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Our History

G. Curtis “Curt” Whiticar, founder of Whiticar Boat Works, first came to the Stuart, Florida area in 1917 with his parents and two brothers.

Addison Whiticar, Curt’s father, would hand-line commercial fish during the winter months and make a decent living due to the abundance of fish at that time. Summers were spent fishing in Fortesque, New Jersey. Due to competition from commercial net fishing in the late twenties, Addison started to use his boat more frequently for sport fishing.

Curt built his first boat when he was 14, and by the age of 23, he had designed and built a 33-foot single screw boat called the “Shearwater.” This fishing boat, based on local inlet problems and demanding fishing needs, is the backbone to the design of the modern Whiticar sport fisherman of today. Addison – more fondly known as Capt. Add – had Curt build him a boat shortly afterward in 1938. The “Gannet,” a twin screw 38-footer was Capt. Add’s pride and joy.

Due to ever increasing demand for these boats, Curt moved the Mess Hall from Camp Murphy, at what is now Jonathan Dickinson State Park, and reassembled the wood on a slab at its present location in 1947. The first boat built at the new facility in 1954 was the 38 ft “Hobo” – made for Curt’s brother, Jack. Powered by a pair of 225 horse power Chrysler engines, it proved to be fast and exceptionally seaworthy.

The 70’ by 90’ building became the foundation from which Whiticar Boat Works evolved. In 1949 Curt hired his brother-in-law, John Dragseth, to help him run the company. The company’s success came as a result of quality repairs and the famous line of custom fishing boats. John Dragseth and Curt Whiticar relied on a trained staff and attention to customer needs for Whiticar Boat Works to become a known destination for the East Coast recreational boater.

Much the same way that a father teaches his son to fish, it was fitting that both John Dragseth and Curt Whiticar had sons join the company and continue the family tradition of excellence in marine service and repair. Sons Jim Dragseth and John Whiticar were at the helm as the recreational boating life style continued to grow and become more demanding. Whiticar is also renowned for their line of seaworthy Custom Sport Fishing Boats.

Whiticar Boat Works has survived and thrived by operating our business with integrity and producing quality work. We like to think that when Curt built the boats Whiticar is known for, he also began building the reputation we uphold today. We stand behind the work of our professional and courteous crew. It’s part of the old-fashioned pride we have in a job done well.