O'Day history

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O'Day history

Postby Baysailer » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:15 pm

Here's a pretty interesting article on the early days for the O'Day start up company.


It's from the Dolphin 24 site. The dolphin was a bit of a bad fit for O'Day's model at that time since he was mostly interested in smaller boat production but it shows how he went from salesman to manufacturer. There's other interesting articles on their site as well.

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Re: O'Day history

Postby Salty Dog » Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:17 pm

Salty Dog
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Re: O'Day history

Postby jeadstx » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:01 am

Interesting article. The paragraph by the picture of the Marscot nameplate mentions boats being built at the Carl Beetle yard. Marscot bought the Carl Beetle's "Beetle Boat Company" in the mid 50's. Carl Beetle, who was part of the family that built the Beetle Cat (and still does I think), built the first commercial fiberglass boats starting in 1947 (from what I have read). One of the boats he built was the "Swan", which was basically a fiberglass copy of the Beetle Cat. I have a Swan that was built about 1952 and the word BEETLE is molded on both sides of the foredeck. It uses the same lever on the centerboard as found on the Day Sailer I boats. I think maybe that is not by accident, since Marscot built early Day Sailers. There is a motor mount on my Swan that I have also seen on pictures of early O'Day boats.

I have 3 O'Day boats and the Swan. I tell people the Swan is a cousin of the O'Day boats.

1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: O'Day history

Postby SUNBIRD » Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:44 am

Interesting, my Dad had a mid1950's BEETLE FALCON and those were built in New Bedford by Beetle Boats, later Beetle and Marscot sort-of merged and became American Boatbuilding before moving to Rhode Island. Anyway, what I get a kick out of is that the Falcon was very similar to the O'DAY Osprey, virtually the same hull, different deck. George McVay designed the Falcon and was part of Beetle Boats at the time. I have never really heard who the designer of the Osprey was...... but the picture that I have somewhere from an early O'DAY advert shows what is identified as an Osprey....... but sure looks more like a Falcon! Did George O'DAY and Palmer Scott decide to redesign the Falcon deck (change cuddy shape) and create the Osprey for O'DAY? who knows, but since Beetle Boats and O'DAY were both built at the Marscot factory at that time, it seems suspicious!

Anyway, Carl Beetle, who started Beetle Boats (fiberglass) was the son of John Beetle who built whaleboats and the Beetle Cat. Beetle Cat eventually was bought by Concordia Company of South Dartmouth, MA. and they built the cats until they sold the design rights to the man who was in charge of the shop (1980's), who has since retired and sold the business to the present owners who moved it to Wareham, MA where it is thriving to this day. www.beetlecat.com will provide the details (it is late and I can't remember details)
Interestingly, Carl Beetle got out of boatbuilding soon after the Beetle/Marscot merger and changed to building chemical tanks and molding parts for other companies. The re-incarnated company, BEE Fiberglass was located right as you exited Rt 24 in Fall River onto Airport Rd, home of O'DAY from about 1972 to 1989. Bee Fiberglass closed in the late 1980's or early 1990's, but the building is still there. The old O'DAY plant at 848 Airport Rd is now home to New England Ropes (1/2 the building). The older O'DAY plant at 165 Steven's St. in Fall River is long gone, I drove by several years ago.... didn't find the building. On a related note, the old Pearson Yachts factory in Portsmouth, RI looks like a scene from the History channel show "Life after People".... ghostly! It looks like the workers just went home one day and never returned, no boats around, but a few molds. Grown over with trees and plants, abandoned.
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