Buddy Davis Legacy

Buddy Davis is credited with building more than 350 boats; bringing yacht finishes to custom-built Carolina sport fishing boats; and, with incorporating many contemporary design innovations and construction techniques into the boat building process.

Most importantly, Davis will be known for introducing the “Carolina flare” to the world. Even though he may have had a bumpy ride, Buddy Davis was instrumental in creating a legacy that will live on every time we see one of those sleek, bow-proud, flared hulls of a custom Carolina sport fishing boat.

Davis wasn’t always a boat builder, but he was always on boats. He began working as a mate on fishing boats at the ripe old age of 13, and spent some of his sea time working for the renowned North Carolina captain Omie Tillet. Throughout his career Davis created boats with wood, molded fiberglass, and cold-molding glass-over-wood techniques, spanning the technological ranges from scarfing planks, to building a hull upside-down on a jig—a first, at the time—to molding fiberglass with advanced methods like resin-infusion. At its peak, Buddy Davis Boat works boasted a production of 30 sport fishing yachts in a single year.

We redesigned our logo, commemorating 42 years of innovative boat building and continuing the Buddy Davis vision

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James White
48 Express Owner