Alumacraft has been building boats and making history for the past 75 years.
To mark their success, the company recently produced a number of short videos that tell the stories of some of the amazing individuals that are part of that history – from the brand’s humble beginnings, well into the future.
The company’s founding story dates all the way back 1893, when a man by the name of Eugene Tetzlaff moved from Germany and opened a blacksmith shop in Minneapolis. The shop became known as Flour City Ornamental Iron Company. Over the next few decades Flour City produced iron for the sustained construction of the Twin Cities. During World War II, however, the company switched to producing airplane parts and aluminum pontoons to contribute to the war effort.
After the war, company president Harry J. Neils had a vision to produce aluminum fishing boats with the surplus of metal and skilled labor that was available. A year later, in 1946, the Alumacraft name and brand was born.
Manufacturing started small, literally. The first boat was the 12-foot Model B, a standard aluminum row boat that sold well in conjunction with a selection of canoes and duckboats.
As the market became more demanding Alumacraft introduced the Merry M in 14’ and 16’ options. It was the first vessel that featured the “dropped deck” interior look, due to protruded aluminum gunwales. In 1957, Alumacraft then released the Super C, which was a larger boat that came in three color combinations. It was an instant success and led to the company outgrowing its current facilities.
Thus began a series of moves, ownership changes, and the continued introduction of new boats. In 1970, the company was bought by Timpte Industries, Inc. They then moved to a new 100,000 square-foot plant in Saint Peter, MN. It’s been home ever since.
In 1974 Alumacraft gained a major foothold in the southern market by purchasing General Marine Corporation in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This added a range of southern fishing boats to the inventory and increased sales nationwide.
Over the 80s and 90s the company states their formula was simple: hire the best available people, listen to our customers, and build boats the way they wanted.
In 1996, Alumacraft celebrated its golden anniversary, the company produced more than 500,000 boats, making it one of the largest and oldest boat manufacturers in the country. During the 50th year, the company also introduced its revolutionary 2XB hull.
“Durability, innovation, talented employees, and an unwavering dedication to the customer, that’s the Alumacraft way.”