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Kazulin family continues tradition of boat making
By Marko Pulji | Published  09/28/2007 | Business | Unrated
Croatian style from the Adriatic to the Americas
The Kazulin family continues tradition of boat making

Kazulin Boats Ltd. is a Canadian boat manufacturing company which produces luxury mahogany deck runabouts of its own design. From the initial concept to the completion of our boats, all the design, development and manufacturing is completed in-house. The production of our exclusive line of custom ordered handmade runabouts starts with each vessel receiving individual attention from the initial selection of matching wood grains, to handcrafted components and concluding with the final ocean testing and pre-delivery detailing.

The Adriatic

The Kazulin family's tradition of designing and building fine watercraft began seven generations ago on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. Since then, generations of the family produced commercial and pleasure boats in Europe and North America.

In the early 1900's, Simon Kazulin built many of the early motor driven wooden fishing boats when he ran Skansi Boatworks in Gig Harbor Washington USA. His son Mike continued this tradition with his line of Kazulin-Cole wooden boats into the 1960's in nearby Tacoma.

Meanwhile, Simon's youngest son Velko remained in Croatia designing and building very fine wooden excursion boats and runabouts. He progressed into fiberglass in the late 1950's and built not only the very first fiberglass production boat in Eastern Europe, but also one of the first modern "retro boats". This was a 5 meter (17 feet) "barcha" in fiberglass, based on the Adriatic coast's traditional lapstrake, tumble home fishing skiff. Subsequently, these boats were produced in the thousands over a period of 30 years, and continue to this day to have a presence in all the ports of the Adriatic.

Along with these fiberglass boats, Velko's excursion vessels were sought after by the locals who knew the Kazulin reputation of superior building and design abilities.

"When I visited the Coast last summer, I saw one of my old boats moored at a local dock...40 years later, how wonderful!" Velko states (1999).

In the 1970's, the family tradition came to Canada when the Kazulins moved to Vancouver, British Colombia where Tony and Velko set up shop. After Tony completed university, the real work began; and in 1984, the 18' Mistral was launched as the first in the KAVALK line of luxury speedboats. A reporter for the local magazine Pacific Yachting says in her review of the boats, "I was expecting just another powerboat and upon seeing the Mistral I realized nothing could be further from the truth."
The Mistral made its debut at the 1984 Vancouver Boat Show, but the true interest in these boats was in Toronto. The overwhelming response at the 1986 Toronto Boat Show was encouraging and soon Kavalks' new Continentals started appearing in the Muskoka region of Ontario.

In 1987, upon listening to a suggestion made by a customer looking for a "special" runabout in the spirit of the Canadian gentleman racers, the Kazulins went back to the design table and created the Classic. The boat premiered at the Toronto Boat Show in 1988 where the first one was purchased by its progenitor, Mr. Don Grant.

Glowing reviews in major boat magazines combined with high sales in Ontario Canada opened the door to the international market. In 1989, the Kazulins started exporting their boats to the USA, Japan and Europe. In Japan, the Classic was displayed alongside her newly launched big sister, the Kavalk SportCruiser 29, a large twin engine runabout.

Today these semi-custom boats can be found all over the world and their high resale value is testimony to the Kazulin family tradition of workmanship, design and innovation. Through the years Tony Kazulin continues to design and custom build these boats. The Kazulins' distinction of timeless design, excellent craftmanship and functional quality of construction is presently embodied in their new runabout: the Adriatic.

Kazulin Boats Limited

Formatted for CROWN by Marko Pulji
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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Chad Hartley)

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Tony Kazulin personally and have talked with many satisfied owners of his boats. They are made with the upmost craftsmanship, design and love of building. Many heads will turn if you own one of his custom, gorgeous designs. A Kazulin boat, made with the knowledge of a true artistic master, will supply many a exhilirating ride for you and your loved ones!
  • Comment #2 (Posted by Randy Gaidos)

    I worked with Tony and Velko In Richmond B.C. It was a pleasure to work with such craftsmen and learn from them. Thier boats compare to no other, old-world craftsmanship, design, and comfort.
    I considreed it to be a privilage to work on such fine quality boats which I considered the Ferrari's of the industry.
    Not just a boat...a work of art and engineering marvel.
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