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Alumacraft History

Charting the course as one of the oldest aluminum boat-makers in the USA

JIM & BOB HOBSON

RETIRED ALUMACRAFT EMPLOYEES

75 YEARS IN THE MAKING

Know-How and talent:
the start of something big

From wrought and cast-iron products for construction, the Flour City Ornamental Iron Company had developed additional proficiency in aluminum. This expertise was honed and expanded building bridge pontoons and aircraft parts during WWII but, as the world returned to peace, the company’s facilities and skills had outstripped local needs.

1893-1945

1946

An ingenious idea meets
a passion for design

Company president Harry J. Neils imagined a way of putting this know-how and talent to good use: producing aluminum boats for the Upper Midwest’s active angling community. Erich Swenson, already an established designer of wooden fishing boats, rose to the challenge of applying aircraft-building techniques to solve the problems of heavy, leaky wooden rowboats. The result was the 12-foot Model B, priced at $275, including a set of aluminum oars. The Alumacraft brand was born, becoming one of the very first aluminum boat manufacturers in the country.

Fishing, family, friends and fun – The Model F (and more)

Just the right size for a family, the Model F allowed people to make memories on the water for over 50 years! Perfect for fishing or taking a lake cruise, its easy handling and low maintenance meant days, and years, of carefree fun.

1947

1954

Designed to meet consumer needs

In the booming economy of the 1950s, consumers earned more, bought more, and wanted more from what they bought. At Alumacraft, we began to take notice of these new requests for more comfort, taking a customer-centric path we’ve stayed on ever since.

As light as air

The weight benefits of aluminum proved especially useful for people wanting to take boats to remote areas. In the mid 50s, our Model B was snapped boarding a plane for an outpost camp near Denali in Alaska that could not be reached by vehicle.

1955

1956

Enhancing the on-water experience

The Super C runabout gave consumers a boat that was not only fast, but could fit their personality. Available in three different color combinations, it also featured polished gunwales and spray rails, and a tan, scuff-resistant interior for an added touch of class.

Leading the leisurely lifestyle

The trend towards greater comfort, more style and added features continued with the Queen Merrie. Super sleek with its one-piece extrusion gunwale side decks and coaming, it boasted an optional sporty convertible canvas top or elegant fiberglass hard top, with back-to-back open seating also possible. For the more active consumer, we added aluminum water skis to our lineup from ‘58 to ‘60.

1958

1965

Innovative technical leadership

Focusing on the decades of craftsmanship and expertise our workforce had developed in manipulating aluminum to shape our early boat models, we began producing stretch-formed hulls, consisting of two sheets of aluminum.

Duck hunters lament

After 22 years and 3,341 boats, we stopped building the Lifetime Ducker. Designed by Erich Swenson, they are still sought after today for their well-designed features, such as push-pole racks and oar holders, built-in blind loops, and silent oarlocksAble to cut through ice, they are light to carry, and can be easily held in place by their push poles.

1969

1970

A new home in which to grow

Acquired by Timpte Industries Inc., we moved to a brand new 100,000 square-foot plant in Saint Peter, MN. It’s been our home ever since. In the new plant, we saw continued growth, with a more aggressive sales and marketing approach that expanded our dealer network.

Expanding into new territories

We gained a major foothold in the southern market by purchasing General Marine Corporation in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This added an assortment of flatter bottomed jon boats and modified V hull fishing boats to our range of deep Vs, more popular in the north, and increased sales nationwide.

1974

1977

Consistent canoe champions

Our aluminum canoes won the United States Canoe Association (USCA) Aluminum National races for the fourth consecutive year.

Keeping it fresh

From the late 70s, we began to focus even more on our customers’ needs. Fishing was always a core activity of our boats’ owners, and our designers strived to produce the best type of boat for a particular type of catch, and include as many useful features as possible for anglers.

1978

1987

Getting competitive

Our most popular series, comprising the Competitor and Competitor CS models, was released in tiller and side-console options. They also sported AM/FM stereo, livewell with timer, trim-and-tilt switch, and trolling motor plug and socket.

Finding the niche

The Phantom V-170 was our first bass-style boat and proved extremely popular. You can still find people using the boat they bought new back then. It could handle both shallow and deep waters, and included aerated livewells, insulated ice chests, and locking compartments for rods and water skis.

1988

1989

Going big

For those who envisioned bigger, bolder adventures, we introduced our first 20-foot boat, the Trophy 220 Cuddy. With its twin outboards and cabin, serious anglers (and nature-lovers) could range further from home, not worrying about the weather or having to get back at night.

The more, the merrier

In a region where fishing can be a multi-generational activity bringing families together, our Sunclipper pontoon allowed everyone to get on board at the same time.

