As Latham Marine celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, owners Bob and Kathy Latham are extremely excited about the upcoming Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. Not only can you visit the company’s booth (I-100), which once again will feature the POW/MIA Dragster, but you can also see Latham Marine’s world-class hardware and steering components in use on a wide range of boats and motors from Intrepid Powerboats, Formula Boats, Marine Technology Inc., Seven Marine, Yamaha and more.
In addition, the new super-duty Latham M8 tie-bar mount developed for the powerful Mercury Racing 1100/1350 engines and M8 drives will be included on Statement Marine’s new 50-foot catamaran and on a pair of Skater catamarans (38- and 52-footers) from Douglas Marine.
It’s not just pleasure boat builders that turn to Latham for custom-made solutions. Law enforcement, race teams, government defense departments and the military all rely on the engineering prowess of Bob Latham to pack in every ounce of performance and reliability that can be gained.
Proud of America and the opportunities this country affords, Bob and Kathy Latham routinely pay tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for their country. When the Lathams met Army veteran Max Loffgren at the Reno Air Show and learned of his POW/MIA Dragster—a 1955 Chevy Bellaire dragster adorned with the hand-painted names of all 3,578 MIAs and POWs from the Vietnam War—they were enamored enough with the tribute vehicle to sponsor a tour of the Southeast, beginning with the 2010 Miami International Boat Show.
National Marine Manufacturers Association, but more importantly drew heavy traffic and allowed people of all ages to admire the car for its hand-built craftsmanship as well as its remembrance message. Among them, Deidra Bridger, of Tampa, Fla., who was emotionally moved to find her father listed on the car, and former Air Force Lt. Paul Granger of San Diego, who was at the show with some buddies and happened upon the car and his name painted on the side.The company’s 2010 exhibit garnered Latham Marine a “Best Engine/Engine Accessories Display” award from the
Granger graciously signed the dragster’s tailfin, where a number of other former POWs who have encountered the black Chevy have affixed their names. He approached the car with caution, having seen his share of POW exploitation, but commended Loffgren and Latham Marine. “Max is to be congratulated for a professional and respectful presentation and you could tell from talking with Kathy and Bob that their hearts are really in it, it’s not just a promotional activity for them,” Granger said.
That’s exactly why the Lathams are bringing Loffgren and the dragster back this year. Proud of their country, proud of their industry and proud of their 40 years in it, Bob and Kathy Latham will spend this anniversary year as they have every other business year: planning for the future and continuing to steer ahead.
Editor’s note: Want to know what to look for during the 2013 Miami International Boat Show? Follow our “Countdown to Miami” series, which will appear regularly on the site leading up to the show. Click here to see the full list of previous stories.