Jump to navigation Jump to search

A BRIEF HISTORY Originally founded by Dirk Kneulman Sr. and his wife, Marie Kneulman in 1961, Ontario Yachts began as a small operation building wooden dinghy's, kayaks and small skiffs in a barn in Oakville, ON. Because of Dirk's exemplary craftsmanship and skill, it was only a few years before his name was well known in the local one-design community as a top builder for Snipes.

Seeing the future of yachting was in composite, Dirk Sr. traveled to Dwyer Boats in Barrington, RI to learn the trade in a 1 week course which propelled Ontario Yachts into the world of composite construction.

As Kneulman’s reputation as a boat builder grew, he began to build Olympic-class boats. In 1968, and 1972, four of his shop’s 5.5 Metre yachts raced in the Mexico Olympics. Kneulman was chosen as shipwright for the Canadian Olympic team. He was the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team shipwright in 1972 as well. In 1975, Ontario Yachts began to build the E22, later to be known as the Etchells.

From the late ’60s through to the mid ’80s, Ontario Yachts reputation was established as a builder of top quality fiberglass production boats. These include the Ontario 28 and 32, Viking 22, 28 and VIKING 33.

Since 1986, Dirk Kneulman Jr. and Don Oakie have been at the helm of Ontario Yachts. They have continued to uphold the high quality standard of composite boat building that was established by Dirk Sr.