Stämpfli was founded in 1896 by Johann Friedrich August Stämpfli and is the oldest operating rowing boat manufacturer in the world. The company was originally based in Zurich, Switzerland and started building fishing boats and sailing yachts on the bank of the Wollishofen Lake.
In 1898 our first racing boat was built, a "Yol de Mer" for the See-Club in Zug. This boat was a great success and is now on display in the Museum of Sport in Basel, Switzerland.
Stämpfli was always at the forefront of introducing technology and innovation to racing boats. During the 1950s the company experimented with the design of a U-shaped hull rather than the more common semi-circle shape. This proved to be successful and the rest of the rowing world switched to the new design. Also at this time the development of the first Aluminium rigger was underway to replace the traditional steel riggers and thus to dramatically reduce the weight of the boats.
Through the next twenty years the company was at the leading edge of the rowing world. It's hand crafted cedar racing shells were exported throughout the world and established Stämpfli as a world leader. At Olympics and World Championships events Stämpfli boats, in the hands of Pertti Karpinnen from Finland, probably one of the most successful single scullers in the history of the sport, and others have won time and time again.
In the early 1980s the rowing industry was going through a dramatic change with composite materials slowly finding their place in construction methods. During this period Alfred Stämpfli, the son of Johann Stämpfli retired and handed the company to Melchior Burgin. A successful rower in his own right, (1966 World Champion for Double Sculls) Melchior had been a long-time employee of the company and under his leadership the company started to build composite boats alongside the exquisite wooden boats.
Through the 1980s and early 1990s Stämpfli produced the wooden and composite boats side by side.
To meet the increasing demand for composite boats Melchior Burgin decided to get assistance from Bob Janousek at world famous Janousek Racing Boats in the UK.
Bob Janousek, together with Phil Gregory as the Master Boatbuilder, had built up one of the most successful composite boat companies in the world and had developed a volume composite construction system that was second to none. From the beginning Janousek boats have enjoyed massive popularity and continue to do so. Mainly due to the incredible durability and quality of the Janousek boats the decision was made to build Stämpfli composite boats in both the workshop in Zurich, Switzerland , and in Surrey, United Kingdom.
This joint production system was a great success and in 1991 Stämpfli Racing Boats was acquired by Janousek Racing Boats, establishing Stämpfli International Ltd. The production of all composite Stämpflis was then moved to the United Kingdom.
The range of boats was expanded and continually developed with the consequence that the Stämpfli range of boats — both composite and wooden — has now become one of the most desired racing boats in the world.