CELEBRATING 80 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE
In the spring of 1930, Fred Crate followed his dreams north of the city. He uprooted his wife and nine kids from Toronto, trekked up the dirt roads leading to Keswick and settled the family on the beautiful shores of Cooks Bay at the southern end of Lake Simcoe. By summertime, F.S. Crate and Sons – a fishing boat rental operation – was open for business.
Fred Crate and his sons kept costs down and quality high by building their own fishing boats for their rental fleet. Although times were tough, Fred’s knowledge of boat building and the family’s strong work ethic kept F.S. Crate and Sons thriving. Business grew and over time more docks, buildings and even a gas pump were added to the marina.
During the 1940’s, Crate’s boat-building expertise shifted from small fishing boats to launches and cruisers. In fact, many boats were custom built for well-known Canadians such as Former Govenor-General Vincent Massey and the Dack family of Dack Shoes. Many of the Crate Crafts built are still in service today.
By the mid-50's, Fred and his sons realized that there was a growing demand for more boats than they could build. And so, F.S. Crate and Sons became a Chris Craft dealer, and soon became the largest Chris Craft dealer in both Ontario and all of Canada.
In 1964, Lloyd Crate took over the helm of F.S. Crate and Sons and by 1987 he had become sole owner. Lloyd bought out his brothers and sisters and renamed the family business Crate Marine Sales Limited – the name that endures today. Just as Lloyd had learned the boating business from his father, it was now time for Lynn, Greg and Steve Crate to learn from their father.
Building on the strong work ethic passed down from the generations before them, an acute knowledge of boats and a straight-forward, honest approach to customer service, Crate Marine Sales has grown steadily. We’re proud to say we’ve surpassed even what Lloyd Crate might have envisioned when his boating career began at age six.
Significant milestones over the last 35 years include the acquisition of the Carver franchise (Crate’s is now recognized as one of Carver’s largest dealers in the world); the purchase of neighbouring Dawson’s Marina, which more than doubled the acreage of our operation and and expanded dockage to more than 500 slips; and our expansion to Lagoon City in 2005.
Today, the family tradition continues with the fourth generation of Crate’s working alongside a staff of dedicated employees that take your boating very seriously. And although the physical size of Crate’s has grown dramatically over the years, the Crate family, their employees and customers will always recognize it as a great place to call home.
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