PROVIDED BY ALEX McGRUER III
This is an email from Alex
McGruer III in response to questions posed by Brent (I don't know last name) who
exchanged information with me in the early days of this site.
There is not much I can tell you about
the 23, 26, or 30. past what I saw at nine and ten years old. I can blow off
some of the rubbish though.
Dad did not name the Grampian after the
north east of Scotland. The designs were commissioned and sold to Grampian
Marine of Oakville Ontario. The guy that owned that shop I think may have been
Italian. The designs were done on our kitchen table , on a fine sheet of
plywood in a small apartment # 101 in 410 Kerr St . Oakville. Bell Fontain
Apartments was the name I think. They were new then and if they are still
standing I doubt they will reflect what they were in 1967. They were never
anything special , but they were nice enough for a young immigrant family from
We moved to Newfoundland as my father
was invited to apply for a job designing a middle distance fleet for
Newfoundland's fishery. More designs, many completed or worked on at home. We
grew to love Newfoundland:
It was everything Scotland was and more. Newfoundland as part of Canada was
indeed much more.
Our family has a long history of boat
building, I am the first male to stray. That said I am now a partner in a
Tour firm. I have led tours a couple of times over the last few years and am
an avid kayaker and canoeist.
I own an alarm firm. We are in business
seventeen years in a couple of months. I am not getting rich but the
lifestyle is unreal. Hunting, fishing, skiing, boating, OK canoeing all on
In 1897 McGruer's opened shop on the
Clyde in Scotland. At that same time we made hollow spars for all sorts
of things requiring strength and light weight. Cutting edge stuff then! Not
bad even today! The Vickers that was
the first plane to fly across the Atlantic sported McGruer Hollow Spars,
The Spirit of St Louise was not #1. Seven
sons became partners in the firm and the enterprise began in earnest.
Over time possibility of advancement in
a family firm and the number of family members caused a blood letting
of skill in all directions. This was a mixed blessing as the trade was carried
on in Ontario, BC, Newfoundland,
Australia, as well as the UK.
Wooden Boat did a write up on the
McGruer boat building history some years ago. I will make no boasts about
my ancestors, they are to be seen on the net. One of the things that did
surprise me is McGruer & Co. in Clynder
built a hydrofoil for the navy during the second world war. They also made
Motor Torpedo Boats and Fast Patrol
Boats. WW2 had our torpedo boats doing better than 40 knots in the Garelock
about 75 KPH
Dad died ten years ago during surgery
for heart related problems. He was working on a 27 foot boat similar to the
Grampian 26. While the design was to be licensed to some builder, he was I
believe designing a replacement for
the Jo, our boat in Scotland, and a summer escape for him and my mother .
The 26 is likely Dad's favourite boat as
it is fast yet forgiving. He called it his idiot proof boat ( I am not sure he
would approve of that being put in print though)
After Grampian went under the moulds were sold and many more 26 Grampians were
created. I understand from hearsay they range from very good to very
disappointing. Apparently someone decided to scrimp on the glass in
the keel area on some of the later boats.
Anyway I hope this helps you.
Alex McGruer III