Claremore Daily Progress

Business

May 22, 2014

HydroHoist Marine Group celebrates 50th anniversary

CLAREMORE —

HydroHoist Marine Group (HMG) is celebrating its 50th year in business.
“We are proud of the legacy of quality boat lift manufacturing that has made HydroHoist a household name throughout the boating community — in the United States and internationally,” said CEO Mick Webber.
HydroHoist received the first patent for a hydro-pneumatic boat lift, and has never looked back since its humble beginnings in 1964.
The company was launched when Henry Rutter invented the first hydro-pneumatic boat lift at Hi-Lift Marina on Grand Lake. Rutter obtained a patent and called his invention HydroHoist. 
“Initially the need for the HydroHoist boat lift was created because of a restriction for land space for boat storage,” said Webber. “Boat owners were demanding convenience and immediacy of use, and Rutter’s boat lift system offered dry storage in the water for a price comparable to land space. Remarkably, some of the original hoists are still in use.”
Rutter found the traditional winching method used at his marina was impractical on floating docks because they could not support the extra weight of the winch. Rutter then intended to build a quick, economical system that displaced the water by air and formed a free-floating lift. His first lift mechanism consisted of inverted fiberglass tubs and a used vacuum cleaner motor that blew air in the inverted tubs, forcing the water out and raising the boat and lift above the surface of the water. 
Once word of Rutter’s invention became known, demand from boat owners increased, first in northeastern Oklahoma, and then throughout the Midwest. By 1971 he sold his marina and, along with his brothers Harold and Neal, moved the company into an old World War II munitions plant in Claremore, where the corporate office still remains today.
During the 1970s and 1980s the industry expanded to meet consumer demand to hoist a number of different vessels — from personal watercraft, to lake cruisers, houseboats, sea planes, submarines, Coast Guard cutters, and other military boats.

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