Elements of a Carolina Boat

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

Catching the Horizon, By Chris Landry continued

“What are the key features of a Carolina boat?”


Our boats are known for their sharp entries — it really helps our ride. And our boats are pretty narrow, and the construction allows them to be considerably lighter and fast for the amount of power they have.


There are five must-haves: moderate deadrise in the stern, sharp entry, flared bow, broken sheer line and tumblehome.


They’re known for their flare in the bow — that’s distinct for our area. The flare has been overemphasized and underemphasized. Right now it’s leaning toward the underemphasized. The other aspect is the seakeeping, being able to run in heavy seas and provide a comfortable ride.

Tom Spencer


I can name great simple Carolina charter boats and great sophisticated sportfish boats. But it all comes back to performance in the ocean. There must be a high level of efficiency, seakeeping and maneuverability while on the fish.


It’s the combination of the narrow entry and the variable deadrise of the bottom. Basically, you might start with 40 degrees of deadrise at the bow, and that transitions to a warped bottom with flatter sections aft. This makes for a good sea boat and reduces hull resistance.


The first thing customers say is I want a boat that I can run when it’s rough, and I want to stay dry. It has to be a great sea boat that will make good time. It needs to do well in a head sea, a following sea and a quartering sea.


It has to be seaworthy and seakindly. They have to cut through big seas and traverse nasty inlets. Through a metamorphosis, we learned how to build boats that would handle these conditions well and get you out there in a timely manner.

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