Grampian Marine Limited

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Grampian Marine Limited was a Canadian-based builder of cruising fiberglass monohull sailboats. It was founded in 1959 and was the first fiberglass boat builder in Canada.

History[edit]

Grampian was started by Jim Bisiker in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Bisiker was in the construction business which was slowing at the time. On the suggestion of one of his employees, a sailor, he looked into producing fiberglass boats, which was then a new technology.

Bisiker sent several employees to Dyer Boats in Warren, Rhode Island to learn fiberglass production methods. He also obtained rights to produce a powerboat, the Dyer Dink, for the Canadian market.

The name Grampian came from the Grampian hills in Scotland, home to Bisiker's grandmother.

Grampian at one point was the largest fiberglass boatbuilder in Canada. As much of the production was sold in the United States, Grampian opened a plant in Edenton, North Carolina in the early 1970s.

As the fiberglass boatbuilding boom of the early to mid-1970s ended, Grampian was faced with a shrinking market and an extremely unfavorable exchange rate. The company went into receivership in the summer of 1977 and its assets were sold.

Boat production[edit]

Grampian production from the start until the later 1960s was of boats produced under license for sale in the Canadian market, and boats produced to be marketed by other firms. Triangle Marine of Rochester, New York, had Grampian build their 20, 27 and 32 foot models. U.S. Yachts of Norwalk, Connecticut, marketed models called the Eagle 27 and U.S. 41 built by Grampian in addition to the Triangle 20 and 32. The Walton 37 was built for George B. Walton Inc. of Annapolis, Maryland. Other than the Triangle 20, each of these boats was of the full keel design that was prevalent at the time.

By the late 1960s full keel boats were falling out of favor for fin keel designs as a result of the success of William Lapworth's revolutionary Cal-40 design. In addition, U.S. Yachts was absorbed by the O'Day Corporation in 1967 and the models they had marketed were dropped. Grampian turned to an independent designer, Alex McGruer, to design a roomy, economical 26 foot cruising sailboat. That design turned out to be the Grampian 26, called the G26 and introduced in 1968. Ultimately, almost 1000 G26s were produced. In addition to these boats, Grampian also produced the 15' Albacore which enjoys a loyal group of followers.

Other boats produced by Grampian were:

Model Year Introduced Approximate Production
G30 1969 400
G23 1972 300
G34 (center cockpit ketch) 1973 50
G2-34 (aft cockpit sloop) 1974 50
G28 1975 107
Discovery 7.9 1976  ?

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Heart of Glass: Fiberglass Boats and the Men Who Built Them by Daniel Spurr, pages 207-8, ISBN 0-07-143546-8
  • Yachting magazine, January Boat Show issues, 1963-69

External links[edit]