Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cantiere storico Canadese nato nel 1928 in Canada. Costruì molte inbarcazioni in legno, prina motoscafi e in seguito, dopo il 1966, cruiser fino a 50 piedi.

Costruì anche qualche imbarcazione a vela da crociera. NIAGARA SOUTHWIND‎

Nel 1966 fu acquistata dalla TROJAN, per poter contare su importanti contributi statali Canadesi e contemporaneamente aprì il mercato degli States.

Qualche esemplare esiste anche in Europa.

Chiude nel 1978




TITLE: 1984 Shepherd Boats 1928 - 1978

SUBTITLE: Fifty Years of Excellence



Lloyd H. Shepherd was born in Beamsville, Ont. In the early 1920's he ran a family business called Shepherd Body Works. The business was located on the west side of Henrietta Street in St. Catharines between St. Paul Street and Permilla Street. It was from this location that he and his son, Howard, founded Shepherd Boat Works in 1928.

The Shepherd family established a reputation for perfection in workmanship and finish in the boats they built. It was said that the Shepherd boat designs were ahead of their time. An early model was the Honduras mahogany runabout which ranged from 16 feet to 30 feet in length. The business grew quickly as the quality became more recognized. In 1939 the company moved to Ricardo Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake to be closer to water. It became a Canadian leader in the manufacture and sale of these pleasure boats with the customers throughout Canada, the United States and in Europe. Business increased dramatically after the war years. It seemed that more people were able to acquire these crafts than before.

When Lloyd Shepherd retired in the late 1950's, he sold the business to James M. Hahn of St. Catharines, A cruiser line was added at this time. Within two years there were models ranging in length from 25 feet to 45 feet. A coast-to-coast dealer organization was established and Shepherd Boats Limited became Canada's larges inboard Cruiser manufacturer by dollar and by unit. Sales orders were coming in from all over the world.

In October of 1966, the company was acquired by the Trojan Boat Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania which is a subsidiary of the Whittaker Corporation of Los Angeles. The Trojan company now had a manufacturing facility in Canada which would increase their Canadian sales by several hundred percent. Shepherd Boats, in turn, developed a more aggressive U.S. sales campaign which was backed by the American sales force and maximum coverage.

The Shepherd line was altered to take advantage fo the merger. It began supplying boats ranging in size from 41 feet to 50 feet. The Shepherd runabout and its smaller cruiser line were soon discontinued. The business continued to increase.

In 1973, the company purchased a forty-seven thousand square foot plant in Smithville, Ont. To meet the growing need for space. It was formerly occupied by Exomet Inc., a subsidiary of Air Products and Chemicals Inc. of Conneaut, Ohio. The plant was valued at $750,000. The facility would be used to manufacture the Trojan line of boats such as the 24 foot tricabin. The Smithville location would employ and estimated 200 people when in complete operation. It would take two months to install the necessary equipment and would then require an immediate one hundred people.

The company also owned a small plant on Montrose Road in Niagara Falls, Ont. It employed 17 people and was used for manufacture of pleasure craft. This would be gradually phased out with the purchase of the Smithville location.

Other expansion plans were in the works. The company had applied for permission to expand the Niagara-on-the-Lake operations. This would require some rezoning of the property involved. Permission was not granted.

By 1978, the nature of the luxury cruiser industry had changed. It was becoming less practical to manufacture the boats in Canada for use in the United States. Other economic problems occurred. The announcement came that Shepherd Boats Limited would close its two plants in the Niagara Peninsula on February 28, 1978.

The last of the boats was the Ozark Star, a white and gold 54 foot yacht which took 6,000 man hours to build. It was destined for a Missouri family on the Lake of the Ozarks near St. Louis. Its value was $275,000.

One of the five Stars built that year, the Ozark Star was actually completed in January but would be stored until shipment on May 20. In the last hours, all the luxury items were being installed. These included a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, stereo, television, bar, icemaker, king-sized baths, one on the main deck and one in the guest room, and a 4-piece bath in the master bedroom. It will comfortably sleep six. Inside the yacht is finished with teak wood. It has a fibreglass hull and is powered by two 415 cubic-inch diesel engines.

When the Star was shipped, all evidence of the large flourishing company which was recognized as the best in Canada and a world leader went with it. All that was left was the piles of paperwork which had to be cartoned and shipped away. Then, for the last time, the doors closed.

The Shepherd Boats building is still standing today in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In recent years it has been used to house costumes for the Shaw Theatre and was used as a work are for the manufacture of the highly successful Trivial Pursuit