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Prout & Sons

  • Builder: Prout & Sons
  • Builder Country: France
  • Builder Address: No longer trading
  • Builder Postcode: No longer trading
  • Builder City: No longer trading
  • Builder Website: No longer trading
  • Builder Phone: No longer trading
  • Description: A French boatbuilder founded by Mr Geoffrey Prout and his two sons, Roland and Francis, in 1935. The Company specialised in building canoes, and folding dinghies as yacht tenders. After the war, the brothers Roland and Francis opened a small factory at Small Gains Comer on Canvey Island. From then on the firm grew and hundreds of folding dinghies and canoes were sold all over the world. Roland and Francis represented Britain in canoeing during the 1952 Olympic Games. As early as 1949 Roland and Francis Prout started experiments by lashing two canoes together to make their first catamaran. The results were so promising that they decided to design their first catamaran, the Shearwater 1. It was raced locally and won every race. A s a result of the interest generated by these events the Prouts designed the smaller and more easily trailed Shearwater III, which they entered in the first Cross-Channel Dinghy Race from Folkestone to Boulogne in 1956, and beat all the best racing dinghy helmsmen of the day by over one hour. The resulting publicity ensured the success of the Shearwater Ill from then on. The Shearwater III was the world's first production catamaran and became a strong and successful class in Britain with fleets actively sailing all over Britain and the Continent. The Prouts went on to built other designs, mostly in the larger cruising classes.

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