S2 History


Leon Slikkers started at Chris-Craft in the joiner department making cabin tops in 1946. In the early 1950's Leon began building 14' runabouts in his garage after work. In 1954 he registered the Slickcraft name, and the following year he left a promising career at the age of 27 to open his own shop and fulfill his dream. He sold his house and started a small factory on Washington Avenue in Holland, Michigan. Leon began experimenting with a new material called fiberglass in 1955.

Within three y
ears, Slickcraft The company put a few of the boats into production and, by 1963, had stopped building with wood completely.


In 1969, Leon sold Slickcraft to the AMF Corporation. He
stayed on as President to head up three AMF Slickcraft / AMC companies (including Slickcraft), but eventually realized that the large corporation's business principles did not match his own and left after four years. Leon
started over in 1974 building sailboats under the name S2 Yachts.

Within ten years, S2 was one of the top five sailboat manufacturers in the United States, known for building both quality cruising vessels Fiberglass boats as well as racing boats. Gradually the company began producing high-quality power boats called Tiara Yachts, and phasing out the sailboats. S2 Yachts then constructed a second facility in Ft. Pierce, Florida and, in 1977, added Pursuit to its product line up.

In 1983, S2 Yachts purchased the Slickcraft brand name from AMF, and the following year, Leon Slikkers became Chief Executive Officer and David Slikkers was named President.

Great History Article!

In 2005, the Holland, Michigan History Research Center published a 2-part history of the Slikkers Family and their boat building  activities.  Copies of the history can be downloaded below:

  1. 50 Years of Making Fun - Part 1 (PDF, 2.2 mb) and

  2. 50 Years of Making Fun - Part 2 (PDF, 1.2 mb)

  3. Here is a link to an on-line version of the article

S2 Yachts - Sailboat History

  1. 1974 - Beginning of S2 Yachts, Inc., manufacturer of sailboats, 72,000 sq.ft., 53 employees

  2. 1977 - Introduction of Pursuit series

  3. 1979 - Doubled plant capacity and expanded all product lines -- S2 sailboats, Tiara power boats, and added Grand Slam performance sailboat series

  4. 1980 - AMF produced last Slickcraft

  5. 1983 - S2 Yachts, Inc. purchases Slickcraft name from AMF.

  6. New plant is built in Ft. Pierce, Florida (approx. 75,000 sq.ft.)

  7. 1984 - Leon Slikkers becomes Chief Executive Officer, David Slikkers named President

  8. Construction is completed on a 200,000 sq. ft. two level facility in Holland: this brings the total sq. ft. to nearly 500,000

  9. 1986 - Key management team assembled to include separate dealer franchises for each product line -- Tiara Yachts, Pursuit Fishing Boats, Slickcraft Sportboats, and S2 Sailboats

  10. 1987 - Slickcraft product line expanded to include five new models

  11. S2 Sailboat production is ended

“The 13-page Letter”

In June 1998, the S2 (renamed Tiara) Yacht company crafted a 13-page letter in response to the many common questions submitted to the regarding the sailboat they had previously manufactured.  In a sometimes rambling, often entertaining style, the Tiara Company stated no longer manufactured sailboats as a part of their current boat building business. As such, they were unable to justify an ongoing commitment to servicing sailing products built over 15 years ago.  Howevever, the letter did contain some technical data and insight to the manufacturing process that produced the S2 Sailboats.

The text of the famous 13-page letter can be found on the documents page. 

History of the 8.0

The design of the 8.0 evolved during it’s production life.  Three 8.0 models were built from 1975 to 1983, designated as versions A, B, and a center cockpit model, often referred to on the internet as model C.  The hulls were identical (it is presumed) - but the cockpit and deck designs changed with succeeding models.

Below you will find photos of the various versions of the S2 8.0.

You can download a hi-resolution version of the S2 8.0B sales brochure here (PDF - 11 meg).  Other S2 promotional material can be found on the documents pages.



      1975-1975 - 40 Hulls

The S2 8.0 Aft Cockpit is sloop rig, deep or shoal draft keel, spade rudder and deck stepped mast. Cockpit length is 6'8". She offers a V-berth, enclosed head with portable toilet, convertible dinette and settee, galley and quarterberth.


•L.O.A.                      26'0"

•L.W.L.                      21 '5"

•Beam       8' 0"

•Deep Draft               4' 0"

•Shoal Draft               2' 6"

•Displacement       4600 lbs.        

•Ballast               1800 lbs.       

  1. Sail Area       282 sq. ft. 



The 8.0 Meter B is a cruising sloop designed for maximum sailing comfort. It has a complete inventory of running gear which includes a large, high aspect ratio mainsail with quick reefing and a headsail. The mast is internally rigged and anodized. All lines run to the cockpit which adds greatly to the comfort of the helmsman.

She has a spacious, self-bailing cockpit that will comfortably seat six and has to two lockers; one an exposed fuel tank locker, the other, a large gear locker. Visibility over the cabin to the bow is outstanding. Life lines and toe rail track make a comfortable useable walk-around deck.

The 6' headroom provides light, airy, spacious accommodations. These include berths for five, a hanging locker, a completely enclosed head and vanity sink with cabinet optional. A complete, highly functional galley is provided with an alcohol stove, a S.S. sink, large top-loading ice box. Large, sealed watertight, bronze, acrylic windows and translucent hatches create an usually light cabin with excellent ventilation. The custom yacht impression of the cabin is created by the use of color-coordinated interior with decorative cushions, and generous use of teak.

The strong, hand laid hull has internal lead ballast. The generous freeboard provides exceptional dryness. A gusher pump, navigation and interior lights are included. She comes with either shoal or deep keel for trailering. A large navigator's area with chart table is in the passageway to the aft cabin. The cockpit has pedestal steering which is standard. An S2 Yacht is designed to please the most discriminating sailor to meet their expectations for performance, beauty, and comfort in a fine sailing vessel.


•L.O.A.                      26'0"

•L.W.L.                      21 '5"

•Beam       8' 0"

•Deep Draft               4' 0"

•Shoal Draft               2' 6"

•Displacement       4600 lbs.        

•Ballast               1800 lbs.      

•Sail Area       282 sq. ft.   

•          Main              119 sq. ft.

•          80% Jib          117 sq. ft.

•          140% Genoa  244 sq. ft.                 

•          Spinnaker       641 sq. ft.

•Headroom                6'0"

•Berths                       5


      1976-1983 - 426 Hulls     


Version C Production:  1975-1975 - 210 Hulls