MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
It’s hard to believe we have bee in business for over 40 years. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that Jeannie and I bought the cottage at 590 Liverpool Road in Pickering and started helping people launch their boats on the dirt ramp on the property. A few years later, we started a Sailing School and Club, and the rest just seemed to fall into place. There have been plenty of detours and surprises along the way, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, well you know what happens then.
Over the years we have had dozens of employees that have helped us get to this point. Each has made a contribution that has helped shape the company. My thanks go out to each and every one.
I would also like to thank the thousands of clients who have placed their trust in us, whether for the Sailing School and Club, as purchasers of new or used boats, or as customers of our Marina or Service Center. We strive every day to provide the kind of service that we would like to receive!
Bernie Luttmer – Swans
In 1974 Pickering welcomed the Luttmers as residents at 590 Liverpool Road. The small cottage seemed like just the right place to start a family. It turned out to be more than that. It also became the ideal place to start a business.
We get asked often where the Swans name came from. Most assume it’s because of the Trumpeter Swans that make Frenchman’s Bay home. The truth is, the gentleman they purchased the cottage from was Mr. Swan, who operated a small marina with dockage for 40 boats, along with rowboat rentals and the sale of fishing supplies.
The young couple began offering a launch service on weekends and when not at their day jobs. Pretty soon, the docks became home to the Sailing School and Sailing Club. By 1977 this had developed into full time jobs, and the business soon expanded to boat sales.
Eventually they purchased the parcel of land adjacent to the cottage which became the Sailing School. The School and Club provided a demand for boats. That led to an opportunity to begin selling for the local builders. At the time, the boat building industry was growing in Southern Ontario. Eventually the area was home to numerous builders. This was the Silicon Valley of the boat business.
Brands from Alberg, Aloha, Bayfield, C&C, Grampian, Tanzer, Kelt, Edel, Viking, Canadian Sailcraft, Niagara, Northern, Ontario, Whitby, Sirius, Siren, Nonsuch, Hinterhoeller, Ticon, Chaser, Shark and more were shipping out the doors of Ontario shops. Swans has been a dealer for some of these brands, as well as for other builders from outside of this area. We have represented Atlantic Clipper, Gib’Sea, Dufour, Tartan, Kelt, Mirage, C&C and Catalina.
Our longest partnership has been with Frank Butler’s Catalina Yachts. The two companies share a similar philosophy towards business, employees and clients.
In 2016, Swans Yacht Sales became the proud exclusive dealer for the prestigious Dufour Yachts built in La Rochelle France.
Times have changed since the old days and the old cottage has evolved into a restaurant. Our head sales office and full service centre is now located in Whitby. We have additional sales offices in Montreal, Wilson NY, and Lunenburg, NS.
To view a the Chronological History of Swans Yacht Sales – CLICK HERE