THE EARLY YEARS
The Ticon Yachts, T-30 started life as the Chrysler Marine, CY-30. For many years, the Chrysler Automotive Corporation (Daimler Chrysler) has been involved in the marine engine business. In 1957 Chrysler entered into the boat industry, manufacturing a line of fiberglass fishing and recreational boats. In 1965, Chrysler purchased the Westbend Company and got into the outboard motor business. The Chrysler Marine Division introduced its first sailboat in 1971. During the 70's the Chrysler sailboat product line continued to grow from small day-sailors to larger trailer cruising boats and eventually, the CY-30 "Osprey" model. The famous marine designer, Halsey Herreshoff was commissioned by Chrysler to design it's larger cruising line of sailboats. Chrysler's boat manufacturing operation was headquartered on International Parkway, in Plano, Texas. I have been unable to determine how many CY-30s were manufactured and sold under the Chrysler name.
During the late 1970's The Chrysler Corporation experienced financial problems that eventually resulted in a US Government bailout of the company. During these troubled times, Chrysler found it necessary to divest itself of outside interests, including it's Marine Division. In 1980 Chrysler sold the Sailboat Division to Texas Marine International. Chrysler continued to make outboard engines until 1984, when it found a buyer for that division.
It has been reported that TMI's Texas facility manufactured and sold approximately 48 boats between 1980 and 1981, before Ticon Yachts took over the TMI/CY-30. It is not known how many of these were the 30-foot TMI models. My research does indicate that a number of the 30 foot sailboats were manufactured under the Chrysler and TMI names prior to the Ticon Yachts T-30 model. The production numbers remain a mystery. By the mid 1980's TMI sold off the remainder of the smaller Chrysler sailboat line to Wellcraft Marine who for a time manufactured them under it's Starwind Division. Wellcraft eventually sold most of the small sailboat rights to Glouchester Yachts.
THE BIRTH OF THE TICON
In 1981, Ticon Yachts, Ltd., under the control of Mr. David de Eyre, purchased the rights to the CY-30 / TMI-30 from Texas Marine Industries. The first Ticon 30's were produced in Oakville Ontario, Canada. In 1983, Mr. De Eyre struck an agreement with Kelt Marine to manufacture the boat at Kelt's plant in Aurora, Ontario. It has been said that the quality of the T-30's improved significantly following the move to Kelt Marine. For the most part, The Canadian T-30's were produced on a per-order basis. Many were semi-custom boats with special colors and small optional interior modifications. An estimated (35) T-30's were produced during the tenure of Ticon Yachts. 1983 Ticon Yachts also started production of T-27 Sloop designed by Mark E. Swanson. The design was similar to the T-30 and proved to be a very popular edition to the Ticon Yacts sailboat line. A limited number of Bruce Kerby designed T-34 Cat Ketches were produced. Another Cat Ketch, the T-44 was under development when Ticon closed down operations.
Unfortunately, Ticon Yachts was one of the many corporate victims of the "Great Sailboat Shakeout" of the late 1980's. Ticon's extensive use of teak and the semi-custom, labor-intensive, interior design was not conducive to the profits that cost-effective "production line" boats could provide. Many small to mid-sized sailboat companies could not compete, and had to close their doors. Sadly, one of the finest designed and well manufactured line of cruising boats was lost forever.
The history page is a work in progress. Information for this section has been gleaned from research, interviews and the author's personal knowledge. If you have any corrections or helpful information please pass it along.
© Robert Crawford 2000, 2001