On June 5 1975, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, hardworking Amish craftsmen completed the finishing touches on a brand spankin’ new thirty-two foot sedan cruiser. After polishing the mahogany veneer, and stamping the transom with hull number TRJ05620675, they carefully loaded it onto a cradle to be trucked off to parts unknown, at least to this writer. Imagine what adventures she had before ending up in our loving care. If she could talk, what wonderful stories would she tell?
Yes. Our Ginger Lee, this boat that surrounds us with its warm wood interior, that protects us from rough seas with its strength, and pleases us to no end with its beautiful lines, is forty years old today.
The F-32, touted as one of the best boats Trojan ever made, was produced from 1972 through 1992; an unprecidented twenty year run in which 2,200 were built. Not big numbers by automotive standards, but for boats, it’s a wicked lot.
I think they used way too much fiberglass; it’s one of the things I like best about Ginger Lee. I can see it the bilge and on the stringers, or wherever the raw fiberglass is exposed. When I added a step to the transom, it took forever to drill through. Unbelievably thick.
In 1949 The Trojan Boat Company was started by two young guys who were sick of working for someone elses boat shop. By 1968 they were the second largest builder of wooden boats in the United States.
Things changed when fiberglass became the material of choice for boats. The dudes at Trojan thought it was only a passing fancy. They hung a sign in the factory that said: “If God intended there to be fiberglass boats, He would have made fiberglass trees.”
Yeah. They were wrong and suffered financially. Switching from wood boats to fiberglass was so costly they needed to partner up with The Whittaker Corporation. The F-32 was so popular it turned the troubled company around.
The Trojan name still exists today but since 1992 it was owned by Miramar Marine, and later the huge conglomerate, Genmar Holdings.
It happens a lot in this day and age; somebody buys a well-known name and makes the product in China, Taiwan, East Overshoe, or in this case, a Carver Yacht factory. They’re probably nice boats. But are they Trojans? Or just Carvers with a Trojan name stuck on it.