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Marek Yachts was formed in 1979 in San Diego, California by Bruce Marek and his partner, Bruce Nelson. The prolific team’s first custom design was the incredibly successful One Ton "RUSH." It was built in 72 days, and launched just 3 hours before the San Diego Yachting Cup. It was the most successful racing yacht in the U.S. in 1980, winning 21 races including the North American One Tons, Chicago to Mackinac, Port Huron to Mackinac, and Great Lakes champion. Nelson continues to operate Nelson Marek, while Marek is an independent designer on the East Coast. Most of their designs are for custom built yachts including world class racers, although they have designed some production models. One of the more interesting stories is the Catalina 42, the hull of which was originally designed as a limited production ocean racer. Catalina Yachts, which at the time produced mostly smaller yachts, acquired the rights to produce the Nelson Marek designed hull in the late 1980s. Designer Gerry Douglas modified the hull to accept a higher cabin top and cruiser style cabin—the result was Catalina's largest sized offering for many years. The team of Nelson Marek were highly competitive, and considered exceptional designers in the yachting world.

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