RETURN TO CONTENTS PAGE
THE SAFTICRAFT HISTORY
To the best of our knowledge, the boats known as Safticrafts began with Avondale Marine Ways, Inc. of Westwego, Louisiana.
With determined effort, I have not uncovered much on Avondale Marine Ways other than near copies of late forties 26-28' Steelcraft were built and advertised by Avondale as late as March of 1950 and were called Deluxe Sedans, Sportster, Avondale models.
In 1951 Avondale Marine Ways was acquired by A.P and E.W. Dupont of Morgan City, La. The Duponts continued producing some of these models but added many more boats to their production operation. Boats from 28' to 55' foot yachts, even larger barges and specialty ships.
I was able to contact the last surviving Dupont brother (E.W. Dupont now deceased) who put me in touch with his grandson Glynn A. Haines who provided a rare photo collection of most of the post Avondale Safticraft fleet. A significant representation of those images as well as others from the Morgan City Archives are presented here under the SAFTICRAFT IMAGE COLLECTION link below.
SAFTICRAFT IMAGE COLLECTION
The only images I have of the pre 50's models are of actual restored yachts or original magazine advertisements. These can be viewed by going to either ADS/BROCHURES or PHOTO GALLERY.
Unfortunately, in comparison to my Steelcraft research, I've found little of the Safticraft history. This is surprising as Avondale Marine and the Dupont brothers (dba Dupont Fabricators) produced far more boats under SaftiCraft name. Vessels ranging from 28' to over 180' fuel barges (how many of each and from which company is unknown).
It is of interest that both Avondale and the Duponts had more than just passing relations with Churchward and Steelcraft. A pattern emerges in the Steelcraft and Safticraft advertising during the late forties, early fifties. One observes Safticraft following certain Steelcraft models.
For example, as Steelcraft discontinued it's classy rounded bow models in 1950 in favor of a more flared bow, Safticraft continues making them but as 28'7 not 25'6 versions. Then, as post 1950 Steelcraft go from the 26's to 28's, the Duponts soon begin building Safticraft models with a similar flared bow. As Steelcraft reduced the signature oval bow portlights from two port and starboard to one around 1950, so SaftiCraft follows a year or so later. All along, both companies sport the long painted arrow from stern to bow.
A January 1950 advertisement in The Rudder suggests SaftiCraft was building sisterships to classic Steelcraft models with the knowledge and sanction of Steelcraft.
The following two articles courtesy of the Morgan City Archives is the extent of any documented history of Safticrafts I've located to date. If anyone reading this has information on Avondale Marine Ways, or the Duponts other than what is provided here, please contact us.
From the local paper, Morgan City Review dated August 31, 1951...
Duponts Bring Welding, Drafting Experience to New Industry Here
The Dupont brothers-E.W. and A.P Dupont -who had been building offshore drilling rigs for a major oil company operating out of Morgan City, are now concentrating on their Safticraft steel works located at Boy Blue, between Morgan City and Patterson.
They are manufacturing SaftiCraft boats- all steel and electrically welded -which average from 28' to 38' in size and sell for about $5,000.00. The boat, which sleeps four persons and accommodate eight persons for normal outings, has many uses and can be put to work in heavy waters.
The Duponts purchased SaftiCraft from Avondale Marine Ways in New Orleans.
The steel boats are being sold throughout the US, Canada and Columbia.
The Duponts are not confining themselves to the construction of the SaftiCraft boats, but are also building and repairing steel tugs, barges and trawlers.
From the March 1955 issue of OFFSHORE OPERATIONS...
RETURN TO CONTENTS PAGE