Genmar revives wood-hull Windsor Craft line

MINNEAPOLIS – Genmar Holdings will reintroduce its wood-hull Windsor Craft line next month in downtown Minneapolis nearly 20 years after the company first began building the boats in Little Falls, Minn., the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported in a story today.

Genmar Chairman Irwin Jacobs said that a 36-foot, wood-hull, Turkish-built Windsor Craft cruiser will be unveiled at an invitation-only party on the evening of June 4. The boats will be available for the public to see Tuesday through Friday of that week.

Jacobs designed a line of luxury day cruisers under the Windsor Craft name about 20 years ago and began building them at two Genmar-owned factories in Little Falls, Minn. But after producing about 100 Windsor Crafts, the line was dropped, according to the story.

“I’ve had a passion for boats all my life,” Jacobs told the Star-Tribune. “But I knew we just couldn’t do it in America. The labor is too expensive … and we just don’t have the craftsmen who can work with wood.”

However, when a friend told Jacobs of a factory in Turkey that was making wood-hull yachts and fishing boats, the dream was reborn.

The new Windsor Craft line is hand-built in Turkey and offered in 30-, 36- and 40-foot models ranging from $400,000 to $925,000. The vessels feature mahogany and teak hulls, decks and cabin interiors, granite countertops, flat-screen televisions, ice machines, built-in wine racks and other amenities as standard equipment, the Star-Tribune reported.

Because the boats are hand-built, Windsor Craft will produce only about 70 each year. “It takes 3,800 man-hours just to build the hull,” Jacobs said.

The first production model is due to be delivered in July, and the boats are being allocated to top dealers in selected areas, largely based on their customer service rankings. About 12 will be shipped to Minnesota dealers over the next year, the newspaper reported.

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