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Canadian Builder J.J. Taylor and Sons, Toronto - updated July 24, 2015  

J.J Taylor & Sons in Toronto, Canada.

This was a well known Canadian builder of both wood and fiberglass boats about which we need more information. It has been esimated that some 10-12 boats were built from kits supplied by O'Day. We know that J. J. Taylor and Sons imported a hull and presumably the other fiberglass parts from Marscot/O'Day , in late 1959? or very early in January, 1960, to build Chris Vandersteen (Lezah).

We don't know how many boats were exported this way to Canada - Dyke Williams in his Sept/Oct, 2005 article on Dolphins in Good Old Boat Magazine estimated 10-12. This builder's fiberglass expertise reportedly ended up with the company being acquired by a truck body producer and getting out of the boat building business.

Any additional info on this builder much appreciated.

Photo at left is Lezah built by J.J.Taylor & Sons. This boat may well be the first Dolphin 24. Click here to find out more about her and her story.



In January, 2012 I spoke with Jim Taylor whose father and grandfather owned J. J. Taylor and Sons. During that same period, I also spoke with both Dave and Hazel Morris, the first owners of Lezah. The result is the beginning of a fascinating, and continuing story. Basically, Jim tells us that J.J Taylor built only one Dolphin 24! That one boat was built for Dave Morris who bought it as a wedding present for his new English bride. Jim reported that Dave was an enthusiast for the, then new, fiberglass technology, and, as we know, so was George O'Day.

Hazel told me that their boat was exhibited at the boat show in two pieces, as she recalls - the hull, with the deck suspended above it. The purpose was to show people what could be done with this new fiberglass technology. Jim Taylor told me that they built it as a special favor to Dave, and exhibited it so that show go'ers could see what could be done with fiberglass as a boat building material. Dave told me he had the boat bonded together and arranged to have it finished.

It seems that back in the late 1950's Dave Morris worked with an Irving Hallabra (sp?) who represented George O'Day and Associates in Canada. Sometime, in the mid/late 1959 period Dave became aware of the S&S designed Dolphin 24 to be introduced in the US in 1960, and using his enthusiasm and connections, arranged to have a hull and cabin/deck shipped to J.J.Taylor where it would be exhibited as a example of new fiberglass technology at the January 1960 Toronto Boat Show - and then be presented there to Hazel as a wedding present to his new bride, Hazel - Lezah spelled backwards!

A great story!


July 24, 2015 - Chris Vandersteen provided some additional info about J.J. Taylor and a boat, the Contessa 26, they built. We found some additional info about this boat on Sailboat Data which is reproduced below.

Hi Ron,

After rereading the site and seeing that more information was being sought on JJ Taylor, I thought you might be interested in this bit about the Contessa 26: Contessa 26 archive details - Yachtsnet Ltd. online UK yacht brokers - yacht brokerage and boat sales


Take care,

The Contessa 26's were originally built by Jeremy Rogers in Lymington, UKfrom 1966 to 1976, though a few more were built using the same moulds, first by Chris Carrington and then by Maclan Marine. About 350 were built in England in total.

Another set of moulds were shipped to Canada, where they were built under licence by J. J. Taylor until 1990. They produced another 400 or so boats, originally being sold as Contessa 26's, but after 1984 being called J J Taylor 26's - some of these later boats had a slightly modified deck moulding with an enlarged 'hump' by the hatchway to give greater headroom, and a slightly revised interior layout, although the hull always remained the same.

Contessa 26

Hull Type: Long keel with transom hung rudder Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

LOA: 25.50' / 7.77m LWL: 20.00' / 6.10m
Beam: 7.50' / 2.29m Listed SA: 233 ft2 / 21.65 m2
Draft (max. 4.00' / 1.22m
Disp. 5400 lbs./ 2449 kgs. Ballast: 2300 lbs. / 1043 kgs.



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