1990

1991

Heading over the ocean

Did you know there’s a passionate fan base in Europe for our aluminum boats? In 1991, we started shipping to the Netherlands to meet that demand.

50 years, 500,000 boats

By the time we celebrated our golden anniversary, we had made over half a million boats, and were offering more than 80 models focused on fishing and hunting. We celebrated our half century of success by introducing the revolutionary 2XB hull design. Signifying “twice the boat”, the 2XB was a twin-plated one-piece deep V, with larger spray rails and aircraft-grade rivets.

1996

1997

A heritage turns into a legacy

David Benbow, Timpte shareholder and General Manager at the time the Saint Peter plant opened, bought out Alumacraft, making us an independent company. After years of working with the long-standing team, getting to know dealers, consumers and employees, as well as our products, he had become invested in us in more ways than one.

A boost to efficiency

The purchase of computer-controlled cutting machines, called CNC routers, streamlined our manufacturing process. While we still used the traditional techniques of craftmanship passed down over the decades, today’s technology enabled us to work more efficiently.

1999

2003-2007

Continued improvements

By 2007, the modified-V hull for our Invader 195 had attracted attention at a photoshoot water test where it reached 66mph; our deep Vs had gained in stability and storage capacity, thanks to their new wide beam construction; and our Tournament Pros had improved their top speed performance with their higher side walls.

The legacy is passed on

When David Benbow passed away in 2010, the Alumacraft name stood for modernized tradition, innovative durability, and an unwavering dedication to our customer. Corinthian Capital Group took over the company, and we continued to see solid revenue and growth in market share.

2011

2013

Innovative enhancements

Our innovation momentum continued with a switch to lighter, 130%-stronger all-aluminum transoms from aluminum-clad wood transoms. The stronger transom minimizes racking and vibration, providing a more durable mounting surface for today’s larger, more powerful outboards.

Joining forces with like minds

Our track record of design innovation and focus on the customer experience, coupled with our talented, dedicated workforce, mirrored the attributes that have brought success to BRP. This made Alumacraft the perfect choice for the powersports manufacturer as it created its new Marine Group.

2018

2020

Your Fishing Freedom

The introduction of the Competitor 175 and 185 Family, Fish and Ski crossover (FSX) boats, officially model year 2021, marked our 75th anniversary with a nod to everything the Alumacraft name embodies. Featuring all the must-have amenities serious anglers crave, while providing maximum flexibility for families who love being out on the water, thanks to the easy addition of seating or a waterski pylon, the FSX celebrates 75 years of enabling fishing families to continue making memories on the water.

1893-1945

Know-How and talent:
the start of something big

From wrought and cast-iron products for construction, the Flour City Ornamental Iron Company had developed additional proficiency in aluminum. This expertise was honed and expanded building bridge pontoons and aircraft parts during WWII but, as the world returned to peace, the company’s facilities and skills had outstripped local needs.

1946

An ingenious idea meets
a passion for design

Company president Harry J. Neils imagined a way of putting this know-how and talent to good use: producing aluminum boats for the Upper Midwest’s active angling community. Erich Swenson, already an established designer of wooden fishing boats, rose to the challenge of applying aircraft-building techniques to solve the problems of heavy, leaky wooden rowboats. The result was the 12-foot Model B, priced at $275, including a set of aluminum oars. The Alumacraft brand was born, becoming one of the very first aluminum boat manufacturers in the country.

1947

Fishing, family, friends and fun – The Model F (and more)

Just the right size for a family, the Model F allowed people to make memories on the water for over 50 years! Perfect for fishing or taking a lake cruise, its easy handling and low maintenance meant days, and years, of carefree fun.

1954

Designed to meet consumer needs

In the booming economy of the 1950s, consumers earned more, bought more, and wanted more from what they bought. At Alumacraft, we began to take notice of these new requests for more comfort, taking a customer-centric path we’ve stayed on ever since.

1955

As light as air

The weight benefits of aluminum proved especially useful for people wanting to take boats to remote areas. In the mid 50s, our Model B was snapped boarding a plane for an outpost camp near Denali in Alaska that could not be reached by vehicle.

1956

Enhancing the on-water experience

The Super C runabout gave consumers a boat that was not only fast, but could fit their personality. Available in three different color combinations, it also featured polished gunwales and spray rails, and a tan, scuff-resistant interior for an added touch of class.

1958

Leading the leisurely lifestyle

The trend towards greater comfort, more style and added features continued with the Queen Merrie. Super sleek with its one-piece extrusion gunwale side decks and coaming, it boasted an optional sporty convertible canvas top or elegant fiberglass hard top, with back-to-back open seating also possible. For the more active consumer, we added aluminum water skis to our lineup from ‘58 to ‘60.

