CAN YOU HELP US ?
This new website for Chanteyman Trawler Yachts was constructed in Fall 2009 to create a center for information about these boats, which are one of the earliest or maybe the first trawler yachts, and to collect additional information from you, our visitors.
The information we are seeking is the actual production dates and years of this series of perhaps 36 Chanteymen, built by American Marine Ltd. in Hong Kong, BCC between 1961 and perhaps as late as 1963. We know of about 10 existing Chanteymen trawlers all but one on the US West Coast, but there are rumors of more boats on the US East Coast and perhaps even in other countries. We’d like to get information and photographs of all vessels, which we’ll post here.
and its importance as the first
In 1956, Robert Newton and his sons John and Whit established a custom boatbuilding shop on a 2 acre site leased for $100 a month on the shores of Junk Bay in Hong Kong, then a British Crown Colony. Robert Newton and Sons soon became American Marine Ltd. and established an excellent reputation building a number of custom wood power and sailboats designed by well-known naval architects such as Ray Hunt, Nat Herreshoff and Sparkman & Stephens. In 1961, they went into production, building a limited number of a 34.5’ wood trawler yacht designed by well-known naval architects Hugh Angelman (of Sea Witch sailboat fame) and Charles Davies, called the “Chanteyman”, also spelled Chantyman.
In an April 2002 Yachting magazine article, writer Chris Caswell described it this way:
“It was 1961. President Kennedy broke off relations with Cuba, Russia’s Yuri Gagarin became the first man in orbit and America’s Alan Shephard would soon follow. Not surprisingly, the launch of a wooden trawler in Hong Kong went unnoticed. Yet the impact of the design would change the boating world.
The very first Grand Banks, Chanteyman, was a Hugh Angelman creation built by American Marine. The boat was unremarkable except that John and Whit Newton, then owners of the American Marine yard, thought a modified version might sell to the American market. Their Kenneth Smith-designed 36-footer, launched in 1963, would turn them into a worldwide boatbuilding power. The Grand Banks 36 would be successful beyond their wildest dreams.”
That 36-footer, Spray, was again modified by Kenneth Smith becoming the long-running GB36.
A VIRTUAL VISIT TO THE HONG KONG YARD IN THE ‘60s
Shing Kong, the son of the American Marine Ltd. Boatyard Production Manager and first employee, Joe Kong, showed a marvelous slide show of the original American Marine Ltd. Hong Kong yard in Junk Bay in the mid-1960’s and early 70’s at the May 2008 Northwest Grand Banks Owner’s Assn. Rendezvous. Since then, Shing has created two other shows showing production of Grand Banks yachts in the Hong Kong yard.
Besides the slides and photographs, hold your mouse on each slide to read Shing’s fascinating captions and note especially the hand tools the workmen were using in those days building the early Grand Banks woodie yachts. There are no known photos of the yard a few years earlier when Chanteyman yachts were in production between 1961-1964. Thanks to Shing for permission to share this history with you! Shing is a GB36 owner!
These are the links: