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Other Builders - A Summary (updated July 24, 2015)  

The term "other builders" needs some clarification. There were 3 primary builders of Dolphins - O'Day/Marscot Plastics, Yankee Yachts and Pacific Dolphin. Marscot Plastics, Inc. of Fall River, MA was the first builder of the Dolphin 24. It is not clear to this writer if Marscot Plastics, Inc. was, at the time of the start of Dolphin production, an independent company, or already owned by O'Day as a separate subsidiary, or was acquired later. Click here to see the nameplate on Hull #10, built by Marscot Plastics for G. D. O'Day and Associates.. Whatever the actual corporate relationship and timing, in 1958-1960 O'Day and Marscot Plastics were very close. At some point Marscot became the manufacturing arm of O'Day, probably in late 1960..

After a reported fire at the O'Day/Marscot Fall River plant sometime in mid or later 1960, having molded/built 29 boats O'Day contracted 25 boats to be built by Lunn Laminates in Long Island. After the contract was completed the molds were returned to O'Day, we think. It is possible that the Dolphin did not fit in well with O'Day's other, mostly smaller boat production, and for reasons of economy, capacity, high import duty in Canada, and/or other reasons, O'Day had other builders finish boats from molded parts O'Day supplied. These were called "Kits". Also, some individual buyers bought boats in various stages of completion, from a bare fiberglass hull to a stripped out, no interior, fiberglass hull/deck/cockpit shell. The following are the 'other builders' we know of - it would not be surprising to the writer if another small contract builder turned up.

1) Lunn Laminates in Port Washington, NY was a family owned company that was a contract manufacturer for fiberglass components for many different customers including the US Navy - torpedo tubes and periscope housing parts. They also built the tooling and were the first builder of the Allied boat Seawind. According to Roy Berg, former chief engineer at Lunn, they received a contract from O'Day to build 25 Dolphins in 1960. The tooling reportedly came from O'Day and was possibly modified in some ways.

For example, the original O'Day/Marscot tooling produced a hull in 2 full length pieces which were then bonded together. Lunn reportedly modified the tooling to make the hull in one piece although this has not been confirmed. Lunn-built Dolphins also had a reputation for being lighter, or at least with weight redistributed, ie., lighter decks. This effort to build a lighter Dolphin may have ended with some boats having very high glass to resin ratios (resin starved) that resulted in water permeation through the laminate (See Hound). Lunn was a very important builder in these early days of the Dolphin and your field investigators are working hard to better understand their role. Click here to read more about this builder.

2) F. L. Tripp & Sons of Westport, Massachusettes

F.L. Tripp & Sons is a boatyard and marina in Westport, MA that began building fiberglass fishing boats in the early 1950's. They built there own fiberglass power boats in the small building at the left, and in the old days built and/or completed boats for other boat companies as well. They built several Allied sailboats here and launched them on a railway through a set of large double doors located where the two small windows are now.

Webmaster Note: It is interesting that both Lunn and Tripp built Allied sailboats under contract.

They built either 4 or 5 Dolphins here in 1965 with parts supplied by O'Day.

Jay Picotte's Recovery (click to go to Recovery) was built there and he recalls a conversation he had some years ago with "Uncle Bill" - Allen Tripp, who said of his Dolphins

"Yep, I built that boat." He went on " Might have built more too if Sparkman & Stephens didn't send someone up here to look over my shoulder. I don't like being told how to do my job." After a pause he looked at me and admitted "They were probably the best boats we ever built".

Your webmaster met with "Uncle Bill" just recently and he was a wonderful source of information about the early days of fiberglass boat building. We are planning to meet again and together will try to fill in some gaps in our understanding of the early Dolphin days. He mentioned that when Palmer Scott retired from O'Day he came to work at F.L.Tripp part time bringing a wealth of fiberglass manufacturing technology and know how with him. He also told me that he remembered building Imp (later to become Recovery) for 'that guy from the brokerage firm". This was Hal White from the firm White, Weld.

The Tripp 22, now called the Angler 22, is a bass fishing boat used in waters of nearby Buzzards Bay. Interestingly, this boat is built from modified tooling originally acquired from Palmer Scott at Marscott Plastics, who had built and sold the Marscott 23 fishing boat in the 1950's. This is a picture of Jay Picotte's Angler 22, Waterlily, built in 1983. Click here for a larger view.

Incidentally, F.L. Tripp was a dealer for O'Day in the 1970's. O'Day had a landlocked plant in Fall River only 15 miles away and often used Tripp's facilities for testing, rigging and commissioning their boats. And, coincidently, your webmaster took delivery of his brand new O'Day 27 on chilly April morning in 1975 from these very same Tripp docks.

3) J. J. Taylor & Sons in Toronto, Canada.

This was a well known Canadian builder of both wood and fiberglass boats about which we also need more information. We don't know how many sets of boat parts were exported this way to Canada - Dyke Williams, author of the 2005 article about Dolphins in Good Old Boat magazine estimated 10-12 boats were built from kits supplied by O'Day. We know from Chris Vandersteen (Lezah) that in 1960 (or late 1959?? - developing) J. J Taylor imported her hull and presumably the other fiberglass parts from O' Day, or perhaps O' Day/Lunn. . This builder's fiberglass expertise reportedly ended up with the company being acquired by a truck body producer and getting out of the boat building business. Any additional info on this builder much appreciated.

January 3, 2012. Breaking News. Your webmaster spoke yesterday with Jim Taylor whose grandfather founded J.J. Taylor and Sons. He told me that, as far as he knew, the company produced only one Dolphin 24, that for Dave and Hazel Morris (Lezah is Hazel spelled backwards). And, a conversation with Hazel Morris, who was the first owner of Lezah, indicates that this boat, with unfinished interior, was exhibited at the January, 1960 Toronto Boat Show. Developing...check Lezah's page for latest.

July 24, 2015. The J.J. Taylor & Sons company now has its own page. Click here to go there.



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