West Coast Tritons - Changes Through The Years

Ed. Note: The following was provided by the Nick Frey who sails (engineless) the WC Triton #251, Mintaka,throughout the California and Mexico waters. If you have additional information about the design, fabrication or commisioning of Tritons built on the West Coast please forward it to Ray Alsup, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for inclusion into this historical paper.


"This is a reoccuring theme here so thought I'd add some research results/hypothesis. Please add any info y'all have so we can get a better picture."

-1960: Aeromarine, formerly Coleman Boatworks in Sausalito begins building the WC Triton under contract with Pearson Yachts of Bristol, Rhode Island. Previous to and including the early part of 1960, Aeromarine/Coleman was building the 41' Bounty II. Prior to that they built wooden boats such as the Bounty I. WC Tritons #89-#169 were of this first year.

-In 1961 Aeromarine discontinued building the Bounty II (unfinished boats went to Palmer Johnson to be completed) and focused solely on the Triton (no doubt due to sales). Towards the end of this year Grumman Co merged/aquired Pearson Yachts. WC Tritons #244-#263 were from this year.

-1962: Following Grumman's aquisition of Pearson, operations were streamlined and in ealy 1962 Grumman/Pearson (still just Pearson Yachts) bought out Aeromarine. Here is where the major changes in WC boats occurs. The decks were now built with balsa coring, similar to the EC models, beginning perhaps with just the rear "poop" and culminating in the entire deck. The integral water tank (36gal) beneath the cabin sole on previous models was relocated to the v- berth (made for a LARGE, deep bilge). The interiors were otherwise similar to ealier boats with the exception of a sole/companionway steps color change: Salmon/pink to brown. From the outside appearance however, they are nearly identical to the earlier WC boats. WC #326-#393 are from this year/phase.

-1963: Much the same as the '62 models with the exception perhaps of an optional masthead rig. This might have even become standard in the last few boats. The hull numbers are a little hazy, but #447 and #451 are known.

Beginning in early 1962 and ending when Ericson "stole" the mold in 1963-4, the Sausalito plant also produced the Alberg 35. It was mostly identical to the EC boats, wooden coamings, cored decks etc.The molds ended up in SoCal where they became the Ericson 35 mk1. Whole 'nother can o worms here. Pearson closed the Sausalito factory in 1963.

It seems to me that all the WC boats were built well, since they were constructed by basically the same people (who were good!). I did meet a gentleman in Berkeley however who worked for Coleman/Aeromarine when they were still doing BountyII's and early all-glass Tritons. He left when the by-out occured and said that he thought the early ones were built better as Grumman control meant cutting production costs. From what I understand, Aeromarine had been a private buisness and suddenly found their quality being dictated by a LARGE public company. We all know what that implies.

If we get a good accurate synopsis here, maybe you could post some in the "What's the Difference" section Ray?"