home > about us > company history page 3
| "My interest, naturally, was in boats. So I
bought a defunct boatbuilding company--an outfit which had at one time built
rowing shells. I paid fifty dollars for the Davey Company name, a band saw and
some odds and ends of miscellaneous machinery. I loaded my boat works on a
rented dump truck and started off for Cohasset, where my family was living at
the time. Halfway down, in Quincy, the dump truck dumped everything out into
the middle of the street, but we finally got here and I set up shop in a little
boat yard run by an old German, John Elfman. That was in 1938."
Young Hagerty's idea was to build rowing shells of plywood and challenge the virtual monopoly enjoyed by the cedar-plank shells built by George Pocock on the West Coast. Though Fran's hopes in this respect were never fully realized, the little company carried on in a modest way until the war, when the Government erected several additional shops on the bay-front property and told Hagerty to get busy building plywood and plastic housings for the antennas of radar installations. Hagerty, to his chagrin, found himself the essential employer in charge of an eighty-man payroll engaged in this important and specialized work.
"After the war, when Uncle Sam no longer needed us or the housings, we turned to the building of '110' racing sailboats--a long, narrow craft called the Flying Splinter.