and Sarah, work full-time for Formula. Adam is software project coordinator and developer. Jeremy is traffic manager and Sarah is marketing promotions coordinator. Jean?s son, Jason Brune, is a full-time project engineer for Formula. Grant?s son, Kyle, works full-time in the production area, and Ted?s son Danny, is a cost analyst. Several other third-generation Porters work after school and during summer breaks. Thunderbird was founded by Woody Woodson in 1956 in the Miami, Florida, area, and Richard C. Cole was the original designer. Decisively proving its staying power and stability, an eighteen-foot Thunderbird made the first successful sterndrive crossing from Miami to Nassau in 1959. In 1958 Vic Porter began building and selling small fiberglass runabouts, enjoying success largely in the Midwest and Northeast. This boat line was developed early in marine fiberglass technology, and with Porter as president, was marketed under the Duo, Incorporated name. Because of its timely product and increasing popularity, Starcraft, a larger regional boat manufacturer, purchased Duo in 1966. For a time, Porter stayed on as president of Duo. Don Aronow founded Formula in 1962 in Miami, Florida. The original 233 deep-V hull design was built at his direction and later earned notable victories on the national offshore racing circuit. Formula was the first of Aronow?s boat companies. While many of today?s Formulas have matured well beyond the speed-only image, the prestige originating with past racing victories is still quite evident in the highly successful FAS?TECHseries. In 1961 Thunderbird was acquired by Alliance Machine and Foundry, and they followed up by purchasing Formula in 1964. Both Formula and Thunderbird models were then produced in North Miami. An Atlanta-based conglomerate, Fuqua Industries, acquired Thunderbird /Formula in 1969. Vic Porter once again exercised his entrepreneurial spirit in 1970 and, along with five business associates, founded the Signa Corporation. This venture resulted in a quality line of trihull boats manufactured in Decatur and marketed throughout the Midwest and East. With Porter as president, Signa?s growing success attracted the attention of Fuqua Industries. Fuqua?s offer to buy Signa was accepted in 1973 and, based on his expertise in the boating industry, Porter was named president of Fuqua?s entire small-boat division. At that time there was also a manufacturing facility in Paso Robles, California. In mid-1976 Vic Porter purchased Thunderbird/ Formula from Fuqua. The second generation of Porters joined in the management team as they finished their college work and gained experience in the business. The tri-hull design was discontinued in 1979, and company emphasis centered on the offshore deep-V hull configuration of the Formula models.
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