1965

Innovative technical leadership

Focusing on the decades of craftsmanship and expertise our workforce had developed in manipulating aluminum to shape our early boat models, we began producing stretch-formed hulls, consisting of two sheets of aluminum.

1969

Duck hunters lament

After 22 years and 3,341 boats, we stopped building the Lifetime Ducker. Designed by Erich Swenson, they are still sought after today for their well-designed features, such as push-pole racks and oar holders, built-in blind loops, and silent oarlocksAble to cut through ice, they are light to carry, and can be easily held in place by their push poles.

1970

A new home in which to grow

Acquired by Timpte Industries Inc., we moved to a brand new 100,000 square-foot plant in Saint Peter, MN. It’s been our home ever since. In the new plant, we saw continued growth, with a more aggressive sales and marketing approach that expanded our dealer network.

1974

Expanding into new territories

We gained a major foothold in the southern market by purchasing General Marine Corporation in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This added an assortment of flatter bottomed jon boats and modified V hull fishing boats to our range of deep Vs, more popular in the north, and increased sales nationwide.

1977

Consistent canoe champions

Our aluminum canoes won the United States Canoe Association (USCA) Aluminum National races for the fourth consecutive year.

1978

Keeping it fresh

From the late 70s, we began to focus even more on our customers’ needs. Fishing was always a core activity of our boats’ owners, and our designers strived to produce the best type of boat for a particular type of catch, and include as many useful features as possible for anglers.

1987

Getting competitive

Our most popular series, comprising the Competitor and Competitor CS models, was released in tiller and side-console options. They also sported AM/FM stereo, livewell with timer, trim-and-tilt switch, and trolling motor plug and socket.

1988

Finding the niche

The Phantom V-170 was our first bass-style boat and proved extremely popular. You can still find people using the boat they bought new back then. It could handle both shallow and deep waters, and included aerated livewells, insulated ice chests, and locking compartments for rods and water skis.

1989

Going big

For those who envisioned bigger, bolder adventures, we introduced our first 20-foot boat, the Trophy 220 Cuddy. With its twin outboards and cabin, serious anglers (and nature-lovers) could range further from home, not worrying about the weather or having to get back at night.

1990

The more, the merrier

In a region where fishing can be a multi-generational activity bringing families together, our Sunclipper pontoon allowed everyone to get on board at the same time.

1991

Heading over the ocean

Did you know there’s a passionate fan base in Europe for our aluminum boats? In 1991, we started shipping to the Netherlands to meet that demand.

1996

50 years, 500,000 boats

By the time we celebrated our golden anniversary, we had made over half a million boats, and were offering more than 80 models focused on fishing and hunting. We celebrated our half century of success by introducing the revolutionary 2XB hull design. Signifying “twice the boat”, the 2XB was a twin-plated one-piece deep V, with larger spray rails and aircraft-grade rivets.

1997

A heritage turns into a legacy

David Benbow, Timpte shareholder and General Manager at the time the Saint Peter plant opened, bought out Alumacraft, making us an independent company. After years of working with the long-standing team, getting to know dealers, consumers and employees, as well as our products, he had become invested in us in more ways than one.

1999

A boost to efficiency

The purchase of computer-controlled cutting machines, called CNC routers, streamlined our manufacturing process. While we still used the traditional techniques of craftmanship passed down over the decades, today’s technology enabled us to work more efficiently.

2003-2007

Continued improvements

By 2007, the modified-V hull for our Invader 195 had attracted attention at a photoshoot water test where it reached 66mph; our deep Vs had gained in stability and storage capacity, thanks to their new wide beam construction; and our Tournament Pros had improved their top speed performance with their higher side walls.

2011

The legacy is passed on

When David Benbow passed away in 2010, the Alumacraft name stood for modernized tradition, innovative durability, and an unwavering dedication to our customer. Corinthian Capital Group took over the company, and we continued to see solid revenue and growth in market share.

2013

Innovative enhancements

Our innovation momentum continued with a switch to lighter, 130%-stronger all-aluminum transoms from aluminum-clad wood transoms. The stronger transom minimizes racking and vibration, providing a more durable mounting surface for today’s larger, more powerful outboards.

2018

Joining forces with like minds

Our track record of design innovation and focus on the customer experience, coupled with our talented, dedicated workforce, mirrored the attributes that have brought success to BRP. This made Alumacraft the perfect choice for the powersports manufacturer as it created its new Marine Group.

2020

Your Fishing Freedom

The introduction of the Competitor 175 and 185 Family, Fish and Ski crossover (FSX) boats, officially model year 2021, marked our 75th anniversary with a nod to everything the Alumacraft name embodies. Featuring all the must-have amenities serious anglers crave, while providing maximum flexibility for families who love being out on the water, thanks to the easy addition of seating or a waterski pylon, the FSX celebrates 75 years of enabling fishing families to continue making memories on the water.

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