History of the Thompson plant in St Charles MI

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History of the Thompson plant in St Charles MI

Postby JoeCB » Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:14 pm

History of the former Thompson Marine Plant in St. Charles MI..
I stumbled across this bit of history on the origins of the Thompson plant, which I believe was the "last stand" for the Thompson name in boating.
Check out http://fp1.centurytel.net/Harkins/Harwill.htm

Seems the plant which started life as a municipal water works first saw boat production in 1946 with Aero-Craft aluminum. Much later went to Browning ( fiberglas) then eventually and finally to Thompson in name only.

AJR... is this "new" news of old? Were any "Thompson" boats ever produced in St Charles?
Joe Brincat
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Postby a j r » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:41 am

Hi Joe, thanks for the info. I actually saw that article on www.fiberglassics.com or www.classicglassboats.com.

YES, Thompson Boats were made at St. Charles, MI from 1980 until about 2000. It had nothing to do with the old Aero-Craft, Browning, Fuqua, Thunderbird operation. Thompson just took over their abandonded facility. Thompson Boat assets were purchased at bankruptcty auction in August 1980 by the Anderson brothers of the Detroit area and they moved the entire operation from Peshtigo to St. Charles. About three employees from Peshtigo made the move to Michigan.

There is an article discussing some of this at www.fiberglassics.com in the "Thompson" section of "To The Boats."

Andreas
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Postby a j r » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:44 am

Oh, by the way, the Thompson "name" and several of the molds and tooling were purcahsed by Yar-Craft Boats in December 2005. Yar-Craft intends to make the model 240 and probably will call it "Model 240 Thompson by Yar-Craft".

It has come full circle - since Yar-Craft was a spin-off from Thompson in 1969!

Andreas
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Postby JoeCB » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:20 am

I figured that if the info was out there, you would have found it! I came across it by way of the new Fiberglassics spin -off Alumiclassics. Yes I have to admit I have a (excuse the term) aluminum boat. I restored a 1960 Lone Star Malibu last year. Garish red and white with black accent and complete w/ authentic black and white upolstery. Just like the 60' Malibu shown on Fiberglassic's period Lone Star brochure. I'm running a 57' Evinrude Lark, black/ white and red, a nice color match. I'm hoping to have the boat at the AOMCI meets at Constantine MI and Tomahawk WI this summer. Consider visiting... give you a ride.
Joe
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Postby Tim Bromund » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:21 pm

a j r wrote:Oh, by the way, the Thompson "name" and several of the molds and tooling were purcahsed by Yar-Craft Boats in December 2005. Yar-Craft intends to make the model 240 and probably will call it "Model 240 Thompson by Yar-Craft".

It has come full circle - since Yar-Craft was a spin-off from Thompson in 1969!

Andreas


Andreas,

have you heard any further info on this? I was just on Yar Craft's site and there's no sign of it in the 07 models and no mention of it coming anywhere on their site. i wonder if they pulled the plug on it?

Darn shame if they did as the 240 fisherman was/is a great boat, especially in a hard top. Very similar to my '86 252 hardtop. If I was in the market for a new boat, I'd definitely look at one if it was available.

Tim
1986 Thompson 8652 Offshore Hardtop.

Salad is what FOOD Eats!!!
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Postby a j r » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:42 pm

I spoke to a Yar-Craft employee at the Minneapolis Boat Show in mid January. They are still planning on getting the Thompson 240 developed and marketed. It just takes time. They are concetrating on their existing models at present. And with the recession in the boating industry right now, I bet it's put further onto the back burner.

Cruisers Yachts has had major lay-offs from production to office staff in recent weeks.

Andreas
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Postby Tim Bromund » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:19 am

Andreas,

I saw on another forum that one of the guys I know that has a 240 Fisherman Hardtop saw an article and small photo of the new Yarcraft Thompson 240 HT that they are apparently putting into production.

Have you heard any updated news on this? I find it difficult to believe in the current economic climate where boat shows are being cancelled, that Yarcraft would go through the expense of tooling up to put this into production right now.

I think it'd be awesome to see brand new Thompsons back on the water, just a little doubtfull of the timing.

Thanks,

Tim
1986 Thompson 8652 Offshore Hardtop.

Salad is what FOOD Eats!!!
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Postby LancerBoy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:48 am

Nope, I have no clue if Yar-Craft is proceeding with the Thompson line. Yar-Craft displayed at the Minneapolis Boat Show last week. Just their sparkly walleye fishing boats were there.

I'd like to see that article you reference.

Andreas
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Postby Tim Bromund » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:38 pm

It was in an Outdoors newspaper here in NYS called New York Outdoor News. I know some folks that get it and will see if I can get a copy of it.

I do see that it is now mentioned in the "about us" tab on Yarcraft's website. It says in the last paragraph they will be producing the Thompson 210, 240 and 260 Fisherman Hardtop models.

http://www.yarcraft.com/about.asp

I was just wondering if you had heard anything more concrete.

Thanks,

Tim

ps my apologies to the woodie faithful for the sacrelidge of talking about the plastic Thompsons on here :D :lol: :shock: :? 8) :)
1986 Thompson 8652 Offshore Hardtop.

Salad is what FOOD Eats!!!
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Posts: 12
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Location: Colden, New York

Postby LancerBoy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:53 am

I was not aware that this is a wooden only site. So no need to apologize. I look forward to getting my 1965 Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. G-1500 fiberglass boat back in the water one of these days.

Andreas
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Postby Tim Bromund » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:48 am

Andreas,

that was a tongue in cheek statement based on the "Darn wood boat haters" thread over in the miscellaneous section where there seems to be a touch of wood boat snobbery going on. All in fun :) .

I love the looks of the old wood Thompsons, they're just not appropriate for the kind of boating I do.

Tim
1986 Thompson 8652 Offshore Hardtop.

Salad is what FOOD Eats!!!
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Location: Colden, New York

Postby Tim Bromund » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:25 pm

Andreas,

Here's some additional confirmation

http://www.ohiogamefishing.com/communit ... p?t=112549

Tim
1986 Thompson 8652 Offshore Hardtop.

Salad is what FOOD Eats!!!
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