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Our History

Our Founder

Lloyd Henry Shepherd and his son Howard Henry Shepherd founded Shepherd Boat Works in 1928 in St. Catharine's. In 1939 they opened the plant at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario with few boats ever crossing the border.  Shepherd boats were designed and constructed to meet the highest quality standards.  As one of the first pioneers of the "V" drive Shepherd discovered that by implementing the new "V" drive in it's runabout and mounting the engine further back it created more room in the cockpit.


From their humble beginning Shepherd boat appointed a single U.S. dealer, Jafco Marine Basin, Inc. out of Buffalo, N.Y. to begin distribution of their fine mahogany boats.  Shepherd speedboats were on display at the 1950 New York National Boat Show and stole the show with rave reviews.  Their popularity quickly grew in the Midwest with multiple dealers in some states.  This was quite a feat for a small, custom boat builder.  The 50's were a booming era for the production of Shepherds.  The firm was bought out by Trojan Boat Co. of Pennsylvania in 1958.  By 1960 aluminum and fiberglass boats were 'all the rage' and had completely invaded the wood speedboat market.  Most inboard builders made the switch from wood to follow the trend, however Shepherd did not follow suit.  The market for wood boats had all but dried up. They phased out construction of all Shepherd runabouts by the early 60's. Trojan eventually retooled the old Shepherd plant to accommodate production of their larger motor yachts. In the restructuring the historical information and materials were most likely discarded as little information can be found today.

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