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VIDEO: Yellowfin bursts onto the scene

As the boat show season approaches, you might want to check out Yellowfin Yachts. The Sarasota, Fla., company builds some of the most well-respected open offshore fishing boats on the market.

With a background in offshore performance powerboat racing and tournament fishing, Wylie Nagler in 1998 set out to build a fast, top-of-the-line offshore fishing boat. His first Yellowfin was a 31-footer he introduced in 2000. He has since added eight boats to a center console lineup that ranges from 23 to 42 feet. The company also builds three smaller boats — a 17-foot skiff, a 24-foot bay boat and a 21-foot hybrid (a combination bay and flats boat). Nagler, 44, grew up in south Miami fishing out of small skiffs and watching offshore races.

The 36 center console and the 24 Bay, introduced in 2002 and 2006, respectively, are the company's top sellers, Nagler says. Yellowfin builds about 45 of each of these models annually. "We're nine months backlogged," Nagler says of the 24 Bay.


Click play to watch Nagler discuss the company’s growth and its boatbuilding methods.

Since the company’s inception, Nagler has adhered to one business model.

"Our philosophy is to build the best boat and use the best materials, the best hardware and the best systems," he says. "If we find something on the market that's better than what we're using, we automatically put it in the boat and raise the price. We don't care how much a cleat or a rod holder costs. We're striving to build the best boat — not as many boats as we can for as little money as we can."

Yellowfin supports its products with excellent customer service, says Steven Lamp, who runs a charter fishing business ( with a five-vessel fleet of Yellowfins in the Florida Keys. "People want to buy quality, but they also want to know that the manufacturer won't turn their backs on them as soon as that check is signed. I've owned five Yellowfins. Word of mouth has gotten out — it's an amazing product."