Originally Posted by Frosty
You have a great collection of GB/AM advertising materials, data sheets, and photos! I have always liked the "tough/stout" look of the Chantyman but had only ever seen it in one brochure. It's fun to see more of it.
Thank you Frosty,
Indeed we have thousands of docs and photos about American Marine Ltd's boats, yachts, events, live aboard, rendez-vous, also almost the whole collection in PDF and hardcover of American Marine News magazine & Spay magazine. We even have a announcement's card of the passing of Robert J. Newton, founder & President of American Marine Ltd company owner of Chantyman, Grand Banks, Alaskan, Laguna, Admiralty, Eastbay lines of yachts.
At the beguinning, Robert Newton owned and managed a soft drink bottling plant located in Mok Cheong Street of a village called "To Kwa Wan", Hong Kong.
In the 1950s, the soft drink business facing different difficult challenges, Robert Newton and his 2 sons John and Wit started a boat building shipyard located at his bottling plan's parking lot (!) on the side of Junk Bay. They called the company "American Marine Ltd".
Mok Cheong Street still exist, but the To Kwa Wan village is not a city anymore, it has been incorporated in Hong Kong. The area is located very near the former Kong Kai Tak Airport of Hong Kong, so-called one of the world's most dangerous airport. I trust that those who have visited Hong Kong before 1998 remember the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport, it was located in the urban area of Hong Kong where is full of high buildings and surrounded by mountains and water on 3 sides. These mountains made taking off and landing very difficult and impressive.
In late 1950s, Robert Newton and his sons built new buildings still on the sea side of Junk Bay where they built many custom motorboats and sailboats in which the Chantyman (motorboat), Admiralty (Motorsailer), 40' sailboat Sparkman and Stevens, then in 1963 the famous 36' Spray. In 1965/66, they started to build the first Grand Banks, a 36', with marine architect Kenneth Smith who had previously designed SPRAY. Then we know the history.
My father's husband travelled to Hong Kong right after he ordered his first Grand Banks, a 42' Classic hull # 52 which was the first or second GB 42 delivered in Europe, in mid 1968. My future husband who was 11 years old at that time, traveled with his father and got the chance to visit the American Marine Ltd's Junk Bay boatyard.
Among all the numerous pictures we have :
Pic #1 : Junk Bay boatyard at its beguinning.
Pics #2, 3, 4 : Chantyman.
Pic #5 : One of the first GB 36' built.
Pic #6 from left to right :
- Joseph Kong, production manager. When American Marine Ltd stopped building wooden boats and closed the Hong Kong Junk Bay boatyard to build fiberglass yachts in Singapore, Mr Kong teamed up with Harvey Halvorsen to create "Kong & Halvorsen Marine & Engineering Company, Ltd" which build boats under the "Kong & Halvorsen" and "Island Gypsy" brand names.
- Robert J Newton,
- Tony Fleming, technical director, who later created Fleming Yachts. Tony Fleming have "the skills of an engineer and the eye of an artist". He started his boatbuilding career with American Marine in Hong Kong first building wooden boats and then in fiberglass. It's Tony Fleming himself who designed and created the Grand Banks 42' Motoryacht.
Pics #7 & #8 : "To Kwa Wan" area to date, where the Grand Banks story started.
Pic #9 : Senator Ted Kennedy aboard a Laguna 38'. In 1972 American Marine Ltd produced in Singapore boatyard the Laguna line, a flush-deck highspeed boat reflecting the popular lines in Europe, powered by twin turbo 637 V8 diesels. On the pic, Phil Harill of Ammarine Ltd, Sausalito, CA, hosted Senator Ted Kennedy aboard a Laguna 38'. Ted Kennedy cruised across San Francisco Bay, from Tiberon to Oakland aboard the Laguna, to attend a football game.