In 1969, Mike Howarth began his career building fiberglass tooling and plugs for wood boat construction in Southern California. He was a pattern maker for boats and it was the beginning of a long career in boat building. Later he moved on to Pacific Trawler and Islander Yachts. It was during his time at Pacific Trawler that Mr. Howarth became acquainted with Henry Mohrschladt who shared his passion for boat building and design. Before long, they co-founded their own company, Pacific Seacraft, where they enjoyed many successful years building sailboats. Mohrschladt specialized in mechanical aspects and concepts, and ran the office and the advertising side of the business. Howarth was happy to be in the back, doing the boat building itself. In 1989 after the production of thousands of sailboats, the business was sold, but the partnership was far from over.
One year later, the two began work on a 35’ flybridge sportfisher, and a year after that they introduced the first Cabo to the world. Based in Adelanto, California, this new company placed tremendous efforts on building the best boat available. The fit and finish was second to none and their commitment to customers and boat dealers alike created a winning combination. Howarth explained, “We started Cabo with Henry, myself and one employee. When we sold it we had 540 of the best people around. I honestly believe we were blessed with the best craftsman in the world. A boat is one of the few things in this world that are still built by hand, so the quality of the build depends on the individual craftsman and the pride he takes in his work.” After a sixteen year run, Cabo Yachts was sold to Brunswick Corporation.
In 1989, Barrett Howarth was born and as he grew older, he cut his teeth on boat building. Even his crib was a custom boat. He grew up in the shop, learning to work the craft, but first how to sweep the floors. He has been immersed in the boat-building world and like his father, shares the same passion to build the best boat possible.
So as Barrett grew into his early 20’s, it was only natural that the father and son team would once again gather the cream of the crop from their old boat building crew and set out to once again set the standard for quality in boat building.
This time the vision has taken the form of the 33-foot Mag Bay center console. With the collaboration of Michael Peters Yacht Design in Sarasota, Florida, the Mag Bay has taken shape from a few sketches on a piece of paper to a complete boat running around the Pacific. Mike Howarth explained, “We know there are other good boats being made out there, so our goal is to be known as one of the finest made boats on the market. It is crucial that all of this effort is built upon a well-designed hull and for that reason, we use Michael Peters to create our designs. He did the last five of Cabo’s hulls and is regarded as one of the leading designers today. One has to put a lot of effort on the front end of the design to ensure the final product will be at its best
Both Mike and Barrett spend many full days that stretch long into the night, working on this labor of love. Barrett talks of boat projects he tackled as a young man, “I started off building these little 8-foot boats. We had a mold at Cabo and the guys would lay a boat up for me and I would do the seats and interior. The first one I did was so overbuilt it wasn’t even practical and we cut it up. When I was 14 or 15, I built two of these boats in my parents’ garage in Newport and sold them to local kids. We had to go and apologize to the neighbors for the smell of resin. Those were the first boats I built for someone else.”
But like his father, Barrett is quick to credit their team as the secret to Mag Bay’s success.
“All of our crew built boats with my father at Cabo and they are like family. Their hard work and dedication is why our vision has become a reality. They are the heart and soul of this operation.”
For these many reasons, the Mag Bay is building a loyal following of customers and dealers, as did the Howarth-built Cabo Yachts before it