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Vessels Built by the Hourston Glascraft Ltd.
compiled by John M. MacFarlane 2017
Hourston Glascraft at Port Hardy Government Dock in 2017 (Photo courtesy of the John MacFarlane collection.)
The name is pronounced as ‘Herston’.
Charles ‘Chuck’ Hourston was born in Vancouver BC in 1923. He attended Vancouver Terchnical 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.
The company was established in 1950 in North Vancouver BC. Hourston started building boats in his basement – mainly tenders. As his name and product became better known he moved into a rented shop at Lonsdale in north Vancouver. About 1962 this building burned down and he used this event as the impetus to build a small plant. He took three dinghies that had been damaged in the fire and placed them on the rook with a company sign. Business boomed in the 1960s and 1970s. Besides the family market they built rental boats for Soules Marina. He also built boats for the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The boats started at 17’, and then developed newer models of 23’ to 26’ (the largest with a command bridge position). The Island Runner 26’ was the last model he designed. The boats were all of Hourston’ own design. They were versatile family boats, excellent for fishing and general recreation – all stable and solidly constructed to last for years. Hourston used his own extensive experience using boats to create the designs. He kept all of his designs in production as they were so popular that they never went out of fashion.
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.37 matches. 1 page. Max 50 records per page.
Page # 1
|Name||Registration||Vessel Type||Year Built|
|Allante (III)||837125||Yacht, power-cruiser||2006|
|Canton Belle||392748||Work Boat||1978|
|Cowichan Forest||(nk)||Work Boat||1976|
|Cumshewa (II)||348892||Work Boat||1974|
|Hecate Belle||371922||Work Boat||1977|
|Hour Glass||(nk)||Yacht, power-cruiser||(nk)|
|Hourston Glascraft||30K5981||Yacht, speedboat||(nk)|
|Jo-Ann III||345128||Passenger vessel||1968|
|Juniper IV||(nk)||Work Boat||1970|
|Kyuquot Forest||(nk)||Work Boat||1976|
|La Vita Bella||837125||Yacht, power-cruiser||2006|
|Lily Rae||(Licenced)||Yacht, speedboat||1986|
|Miss Enid||330815||Work Boat||1969|
|Quadra Belle||372688||Work Boat||1977|
|Redstart (II)||392748||Work Boat||1978|
|Sherry Ann II||345126||Passenger vessel||1968|
|Wild Duck (III)||345963||Patrol vessel||1972|
Author’s Note: This is a partial list (work in progress).
Vessel Images: Can you help us fill gaps in the vessel images in the database? If you have pictures of missing vessels that you have taken and would be willing to contribute to the database to make it more complete all our users would be very grateful. Please send them to admin(at)nauticapedia.ca
Note to Reader: Vessel names containing Roman numerals in parentheses (e.g. Floater (II)) indicates more than one vessel in the database with the same name. The numerals in parentheses are NOT part of the vessel name but are used to distinguish one vessel from another in the database.
To quote from this article please cite:
MacFarlane, John M. (2017) Vessels Built by the Hourston Glascraft Ltd. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Vessel_Builders_Hourston_Glascraft.php
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