Aug 13, 2019

The world’s oldest continuously operating fibreglass boatbuilding company is Hourston Glascraft in North Vancouver. 

Hourston Glascraft at Port Hardy
Charles ‘Chuck’ Hourston was born in Vancouver, BC in 1923. He attended Vancouver Technical School before serving in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He was an avid hockey player and played for the Army. After the War, in 1948, he worked for Hamish Davidson (Davidson Manufacturing Ltd.) building Sabot sailboats. Davidson experimented early with the new technology of fibreglass in boat construction, and Hourston taught himself the art of building hulls with this material. His first boat was a dinghy.


26ft Hourston SportfisherMade in BC for British Columbia waters, Charles Hourston began this company in his garage in the 50′s building his first, and perhaps the first fiberglass boat in BC, an 8ft runabout. From there, he worked his way up building larger boats throughout the 1950s and 1960s as well as introducing the first real fiberglass V-hull boat in 1968, the 18-footer. The big change however, came in 1972 when Mr. Hourston built the company’s first 23-foot Sedan. This boat, measuring 23 feet in length and with an 8’10″ beam had boat owners and charter operators drooling. Backed by the reputation Hourston had already built with boating enthusiasts of all kinds, it was no surprise that over 60 of these boats where ordered when it appeared for the first time at the Vancouver Boat show.


Today, you will find that these boats are used by many charter operators. And there is a big reason for this. For their length, these boats are perhaps the most stable, safe, and easiest to fish from boats in the industry. Pod this boat out as many charter operators have, and you have more usable space than any other boat in its class. And though this may not be the most expensive looking boat, in my books, they are the sexiest. Their lines and curves appeal to young and old alike.

Hourston Glascraft Boats

In the market to charter or purchase a charter boat? Visit the Hourston Glascraft plant in North Vancouver and talk to Bill Hourston himself (as I discovered, Bill is a very approachable/likeable person with a lot of knowledge of the boating industry). Mention the word Hourston around boating enthusiasts in British Columbia and listen their response. Actually, in 2005, Charles Hourston was inducted into the NNMA Boating Hall of Fame for his extraordinary contribution to recreational boating. Talk to some of the charter operators in Sooke, Port Renfrew, or Ucluelet and hear what they have to say about their Hourstons. Or simply come down to the Sea Air Terminal in Nanaimo during the month of May, or to the Public Docks in Ucluelet during the months of June-August and check out my boat. See for yourself how this boat compares to other boats in its class. And then you be the judge. I’m sure you’ll discover that the Hourston 23 ft Sedan is dollar for dollar, foot for foot, perhaps the greatest fishing machine ever to fish the waters of British Columbia.


The company at its height of activity required two full shifts of workers to produce the boats. The whole family was involved at one time or another. The company claims to be the world’s oldest continuously operating fibreglass boat building company.

Charles Hourston used one of his own boats, the 26’ Hour Glass, for personal use. It is still afloat and owned by a family member. The Tern, a 20’ model, was the first of the models to sport a hard top.

Hourston exhibited in boat shows but relied mostly on the word of mouth recommendations from previous customers to generate orders. He was inducted in 2005 into the Canadian Boating Hall of Fame. He never considered himself to have been retired, such was his passion for the company. He passed away in 2005 in Vancouver BC.

Material for this article came from Turk (Andrew Turkstra) Owner and operator of Reel Time Fishing Charters, Vancouver Island and http://www.nauticapedia.ca/

THE INNOVATION AWARDS PROGRAM RECEIVES RECORD NUMBER OF ENTRIES FOR IBEX 2019

IBEXNMMA Receives 104 Entries From More Than 80 Companies

The 2019 IBEX Innovation Awards, managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), received 104 entries from more than 80 companies, the most submitted in the program’s history. The IBEX Innovation Awards honor product development and the manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products for the recreational marine industry to market.

Read More about the IBEX 2019...............

 

 

 

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Evinrude Product Innovation AwardEvinrude has announced that it has been awarded the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award in the Outboard Engine category at the 2019 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX).
 
The Innovation Awards program, organized by the NMMA and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), recognizes exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products that best meet the criteria of, “Having innovative distinction from other products currently manufactured in the marine industry...

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FUSION OFFERS FLUSH MOUNT SPEAKERS AND SUBWOOFERS FOR SLEEK, HIGH-QUALITY SOUND

Fusion Flush Mount SpeakersFusion®, a worldwide leader in marine audio entertainment, has announced the release of the new FM Series flush mount marine speakers and subwoofers, engineered to deliver high-quality acoustics and bass in a sleek form factor to meet the latest boat design trends. 

Designed with a minimalistic, clean look, the FM Series’ low-profile, near-flat installation allows for a visually appealing finish never before seen on a marine speaker or subwoofer. 

Read more about Fusion Flush Mount Speakers...

 

 

 

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