Saturday, June 13, 2020

Who remembers the P. Evanson Boat Company?

While going through boxes of stuff during our virus lock-down, I rediscovered an old brochure I've had since back in the early 1960s when, way back in the pre-internet days, I wrote off for a copy.  Responding to advertisements by hand, licking a stamp and waiting patiently for a reply.  Remember that?

Of course the Moth (a Cates-Florida design) and the Penguin were what piqued my interest.  P. Evanson  produced their own boats but also imported boats both in kit form and ready to sail.  I wonder how many Evanson Penguins and Moths were sold?  On the Penguin front they would have faced stiff competition in the local marketplace against Jack Wright (Penguins) and Blair Fletcher (Moths).

The boat is as long as the car!  I think the car is an Austin A-30.

Surprisingly, Evanson pushed the Blue Jay rather than the Comet which was more commonly seen at south Jersey regattas.  IIRC, Corinthian YC of Cape May was the only club in my neck of the woods that had a fleet of Blue Jays.

The Enterprise, like the dinghy seen on the top of the Austin, was without a doubt an import from the UK.  I don't recall ever seeing one on the water.  Jack Wright had better luck importing the slightly larger GP 14.  The GP caught on while the Enterprise stalled in a fickle marketplace. 
I tried google-searching P. Evanson Boats but turned up very little extra info for the company.  They appear to have existed from the early 1950s to perhaps the mid-1980s.  Suffice to say that like many other providers of small sailing dinghies, they had their moment of commercial success and then faded away.  They live here on the pages of this brochure.


  1. I looked in the newspaper archives and found frequent ads from them in the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1956 to 1981. The earliest ones featured smaller dinghies, but by about 1960 they branched out and were mentioning paint, hardware, rigging, trailers, brokerages, etc. Later ones seemed to be mostly for used cruisers.

    I also found an obituary for the owner (Stanley Evanson) in 2004.

    1. Thanks Doug. I found one reference that mentioned P. Evanson importing Celebrity Class boats from Holland as early as 1952. By the 1970s Evanson were building an all fiberglass version of the boat in the US.

  2. My father bought a Rhodes Robin kit from the P. Evanson boat company in the late sixties. We finished the fiberglass hull and I raced it on the Skukill (sp.) River in the Winter and the Cape May Corinthian yacht club in the summer in the early seventies. Great memories of that little boat

  3. Schuylkill River, with the SureKill Expressway (I76)running along side the river