Great Midwest Yacht
sail boat
sail boat

About GMW

Great Midwest is a Thistle-only enterprise. We've been at it since 1975.

We build new Thistles. We design, make, assemble, and sell parts and components for Thistles. We provide custom installation tools. We provide advice about Thistle maintenance, rigging and repair. We do restorations and repairs of Thistles.

We help Thistlers sail their boats better.

With your support, we'll continue to do so.

Temporary look & feel

The pages you're looking at were put up quickly (after several false starts) so we could satisfy an increasingly-loud demand to make our catalog of parts available.

Most obviously, there is much finish work that needs to be done. We haven't sanded the wood. We haven't applied any varnish. We haven't polished the gel coat. We've only mounted the fittings loosely.

You can, however, see how the pieces will function. You can get a lot of info from what's in front of you.


We will be modifying the look-and-feel over the next several weeks, with much-improved graphics and layouts.  We'll be adding more how-to, installation, and information pages. We'll also be adding pictures.

Content and look-and-feel suggestions and comments will be most welcome.

In the next several months, you'll be able to save your 'interest list' for later review.


These pages mainly provide our catalog for your review. You can browse the catalog pages and move items of interest to an 'interest list'. You can then edit this list, add comments or questions, and send the result to GMW for a quote and/or to get more info.

You might ask why you can't order on-line from us.

There are two reasons:

One, not all Thistles were built the same or used the same fittings. Different builders used different constructions or hardware (within the class rules) to achieve the nominally-same results. As several quick examples:

  • you will need a different type of forestay pigtail depending on your boat's builder and age
  • you cannot install a forestay lever in a Clark hull without adding stem wood
  • you cannot attach some vang systems to a stock Clark hull

The other reason is that there are sometimes easier and less-expensive means to achieve a desired end. As an example, you can often fix leaking bailers without having to replace the gaskets or entire units.

It's often helpful to talk or at least ask questions. We have over time found this 'correspondence method' to be the most efficient means to

  • save you money and effort
  • provide you with the best service
  • get you all the pieces and parts you need for an upgrade or repair by offering perspective, insights, suggestions and advice

Great Midwest Yacht Company

PO Box 364
140 E Granville Street
Sunbury OH  43074

Click for Map