I grew up in Henderson, NC fishing on Kerr Lake and on the beach as much as I could. After finishing school from I moved to Hatteras, NC where I worked for several captains from 1988 to 1997. I was then offered a job as a captain on the “Huntress”, a 56ft Blackwell. We fished Florida and the Bahamas until I came back home to start my own charter business in Manteo, NC. We are based out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center here on the Outer Banks, NC.
The innermost part of the boat was formed out of heart of pine and
juniper, White said. The exterior is fiberglass over plywood. He and Dennis
Gower have been at work on this vessel for 18 months. White figures it will
take a couple more months to finish it, once he gets it to Oregon Inlet.
That work will include installing the bridge, which will be added after the
trip to the coast. Otherwise, the boat would be too tall to fit beneath
underpasses. And the motor, shaft, electrical system and appliance must
still to be installed. On Tuesday, White began the process of towing the
boat out of the barn and hoisting it onto a trailer before making the trek
east. Providing help with this part of the job was Luke Meekins of Surf Side
Services and Towing of Wanchese, N.C. After graduating from Vance High
School, White, 43, moved to Hatteras, where he worked for several captains
and later became a captain before starting his own charter business. He
takes fishing parties and family groups 40 miles out to the Gulf Stream to
try their luck with tuna, dolphins, marlins and the like. He also builds and
sells charter boats.
He learned that part of the boating trade by working with a
builder. “He put me on as a helper,” White said. That experience allowed him to
learn boats literally from the inside out. But later he decided he wanted to do
things differently and struck out on his own.
“I wanted to build one my way,” he
said. Even so, several people said White wouldn’t be able to handle building boats
himself. “A bunch of boat builders come up there and have lunch with us,” he said.
“They said me and Dennis aren’t smart enough to build a boat, but we proved them
different.” His current model is the fifth — and the largest — he has built. When
Gower isn’t building boats with Wilson, he frames houses. “He built this house for
me,” White said.
White has a 6-year-old son, Fisher, who is in kindergarten at Hobgood
Academy. It’s not surprising helping his father build this new boat has led Fisher
to declare that he wants to be a Coast Guard captain when he grows up.
are T.L. and Yvonne White. They own T.L.’s Family Restaurant in Manteo. His grandfather
was Kenneth Fields of Henderson.
As the new boat was inched out of the barn behind
the tow truck, White said, “I wish my pa-pa was here to see it.”
Signing Out, Brian White