buddy davis carolina hull

The Buddy Davis Hull -Known for its pronounced bow flair and seakeeping ability.

Showing the extreme bow flair associated with this design.
Davis Hull

Known throughout the world for its legendary ride, the Buddy Davis hull is designed to cut through monster head seas, run on rails in following seas, and lie still while drifting in deep troughs waiting for a strike.

The exquisite flair is not only a work of art, it delivers a dry ride and contributes to buoyancy. When white water is fast approaching, you will continue, knowing your bow will rise to the occasion.


Back down, throttle up. Turn on a dime. Spin a 180. Land that fish. Whether you’re crossing the canyons or cruising the bays, Buddy Davis will get you there quickly, safely, and comfortably.

Beyond the superior ride and handling, Buddy Davis boats are designed to accommodate the hardcore fisherman with built-in fishing amenities from bow to stern, while providing enough top deck space, seating, and comfort for the leisure cruiser. Regardless of the Buddy you choose, your journey will go further.

Get onboard a Buddy Davis and discover the ultimate boating experience.

In 1977, Buddy Davis was among the first North Carolina boatbuilders to build hulls with diagonal juniper planks covered with fiberglass. In 1978, he switched to mahogany plywood under fiberglass. A year later Davis changed to diagonal plywood with a fiberglass exterior and achieved the strength and durability he was seeking at a much better cost. Davis credited both Rybovich and Merritt, famous Florida boat builders, with pioneering these techniques, and acknowledged their significant influence on his construction methods. In 1981, Buddy Davis began building boats using jigs instead of the traditional plank-on-frame construction approach. Craig Blackwell, now a custom boat builder in Wanchese, was hired to help with the jig design. Blackwell and Davis soon started using epoxy resins and glues commonly used in cold-molded construction today. Craig and Buddy became good friends and shared a passion for boat design and fabrication. Craig describes Buddy as a hard worker who was dedicated to building the best boat he could deliver. Blackwell also credits Davis with creating a “family” atmosphere in his boat-building organization.”Buddy Davis was a worker. Some of the crew even called him “Tas” because of his penchant for being so consumed in his work. Davis’ boat was called Tasmanian Devil and it featured a little whirlwind on the transom,” relates Blackwell. “Buddy was at work before everyone else and he left after everyone. He was a Tasmanian devil.” Furthermore,” continued Blackwell, “Buddy treated everyone fairly and with compassion. He never raised his voice and he was always available to discuss differing ideas. For example, we were working on a prototype boat design and we were ready to move the hull outside to flip her over. As was his custom, Buddy hired a local mover to give him some business but the crane he brought was too small for the job. I tried to talk him out of it, but Buddy was adamant that this contractor needed the work,” said Blackwell. Sure enough, when the boat was lifted out of the shop and onto the road where she was to be turned over, one of the chains snapped and the hull crashed to the pavement. Blackwell cringed and turned to Davis. To his surprise, Buddy said, “Great, that’s the perfect spot. We can spin her over right there!” They did and after finding minimal damage, the hull was moved back into the building where they finished production. Craig also described a time when a local church called on Davis to help with a sign. Buddy had his carpenters stop what they were doing to build this sign and he even hired a sign painter to come in and complete the job. “That’s just the way he was,” said Blackwell. “He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”

In 1983, Davis engineered another transformation when he entered the era of fiberglass molded, semi-custom sport fishing boats. His plant in Wanchese produced fiberglass boats ranging from 28 feet to 32 feet with his trademark flared bow. He offered to outfit each boat at the request of the fisherman.

As a tribute to the impact of Buddy Davis on the Carolina-style sportfishing boat, the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation has established a scholarship fund in Davis’ honor. “We want to recognize Buddy’s accomplishments in the industry and a scholarship to help local students further their education is one way to perpetuate his legacy,” said noted boat builder Ricky Scarborough, Jr., Vice-Chairman of the Foundation.

Foundation Chairman and well-known boat builder, John Bayliss, echoed Scarborough’s sentiments. “Buddy Davis did so much for the community that it’s a privilege to honor him in this way,” Bayliss said

Carolina Boat Builders Tournament

Similar Posts