In the summer of 1944, after portaging a heavy wood and canvas canoe on a fishing trip in the Adirondack Mountains, William Hoffman, Vice President of Grumman Aircraft Engineering, had an idea: What about making a canoe from the same lightweight, stretch-formed aluminum that Grumman had used to become the single largest producer of carrier-based fighter planes during World War II.
In 1945, the very first aluminum canoe, a 13-footer, was produced at the aircraft plant in Bethpage, Long Island. By the end of World War II Grumman was producing a line of 13′, 15′, 17′, 18′, 19′, and 20′ canoes.
The plant relocated to Marathon, N.Y. in 1952, and in 1988, Grumman produced the largest aluminum boat in its history at Marathon. Designed for the Great Lakes, it measured 22′ 3″.
In 1990 the Grumman boat and canoe division was sold to O.M.C. of Illinois, who soon purchased the DuraNautic Boat Company’s tooling and assets and moved them to the Marathon Plant.
In 1996, a group of former Grumman managers and investors formed the Marathon Boat Group to purchase the canoe and boat operation from O.M.C. and resumed production of Marathon canoes, identical in every respect to the legendary Grummans.
In the summer of 2000, we reached a licensing agreement between Northrop Grumman and Marathon Boat Group. The name Grumman is once again back on the canoes where it always belonged.
In 2008 the company decided to start making pontoon boats again after about a two-decade absence.
In 2019 Altair Investments Inc. acquired Marathon Boat Group, LLC (MBG). Altair has exciting plans to invest in and grow MBG with expanded product lines, as well as develop new product platforms to address current consumer boating needs. MBG is an innovator, designer, manufacturer, and marketer of canoes, Jon boats, fishing boats and pontoons under the Grumman, DuraNautic and Vanderbilt brand names.
MBG is privately owned and operated out of a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility located in Marathon, N.Y. With more than 70 years of boat manufacturing experience, MBG has cultivated its brand image and a reputation for innovation and quality, with a growing network of dealers and customers.
MBG currently sells its boats in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia through an established network of approximately 25 dealer locations.