Just saw on the Minneapolis TV news that Crestliner Boats of Little Falls, MN is closing for good. Brunswick, parent firm of Crestliner, made the announcement yesterday. 180 folks will lose their jobs.
This ends 63 years of Crestliner history.
In a bit of brightness for Little Falls, it appears as if Larson Boats will be up and running soon. They've been shut down since summer 2009.
The original aluminum "Larson Watercraft, Inc." boats were made in the same building as the wooden Larson boats at Little Falls, MN. This was on the east side of the Mississippi River. In very short order a seperate facility was constructed for the aluminum production, just north of the wooden boat plant. It was spitting distance away. They eventually outgrew that space and built second plant on the north side of town, site of their present day facility.
I suppose their fiberglass boats were built in the same facilities.
So at one time there were THREE "Larson" businesses all within spitting distance: Larson Boat Works (builder of wooden boats); Larson Motor Service (outboard motor dealer that grew into a boat dealership); and Larson Watercraft, Inc. (aluminum boat builder).
One of the reasons for the name change from Larson Watercraft, Inc. to Crestliner, Inc. circa 1957 was to try and solve the name confusion problem. Can you imagine the confusion at the US Postal Service?
My article on Crestliner history is on line at
in the four part series about Larson Boat history.