The history of company

Founder : WOLFGANG GRABNER

Today´s companies

Company headquarter: A-3350 HAAG Niederösterreich
Boat factory: A-4131 KIRCHBERG Oberösterreich

Milestones

1975: Start with 6 employees in Stadt Haag, Lower Austria
1977: 30 employees. 6 rented business premises

further history

1979: New factory. First EDV system

1980: Nearly 100 employees. The most successful sportive life jacket brand in the world.

1981: Ready Bag patent. GS sign for life jackets. Start of the surfing production.

1983: State price good form for Orbiter + Bambino

1985: 130 employees. Exports in over 40 states. Climax surfing production. Purchase Sewing factory Ziegelgasse.

1986: Purchase SEMPERIT boat factory in Kirchberg (Upper Austria). Collapse of the surfing market + decrease of the sale of winter products

1987: New furnishing in the boat factory. Intensive development of products. Presentation of the first GRABNER inflatable boat collection.

1989: Introduction on the market OUSIDE and new raft boats. Doubling of the production plant. Purchase of the METZELER production plant. Therefore the only manufacturer of hot vulcanized quality boats in Europe.

1991: Retreat of the production of ski and sport accessories. Concentration on market segment "ADVENTURE ON THE WATER". Development DOLPHIN 2.

1992: Final development of the boat factory. Development DOLPHIN 1

1993: Development ADVENTURE

1994: European norm accrediting - 16 CE proved swimming + life jackets

1995: Change single company - to GmbH. 20 year GRABNER company anniversary.

1996: Development of the 1 + 2 seats travelling kayaks EXPLORER and MEGA sports boat. New adventure catalog in 4 languages.

1997: Development SOLO 1-seat + sports raft. International trader symposium.

1998: 08.10.98 GRABNER takes over the boat program of the German company

1999: In the beginning of 1999 BIG PACK boats are produced at GRABNER's in Austria.

2000: 25 years company anniversary; first publication of "The GRABNER book"; opening of the GRABNER-Euro-boat world in Haag. (All GRABNER-Luftboote are issued with different accessories on 1000 m2.

2001: cooperation "Riding boat by train " with the ÖBB. Introduction on the market ADRIA motorboat series. New general agency in the USA.

2002: More than 1000 visitors of 5 states at the boat test in Wallsee. Start of the worldwide online - shop in 2 languages and currencies. New and even more informative landscape format catalog. Development and introduction on the market of HOLIDAY 1, SPEED, VARIANT. EURO uniform price.

2003: Additional building Haag

2004: Making of SWIMY + CONQUEST

2005: 30 years jubilee, 2 World novelties : DISCOVERY KAJAK  + HAPPY CAT LIGHT

2006: Inflatable boat DISCOVERY is proved and tested under extreme conditions, HAPPY CAT LIGHT becomes bestseller. Award "Goldener Pegasus" goes to GRABNER GMBH.

2007: 3 world-novelties: MINI RAFT, FANCY BOARD, trimaran sails for kayaks.

2008: 20 years OUTSIDE boat, 2 world-novelties: HOBBY motorboot, HAPPY CAT with 3D tubes. Relaunch of www.grabner-sports.at, 9 GRABNER boat test days.

2009: New GRABNER book, 2 world-novelties: White water kayak JUMP, HAPPY CAT RACING

2010: World-novelty RIVERSTAR 1-2-3 seater kayak, additional 4 fairs + 3rd GRABNER Boat test

2011: Worlds First! HAPPY CAT VISION. The „flagship“ HAPPY CAT VISION has everything that discerning sailing enthusiasts expect from a catamaran for easy and convenient travel -   Properties of a top class performance catamaran!

2012: 3 Novelties:

  • HAPPY CAT ULTRALIGHT - After years of tinkering and research,  GRABNER has managed to develop a sensationally light portable catamaran that can be dismantled into small parts.
  • INDIO: Going by the name, INDIO points to an Indian-style canoe. 
  • RIVERSTAR XXL- The RIVERSTAR XXL is the inflatable travel-kayak with worldwide the greatest overall length, meeting demands hitherto not covered.
  • During the summer of 2012 a 1,000 m2 boat-test lake has been created at the GRABNER company grounds.  The lake is fitted out with everything that qualifies for a perfect lake for testing boats, a large jetty, round the lake walk path, rest areas, stone seats, Mediterranean flora, illumination, rescue-rings, and a boat shed of course.

2013:

  • Novelty TRAMPER - Super comfortable, extra wide beam 1– or 2-seater kayak for camping-expeditions on lakes and rivers.
  • Haag - Saturday , 27th April: Grand opening Boat test lake

2014: Neuer Autoklav für Bootsproduktion. Der Vulkanisationsautoklav der ehemaligen Firma SEMPERIT, jetzt Firma GRABNER - wird nach 74 Jahren treuem Dienst verschrottet.

2015: 40 years jubilee, 2 novelties:

  • HAPPY CAT EVOLUTION - Built for optimal performance. Darting full speed across the water is the biggest thrill for athletic CAT sailors.
  • MEGA - New super-comfortable touring kayak. New super-comfortable touring kayak; offering 1 or 2 adult-,  or 2 adult + 1 small child  application. Elongation-aspect  plus wide beam offer smooth run and unbeatable stability.

2016: 2 novelties

  • Inflatable catamaran HAPPY CAT NEO: the perfect uncompromising boat for everyone who values the smallest possible packing size and the lightest weight when sailing.
    Ideal for learning how to sail! 
    The HAPPY CAT NEO is ready to sail in 20-30 minutes from the car boot to the water.

  • The travel-air-Canadian canoe ADVENTURE is the most purchased Canadian canoe in the GRABNER collection.
    In order to fasten all the expedition luggage in the boot, and also to make a heavily loaded boat easier to carry, the ADVENTURE was equipped with coaming eyelets; something which has been requested often in the past. Now the ADVENTURE EXPEDITION comes standard with coaming eyelets.