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Industry mourns founder of Glastron Boat Co.

Glastron Boat Co. founder Robert R. Hammond is shown in 2005 in a photo taken by the president of the Classic Glastron Owners Association and posted on Flickr.

Glastron Boat Co. founder Robert R. Hammond is shown in 2005 in a photo taken by the president of the Classic Glastron Owners Association and posted on Flickr.

Glastron Boat Co. founder Robert R. Hammond of Austin, Texas, died peacefully at his home on Aug. 6. He was 88.

Hammond graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1946 and served in the Navy until his honorable discharge in 1953.

In 1950 he married Bettye Ann Lawrence, and they moved to Austin in 1956.

Hammond founded Glaston Boat Co. in 1956 and became a pioneer not only in the manufacture of fiberglass boats, but also in the promotion of the recreation.

He brought new designs, materials, production methods, propulsion systems and marketing strategies that benefited the industry and grew his company to become the largest boat plant in the world under a single roof and the industry sales leader, according to his obituary in the American Statesman.

In 1974 Hammond resigned from Glastron to found the Hammond Boat Co. His business model was based on building a modest number of boats to high standards of excellence. In its second year of production the company won Powerboat Magazine's prestigious "Boat of the Year" award.

Hammond sold his interests in 1983, and afterward he was primarily involved in personal investments. He remained active in industry service throughout his career, serving on multiple boards.

He received a National Marine Manufacturers Association award in 1998 recognizing his industry leadership.

He was honored as Austin's Civic Salesman of the Year in 1971.

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