Coronado Yachts

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Coronado Yachts
Industry Sailboat manufacturing
Founded 1961
Founder Frank Butler

Coronado Yachts was a US sailboat manufacturer located in Southern California which produced several popular lines in the 1960s and early 1970s. Many hulls are still sailing and racing today.

In the 1970s Plavisa obtained a license to build a couple of models (C25 & C35) in Barcelona's "Puerto Franco", and for a period of over 15 years a few hundreds were manufactured, being exported many of them all over Europe (UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Lebanon..).[1]


Frank Butler's initial intent was not to produce and sell boats, but rather to have one built. Prior to venturing into the boat business Frank was a successful business man running a machine shop.

In 1961, Butler took over the building of his own boat when boat builder ran out of funds and borrowed money from Butler; the builder was not able to repay the debt. Instead he gave Butler the tooling to continue building the boat. Butler later gained full control of the company, renaming it Wesco Marine and later Coronado Yachts. Many Early Coronado twenty fives have the Wesco Marine nameplate on their transom.

Among the first models built by Coronado were the Victory '21 and the Super Satellite. Production for the Coronado '25 began in 1964. It was the first boat with a one piece interior, making the boat stronger, lighter, and less expensive than previous models.

During 1968 Butler sold Coronado to Whittaker which already owned Columbia Yachts which was purchased from Dick Valdes in 1967. They also had acquired several power boat manufacturers. In 1969 the nameplates showed Coronado Yachts as a division of the Whittaker Corp. Whittaker also produced some other interesting marine related products such a life pods used for emergency evac. on offshore oil rigs. The Coronado's were originally produced only in the plant in Costa Mesa, CA, but eventually larger boats were built in Virginia.

By 1969 the Coronado 27 and 30 foot models were being produced. Butler remained with Whitaker for only one year then left due to disagreements with management at Whitaker over the production of a trailerable 22 foot boat with a movable keel. Butler went on to found Catalina Yachts, currently the largest sailboat manufacturer in the world, with his first product being the trailerable 22 foot boat with a movable keel.

Dick Valdes left Whittaker in 1972. Eventually many of the Coronado boats became cross branding of the Columbia models. Whitaker continued the Coronado line until 1974 producing the Coronado 34 and center cockpit 35. By 1979 Whittaker sold Columbia and the brand was defunct by the mid-1980s.

Wesco Marine still exists, owned by Frank Butler, and is a supplier for Catalina Yachts.

The Coronado 25 has a generous fixed keel, broad beam to length ratio, and shipped with spinnaker rigging. The outboard motor mount is enclosed on 4 sides, shielding the engine from fast back swells during rough weather. The tiller is long enough to allow a seated skipper to adjust the jib sheets while controlling the tiller.

Coronado Models[edit]

PHRF shown is for Northern California Base Rate full keel standard mast unless otherwise described

  • Super Satellite Introduced 1964
  • Coronado 15 Introduced in the late 1960s
  • Aurora 21 Introduced 1964
  • Victory 21 Introduced 1964 PHRF 276
  • Avalon 25 Introduced 1965
  • Coronado 22 Introduced 1967
  • Coronado 23 Introduced 1970 PHRF 270
  • Coronado 25 Introduced 1965 PHRF 228
  • Coronado 27 Introduced 1970 PHRF 234
  • Coronado 28 Introduced 1974
  • Coronado 30 Introduced 1969 PHRF 204
  • Coronado 32 Introduced 1973 PHRF 174
  • Coronado 34 Introduced 1966 PHRF 180
  • Coronado 35 Introduced 1971 PHRF 192
  • Coronado 41 Introduced 1972 PHRF 168
  • Coronado 45 Introduced 1974

See also[edit]


  • Gerry Douglas Vice President of Catalina Yachts
  • Good Old Boat magazine: Volume 4, Number 1, January/February 2001
  • Sail Magazine: August 2004 pgs 54 - 57
  • Heart of GLASS, Fiberglass Boats And The Men Who Made Them by Daniel Spurr