|Posted: November 10 2006 at 09:57 | IP Logged
Grumman Canoe: A Half-Century Tradition In The Finger Lakes
The Marathon Boat Group is once again making high quality Grumman canoe boats in Marathon, NY. Located in Cortland County at the gateway to the Finger Lakes Region, The Marathon Boat Group was organized in September of 1996 and currently produces 13 canoe models and 11 models of DuraNautic V hulls and jon boats.
The company traces its origins in the scenic upstate New York Finger Lakes region back to 1952 when Leroy Grumman, president of the Grumman corporation in Bethpage, Long Island, decided to relocate its highly successful new canoe enterprise to Marathon. Marathon Boat Group's forerunner, the Metal Boat Division of the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, produced its first aluminum boats early in 1953, and the mid-fifties saw the introduction of aluminum fishing boats and runabouts. Early aluminum boats were based on work going back to 1945 by William Hoffman who produced the first prototype at Grumman's aircraft plant in Long Island, demonstrating superior strength and handling characteristics to wood and canvas counterparts, while weighing 30% less.
Over the years Grumman expanded its boat line and formed a subsidiary, Grumman Allied Industries, of which the Marathon location became known as Grumman Boats, a division of GAII. By the mid 1980s, boat demand was so great that the line had expanded to included aluminum "V" bottom fishing boats and pontoon boats. By the end of the 1980s Grumman had produced the largest boat in its history at Marathon, designed primarily for Great Lakes use. Grumman Boats was acquired by Outboard Marine Corporation who later purchased and relocated DuraNautic Boat to Marathon from Scranton, PA. In 1996, the Marathon operation was purchased from OMC by four former Grumman/OMC employees and local investor, and the new company, known as The Marathon Boat Group, Inc., resumed production of Marathon Canoes, identical in every respect to the renowned Grumman Canoes, with the exception of the former brand decal. DuraNautic Boat production was also continued by newly formed Marathon Boat Group. The company has enjoyed steady growth since its formation in 1996 both in terms of sales and employment levels.
Nearly a half million Grumman aluminum canoes were produced in Marathon during the past five decades. The canoes enjoyed, and still enjoy, a reputation for being an extremely well-engineered, durable, virtually maintenance free, lightweight watercraft.
For many, the Grumman name also evoked memories of great World War II fighter plans, such as the Hellcat and Avenger, and later the F-14 Tomcat jet fighters as seen in Top Gun, as well as the Apollo Space Program's Lunar Module or LEM, according to Potter. Today, from backyard ponds to backwoods runs, countless outdoor adventures have been launched in Marathon canoes. A proven design, they've proven their mettle in the wild, while making boating accessible to generations of outdoor enthusiasts.
Every Marathon Canoe is handcrafted from a special age-hardened stretch-formed aluminum alloy and hand riveted for strength. All canoes receive a limited lifetime warranty against hull puncture. Models currently include a double enders in varying lengths, square sterns in varying lengths, falcon double enders, falcon square sterns, and 15' "three-in-one" sport boat designed for paddle, row or motor. An accessory line includes folding anchors, sail and row rigs, cartop carrier kits and other canoe components. The DuraNautic Line, produced since the early 1960's, features stainless steel bow eyes in a V model line, with precision welding and durability that result in both strength and performance in tough boats that are affordable and versatile. A new line, the DuraNautic Jons, feature deeper keels for rougher Northern waters.
Along with the Grumman brand name, the company uses a "by Marathon" signature decal in conjunction with the Grumman logo on its canoes.