Our History

1986 – A group of entrepreneurs in Washington State, led by Glacier Bay founder Larry Graf, began engineering development of high speed, displacement catamaran hull shapes. The team built a series of one-eighth scale, tow tank models in order to develop and refine a hull shape that runs at high speeds without planing. The engineering team learned about which shapes performed, which didn’t, and why.

1987 – A full-scale 22-foot engineering prototype (tongue-and-groove cedar strips with fiberglass-epoxy covering) is constructed alongside Larry Graf’s home in Washington during the team’s after hours, weekends and holidays. Soon, the engineering prototype is ready for the water after more than 2,000 hours of construction.

1988 – Testing of full-scale prototype begins. After refinements, the 2,200-pound, 22-foot catamaran boat ran 22 miles per hour with a single 60 hp outboard. It was tested in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Pacific Ocean and the Canadian Gulf Island.

1990 – The first tooled production model, a Glacier Bay 248, is introduced at the Seattle International Boat Show. The cat was powered by single 90 hp outboard and included an aft head compartment and a queen size cuddy cabin berth.

1993 – The first commercial Glacier Bay sport fishing boats are developed for Skagway Sportfishing, an Alaska charter operation. These enclosed hardtop models were powered by twin 115 Yamaha outboards and had top speeds of 38mph. These fishing boats are still being used in the charter fleet, averaging more than 10,000 miles per year. Additionally in 1993, the company introduced the Glacier Bay 220 Center Console. This model was powered by twin 90 hp engines and had top speeds of 38 mph.

1995 – The GB 260 Canyon Runner series is introduced, featuring hull refinements for enhanced tracking, stability and carrying heavy loads. In 1996, this model was the first outboard-powered boat in history to run at speed from Norfolk, Virginia, to Bermuda – 728 miles nonstop – winning Boating’s Bermuda Challenge!

1997 – The company introduced the 2670 Isle Runner Cuddy Cabin.

1998 – Glacier Bay conquers the Pacific by completing the 1,378-mile delivery trip in 7 days from Oahu to Midway Island, with a 260 Canyon Runner and a 2680 Coastal Runner, with one refueling stop at Turn Island.

1999 – The 2680-90 Coastal Runners make their debut and complete two incredible Alaskan adventures. The first was a 2700 mile run up the Pacific Coast to Prince William Sound and then across the Gulf of Alaska to Homer. The second adventure trip ran from Nome across the Bering Strait to Russia-Siberia and back.

2000 – The GB 2640 Renegade is introduced – our first dual console family sport boat. The 2260 was the first of a series of 22-foot boats in three configurations: cuddy, center console and, later a dual console 2240.

2001 – We introduce the 2240 dual console, family sport boat with easily accessible head compartment and extra large swim platform. Sales Zoom!

2003/04 – The 3470 Ocean Runner sedan express cruiser is introduced with an 8,400-mile Grand Americas Trip from Seattle to Portland, Maine. Glacier Bay introduces the next in the yacht series, the 3480 enclosed pilothouse cruiser-sportfisherman, and in August, the 3490 Flybridge version.

2006 – The all new 3065 Canyon Runner joined the fleet with new Quantum hull and amazing blue water fishing features.

2007 – Glacier Bay’s new models are recognized globally for innovation and design. The new 30-foot 3070 and 3080 cabin models expand Glacier Bay’s range of models. The NMMA and Boating Writers International (BWI) honor the 3070 Isle Runner with the 2007 Innovation Award. Later, Glacier Bay’s 2270 takes home the gold at the Australian Marine Awards, winning top spot in Imported Trailerable Power Boat award.

2009 – Glacier Bay becomes an integral part of the PowerCat Group and production is moved to Tarboro, North Carolina. The PowerCat Group is the largest cat boat builder in the world with over 80,000 customers in almost every ocean and lake on Earth. The PowerCat Group operates out of a 140,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility on 14 acres in Tarboro.

2010 – The new 2740 is introduced at the Annapolis Boat Show in October, 2010. The 2740 is the first of the redesigned Glacier Bay models and becomes the largest unit volume model during the first year of production.

2011 – The new 2770 is introduced at the Norwalk Boat Show in September, 2011. The new 2770 and 2780 utilize the incredible 26′ hull with a built-in bow pulpit and updated styling. The deck design features protection for six under hardtop and canvas and a cabin with both a separate head area and queen berth.

2014 – Glacier Bay streamlines the product offering to three of the most popular models. The Glacier Bay 22-foot models are discontinued, replaced by three new Carolina Cat models (www.carolinacatboats.com). Glacier Bay is working on new bigger models to debut in the future.