Boats of Influence

Talking Fish, Talking Boats with the Boatbuilders of North Carolina
By John Turner ,

Catching the Horizon, By Chris Landry continued

“Talk about the boats that influenced you”


The Eye Roller, a 74-footer I did with my dad in 2010. It was the last plank-on-frame we did. That one will always be special to me. It has the same owner and the same captain. And she runs like a scalded dog — 45 knots with a pair of 2,400-hp engines, MTUs.


My first 60-footer in 2003. It was a breakaway boat from what was going on here. It had substantially less flare. We had a few builders come in and say, John, you have to change this jig. I was losing sleep. I was stressed. I ended up closing my doors and just building the boat. I am glad I did.


The boats of Buddy Cannady. His boats pushed easy, had great fuel efficiency and awesome seakeeping and fishing qualities.


Back in the mid-70s Omie Tillett built my father a boat, the Temptation. It had a huge impact on me and what I’m doing today. Anyone who ever fished that boat fell in love with it. The way it fished was incredible.


The Sportsman, which was Omie Tillett’s boat. I aspired to build a boat like that. I didn’t want to just build a boat to go charter fishing with. I met some of the right people and was fortunate to live out my dreams.


There are two boats that I consider the prettiest ever built around here. One was by Sportsman Boatworks, which Omie Tillett owned, called the Anxious. The other was the Temptation. The boats were way ahead of their time, mainly in looks but also performance. When leaving the docks, you couldn’t help but turn around and look at them one more time. The Anxious’ proportions were perfect. The workmanship was perfect.


We had a lot of passion for the second boat we built, called the Anticipation. It was a benchmark boat for us, a 61-foot fish magnet. It got our company a lot of recognition.


I go back to the Rybovich family, when John Rybovich Jr. developed and built Ms. Chevy II in the 1940s. You look at Ms. Chevy II and Knit Wits, which was our first, and there are quite a few similarities.

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