Crestliner Boat Information

by Kim Kenney

The Crestliner boat has been around in one form or another since 1946. The company has gone through many variations and name changes over the last 63 years. Today they produce a wide variety of boats for fisherman, families and those who want to enjoy a day out on the water.

Early Years

The company that would eventually become Crestliner started in an airplane hangar owned by William Morse, Sr. in Little Falls, Minnesota in 1946. The company was originally called the Aluminum Boat Company and sold $135,000 worth of product in its first year of production.


Two years later Loiel Ryan, Sr. and his son Loiel Jr. took over the company and expanded the operation. By the 1950s they had changed the name of the company to Larson Watercraft. Crestliner was the name given to all models produced by the company. In 1957 the name of the company was changed to Crestliner Inc. The next year, Crestliner expanded to produce fiberglass and aluminum boats.

Welding vs. Riveting

In 1964, the company was sold to the Molded Fiberglass Body Company of Ashtabula, Ohio. The company continued to expand fiberglass manufacturing and revolutionized aluminum boat building by welding its boats instead of using the more traditional method of riveting. Rivets often caused water leaks and welding eliminated that problem. The lack of rivets produced an aluminum boat that was extremely sleek and smooth, a trademark of the Crestliner brand.


Over the next four decades the Crestliner name was acquired by several different companies including AMF, Nordic Boat Company, and Genmar. Finally, in 2005, Crestliner was acquired by Brunswick, the largest recreational boat manufacturer in the world.


Today Brunswick still produces boats under the Crestliner name. They offer fishing boats, combination fishing/sport boats, utility boats and pontoon boats.

Fishing, Sport and Utility Boats

The fishing models range in length from 16 to 22 feet. The fishing/sport boats are versatile boats for the recreational fishing and water sports. They also range in size from 16 to 22 feet. Utility class boats are constructed for serious use by those working on the water. They range in size from 10 feet to 20 feet.

Pontoon Boats

Crestliner pontoon boats became the company's best selling models in the 1990s. They currently produce 3 models ranging in size from 17 to 29 feet.


About the Author

I have been a professional historian, museum curator, and author for more than a decade. I have served as the Museums Editor at BellaOnline since 2004. I am qualified to serve as an expert in a variety of historical topics. My expertise includes the Victorian Age and McKinley's presidency, the Roaring Twenties, the 1950s, the flu, museum studies, material culture, architecture, and more. I have a BA in history and an MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Please see my bio on my employer's website for more: http://www.mckinleymuseum.org/speakers_bureau/speaker/2