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Where Can I Learn More About The Heritage And Culture Of Boat Building In Carteret County NC?

Our article on Carteret County NC boat building heritage and culture in the down east communities near Harkers Island, Beaufort, Salter Path, Newport, and Morehead City is meant as a primer for discussions around this topic using the comment form at the bottom of this article.

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Carteret County is home to two leading industry boat builders by way of Jarrett Bay Boatworks and Parker Boats who are showing phenomenal success, profits, business expansion, and increased services and production in the local area. Jarrett Bay Boatworks builds primarily large custom yachts that serve as pleasure craft or charter fishing yachts, but they do have smaller boats as well. Parker Boats is a leading manufacturer of center console boats, skiffs, and other fishing boats.

Both of these builders are celebrated in the county.

manufacturing and service steel tank

Jarrett Bay Boatworks
530 Sensation Weigh, Beaufort, NC 28516

Parker Boats
2570 NC-101, Beaufort, NC 28516

manufacturing plant highway 101

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center is a part of the Maritime Museum in Beaufort NC where events, exhibits, and educational learning about the local history, styles, and types of boats used by commercial fishermen and others in the county. Their location and contact information is 315 Front Street, Beaufort NC, 28519 and their phone number is 252-504-7740.

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center is especially noted for their courses on building traditional wooden boats and skiffs.

NC local courses to build wooden


While we are huge fans of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Parker Boats, and the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, we are also interested in learning more about the local traditions, culture, and heritage that go back one hundred or more years where families lived off the land and water, built their own boats and skiffs to work the water, and raised their sons and daughters on how to build seaworthy custom boats for work and play.

If I wanted to learn everything about Carteret County boat building who would you recommend me talking to? If I wanted to learn about the generations of families down east in Cedar Island, Otway, Bettie, Marshallberg, and Harkers Island who have always been commercial fishermen and will always be commercial fisherman, who would you recommend talking to?

Other than the watercraft center that is part of the Maritime Museum, are there any courses at Carteret Community College that teaches people how to build boats from scratch and through all phases?

If you are going to build a traditional wooden skiff to be used either for work or recreation, what types of wood would you use?

If you started tomorrow and had 8 hours a day to work on a project, how long would it take to build a boat to completion?

Considering different techniques, if you have restored a boat or built one yourself, what is the general process from start to finish?

What types of tools or machinery would one need to start this project and see it to completion?

What is more information about boat building in communities from around the county that we did not address?


January 2020 – Parker Boats announced that they are expanding and will complete construction on a new 10,000 square foot facility and add up to 30 new jobs. This new expansion will allow this builder to produce more models, design improvements to current models, and improved production workflow.

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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