is about speed. It’s in our DNA. It’s been this way ever since 1963 when Bill Combs set out to build the finest, fastest, best performing racing boat at his factory in Bucyrus, Ohio. By his own admission, Bill was obsessed with racing. He originally began by modifying boats. He then realized that it made sense to build his own racing outboard – and Checkmate was born. With his high performing outboards in tow, Bill and his sons hit the racing circuit in the late 60’s - early 70’s. Almost overnight, Checkmate boats and racing became synonymous. Throughout the ensuing decades, Checkmate continued to dominate the racing circuits.
As the racing line developed, Checkmate entered a new category -- the performance boating market. Soon, Checkmate was renowned for being one of the premium performance boat manufacturers in the country. True to its roots, Checkmate continues today to build quality boats using time-tested methods and styling.
Checkmate’s legendary reputation for speed, incredible styling and finishes appealed most to Checkmate’s current President, Doug Smith. A former co-founder and president of BAJA marine, Smith decided to come take on a new challenge. He dusted off the cobwebs and rekindled the fires of his love for speed. In 2007, Doug Smith grabbed the opportunity to re-join the performance boating industry and came aboard at Checkmate. Leveraging Checkmate's top-notch quality and outstanding performance record, Doug inaugurated a new era in Checkmate’s history. True to his word, Doug Smith continues to uphold the classic styling, high standards and commitment to quality that’s always been part of the racing icon called Checkmate.