Seat Cushions Patterns and Model Years

A Michigan Fiberglass Company-built 14′ Caribbean owner contacted me about the correct seat cushion pattern he should use for his restoration. Until he had brought it up I had not taken the time to study this question. Well, today I did, and realized that the seat cushion patterns for the 1960 Parsons Corporation-made boats are most likely the same for the 1960 Michigan Fiberglass Company. I also base this conclusion on the surviving boats and the even rarer surviving seat cushions for both companies. The gull wing, two tone seat cushions for the 1959 model year appeared in 1959 brochure for the 14′ Caribbean and the transom pattern for the 16′ Arrowhead models. The 18′ Saratoga model uses the transom pattern, as well, with subtle differences. The 1960 Lake ‘n Sea brochure for the Parsons Corporation and surviving boats also show those patterns for those models. There is also a chance that the seat cushions for the less expensive models, like the less deluxe 14′ Caribbean, 15′ Biscayne, and the 14’ Au Sable Runabout, were a much plainer, two tone design. Below are the Biscayne, Caribbean Custom, Arrowhead Custom, and Saratoga Custom seat cushion patterns by year, manufacturer, and model. Like the seat cushions, the dashboards were also fancier and will be covered in a later blog post.

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Non-deluxe 1959 Parsons Corporation 15′ Caribbean model dashboard and Attwood-brand steering wheel.
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Same boat with the simpler, harmonizing, two-tone seat cushions.
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1958 Parsons Corporation 15′ Biscayne model seat cushions were much like the 1957 Chris-Craft 15–ft Special Runabout seat cushions. Neither used deck snaps.

Cockpits View
1959 Parsons Corporation 15′ Biscayne seat cushions had a much simpler pattern and used deck snaps.

1959 Parsons Corporation brochure showing the gull wing pattern seat cushions which resemble the dashboard of the Caribbean Custom and Arrowhead Custom models. The 1960 brochure showed this style, as well.
1959 Parsons Corporation 14′ Arrowhead Custom seat cushions seen in factory photo shoot (Image courtesy of the John T. Parsons collection (Ms-1987-016), Digital Library and Archives, University Libraries, Virginia Polytechnic and State University)
1959 Parsons Corporation 16′ Arrowhead  Custom seat cushions seen in factory photo shoot (Image courtesy of the John T. Parsons collection (Ms-1987-016), Digital Library and Archives, University Libraries, Virginia Polytechnic and State University)

To muddy the waters even more is the different gull wing pattern for the 18′ Saratoga Custom Runabout and Custom Sports Utility model.

1959 Parsons Corporation 18′ Saratoga Custom Sports Utility model seat cushion pattern in the brochure.
1959 Saratoga Interior
1959 Parsons Corporation 18′ Saratoga Custom Runabout seat cushion.

Original 1960 Michigan Fiberglass Company 16′ Arrowhead seat cushions.

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1960 Michigan Fiberglass Company 16′ Arrowhead front cushions were made by the Howard Zink Corporation, Fremont, Ohio.
Rear_Seat_Shot
1960 Michigan Fiberglass Company 16′ Arrowhead rear cushions.
1961 Michigan Fibeglass Company 16-ft Arrowhead model rear seat cushions.

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