George arrived in Canada from his native Austria in the early 1950s, and being trained in wooden boatbuilding, immediately continued his career with Shepherd Boats in Niagara-on-the-Lake. After building sailing dinghies on the side, George started his own boat shop with the building of the first 24’ Shark fin-keel boats in molded plywood. However, George quickly saw the advantages of fiberglass in production boatbuilding, and converted the Shark to fiberglass in the late 1960s. Hinterhoeller Yachts continued to build George Hinterhoeller designs, such as the Hinterhoeller 25 and 28, and the Niagara 26 and 30, but soon started building boats from the designs of Cuthbertson and Cassian, such as the Invader and the Redwing 30. It was only natural, then, when C&C Yachts was formed in 1969, Hinterhoeller Yachts would be a significant part of that amalgamation, along with the design office of Cuthberson and Cassian, the Custom builder Bruckmann Manufacturing, and the other production builder Belleville Marine.
After a stint as President of the new C&C Yachts, George decided that he much preferred building boats to managing a multinational company, and left C&C to re-establish Hinterhoeller Yachts in the mid-1970s. There he built the Mark Ellis designed Niagara 35 and 42, and the famous Nonsuch line of free-standing rigged catboats from 22 to 36 feet, as well as the German Frers designed Niagara 31 and F3, and ultimately the Ellis designed Limestone 24 deep vee powerboat. Unfortunately, with deteriorating economic conditions, Hinterhoeller Yachts too succumbed, with the doors closing in the late 1980s.
The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston was honoured and excited to receive the personal drawings and files of noted Canadian boat builder and designer George Hinterhoeller.
Pictured: George’s son Richard met with Curator Emeritus Maurice Smith, Past Museum Board Member George Cuthbertson, and Marine Museum Board Member Rob Mazza at George Cuthbertson’s home in Burlington to donate the material.
It is hoped that the Shark drawings will also soon join the collection, but that needs to be resolved with the International Shark Class Association. Until then, Richard will hold on to those drawings until digital reproductions can be made for either the Museum or the Association, whichever the Association prefers.
George Hinterhoeller was a major player and contributor to the Canadian Sailboat Industry for almost forty years. Along with the other members of C&C Yachts he too was inducted (posthumously) into the Legends of Ontario Sailing in 2011. Being able to include George Hinterhoeller’s own drawings of his own designs, as well as corporate files from Hinterhoeller Yachts to the already extensive Yachting Collection of the Marine Museum is a major coup, for which the Museum earnestly thanks Richard Hinterhoeller and his mother Nona Hinterhoeller. As an added bonus, Richard also donated some of George’s wooden hand tools that he had brought from Austria, and used in his early days of wooden boat and plug building.
The Hinterhoeller Collection will also form a significant part of the 2014 Sailing Exhibit at the Museum.
Photo: Richard Hinterhoeller hands over his father’s drawings and files to Maurice Smith and George Cuthbertson for inclusion in the Yachting Collection at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. – Photo by Rob Mazza